Concept presentation aside, Square Enix hosted a gameplay presentation shortly after their public revealing of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII.
Of course, all attendees and press were asked to silence all recording devices meaning only a select few got to arguably see the best part.
Famitsu provided a brief summary of the event continuation, which included a trailer and a gameplay demo.
The trailer touched on Novus Partus and the time progression system. The sequence 00/02:54:23 was shown in particular. A second scene showed off Lightning sporting a new outfit, chasing a criminal accused of murder. Lightning can make use of cover mechanics, including crouching, sneaking and hiding by walls – think Metal Gear Solid.
The demo segment was shown running on a PlayStation 3. It was based off an alpha build, which could explain why Square Enix didn’t feel it appropriate to show to the rest of the world. As such, textures and voice acting was still in a placeholder state.
In battle, Lightning’s weapon, shield, costume and abilities can be altered. Customizations can be switched and stored to be interchanged before battle, with commands mapped to separate face buttons. Similar to FFX-2 there seems to be some sort of transformation sequence for each change, and include names such as Blast Witch and Holy Liberator.
The battle system in Lightning Returns is a modified ATB system with a gauge that fills up over time. In addition to assigning moves to the face buttons, you’ll also be able to input various normal actions such as evasion.
Much as in XIII, the enemies in the game have some sort of Break system attached to them. The earliest stage of Break for the larger enemies is called Knockdown and allows Lightning to steal once its down. The final Break stage is called Overclock – not to dissimilar from the original FFXIII E3 2006 trailer – it allows her to freeze time. In the demo, Lightning used Overclock to freeze a behemoth in min-launch and then strike it repeatedly.
It doesn’t seem like we’ll have to wait long until the next update. Famitsu promises an exclusive interview with the developers in its September 6th issue, which typically leaks on Tuesdays.