Final Fantasy XIII-2 is looking to take what people liked from Final Fantasy XIII and give them more of it. During our eyes-on demonstration it was clear Square Enix wanted to right the wrongs from Final Fantasy XIII. Final Fantasy XIII-2 brings Serah back from XIII and introduces a new character, Noel Kreiss into the mix. Fans of Lightning, however, will be glad to know she will be playable some, too — at least during the earlier parts of the game.
XIII-2 will feature the same paradigm fighting system from XIII and will look to bridge the gap more between cut scenes and playable scenarios. To this end, XIII-2 will feature cinematic action sequences that are quick-time events during battles. While quick-time events are certainly nothing new, it is nice to see Square trying to get the player a little more involved in the grand, cinematic battles often shown, but never before really played in Final Fantasy games.
If a player successfully pulls off the quick-time button presses during the cinematic action sequence, he or she will be rewarded in the fight in some manner. If he or she fails, she will suffer some form of punishment, like take some damage, but he or she will not be kicked out of the battle entirely. During the demo shown, the screen said “cinematic action” in the corner when these events occurred. According to Square, this was so that gamers would know to keep the controller in their hands during these cinematic moments.
In another attempt to correct the wrongs found in XIII, the maps in XIII-2 give players choices in how they move about the world. It was stressed that the maps in XIII-2 would be less linear than those found in XIII. Final Fantasy XIII-2 also features what Square called “live triggers” during the gameplay. During these moments the player is presented with a choose-your-adventure style option.
In the demo shown, the option was either to approach a terminal to see if it could help with your fight against Atlas, or proceed to the battle with Atlas itself. In the demo we saw both scenarios play out. When they went straight to the fight, they lost because they were not leveled up enough to take down Atlas in his strongest form. By going to the terminal, however, they were able to slow Atlas down some so that they then stood a chance against him in battle.
Square was quick to point out, though, that when players came across situations like this in the game one choice is not always right or wrong. In this instance, had the player grinded more and leveled their character up more, they would have been able to defeat Atlas without going to the terminal.
Rounding out some of the additional features shown in XIII-2 are the ability for the player to make his or her character jump in game–a Final Fantasy first–and how players can add defeated monsters to their party, equipped in their third party spot. If players have multiple monsters, the monster used in the party is selected based on which paradigm the player is using in battle.
All-in-all, Final Fantasy XIII-2 will likely make fans of the series pretty happy. Hopefully Square Enix can deliver a game that corrects the missteps found in XIII and also provide gamers with the deep, engrossing story they have come to expect from Final Fantasy.
To help pass the time until the game’s eventual release, check out these new pictures in the gallery below.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is expected to release in early 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Stay tuned to Game Rant for more news and updates as E3 2011 continues through the week.