Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII might have just been revealed by Square Enix during the 25-year anniversary event for the franchise, but the developers are already offering a depth of information on the game and on how it will change the conventions of the series.
According to an interview with the Japanese magazine Famitsu, the game is specifically designed to encourage gamers to play through the game more than one time, trying to perform different quests and to access different areas every time.
Apparently, the full game will never take more than 13 hours and there are a number of clocks that are spread through the game world and constantly inform the player how long he has to go before the game ends.
Performing certain actions during Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
will increase or decrease the time limit, introducing an element of uncertainty to the game.
The entire narrative is linked to a Doomsday clock and Square Enix has revealed that the game will only have one full ending, which is described as being a happy one, but the player-driven changes to the game world will apparently push players towards multiple playthroughs.
Square Enix has also revealed that the ending of the previous installment in the series, Final Fantasy XIII-2, has caused all the people in the game world to stop ageing all over the islands of Novus, two of which are dominated by modern cities, while two are underdeveloped.
The developers have also emphasized the fact that main character Lightning is more powerful in the new game and has more options on the battlefield, even if the ATB gauge is still used to determine what she can do.
Square Enix says that about 30 percent of Lightning Returns has been created so far.
The new Final Fantasy XIII game will be launched on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 at some point in 2013.