Over at Square Enix, people on the show floor were given the opportunity to try out Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Oh Lightning how I missed thee. Seriously, it's very satisfying to destroy your enemies as a character described as a melee, DPS, tank, mage, caster. No seriously, it's like every class in one character. And she looks better than ever while doing it! Talk about no compromise.
As Lightning, you will get to travel freely over the game's variety of terrain and can jump on things. I had fun jumping on telephones and railings and what not. There's also a stealth mechanic to the game so it reminds me heavily about Deus Ex -- having to sneak around things or not be heard.
As far as I know, the player can either walk between destinations or use the monorail for faster travel. Hopefully we'll see chocobos at a later date.
She does it all
The blunt of the Lightning demo was combat mechanics. Not really going to reveal much of the story, folks.
The battles are extremely fast paced and make use of the four primary buttons on your controller. You can have an attack on one button, a dash on one button... pretty much whatever you desire. It's not a true action-battle system as it's still turn based in some way; or at least delayed between skills but it's still something that would cater to people who want to fight a little faster yet still retain that feel classic fans enjoyed.
One of the most interesting features is the "Paradign Shift" which was seen in past games but in Lightning, you can switch at ANYTIME mid-combat and transition from a mage and fighter with different skill sets at your will. Does this make Lightning over-powered? In accordance with most Final Fantasy lore, yes, but in the game, no? If you're upset about her powers, you can just call her a Red Mage (huehuehue loop holes).
Seriously, the power to use every ability and spell is just so satisfying!
The game looks the same as it's previous XIII counterparts. The only thing I can really comment on here is Lightning has the best wardrobe ever. She looks cool in everything you give her and she needs it too! The skills in this game are incredibly flashy so for those who enjoy a lot of eye candy, you'll get a ton of it.
The game is pretty slick. It's not quite as action-packed as upcoming Final Fantasy XV, but we get Lightning back and get the good kind of combat back. I think Final Fantasy fans would enjoy it.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII will release on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 on February 11th, 2014.