Square Enix had a busy weekend with fans and members of the press during their special Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII event in collaboration with Sony Computer Entertainment Japan’s Play Community. One of the main topics discussed during their developer talk segment was about the world-driven game and its four continents, including one that was revealed for the first time.
“Yes, the concept known as world-driven is the base, as the time inside the game’s world is always ticking,” says director Motomu Toriyama. “The flow of the 24 hours will show a change in where the people live, along with the scenery in towns, which will differentiate the player’s experience, along with how Lightning will have access [to different things].”
“Again, the project called ‘FF’ usually has a scale of about 100 to 200 people involved in the development,” Toriyama continues. “This time, since there are four continents (the core of the development), we’ve formed units of 10 to 20 people who are in charge of each continent’s development.”
The above image depicts the four main continents of Nova Chrysalia: Luxerion, Yusnaan, Dead Dunes, and the newly revealed “Wildlands”. According to the director, the concept behind the continents is to have the way each continent can be played be different from the others.
Luxerion is a continent that is controlled by an organization known as “The Order”. There are clocks on every corner of the city, as the citizens are constantly reminded of the impending end of the world, while wondering how they’ll live the remainder of their days.
As seen in our earlier report, the theme behind Luxerion is “Murder,” where Lightning will be solving crimes in the Divine City of Light. Luxerion’s playthrough will consist of detective and tracking parts. While the detective parts will be more calm and quiet, the tracking part contrasts these with a more active play style.
Yusnaan is the gorgeous land of enjoyment, that is full parties and festivities every day and night. Getting Lightning into the palace will be one of the main focuses once you get to the bustling city. There are many types of entertainment to enjoy in Yusnaan, which will vary according to the time, so that will also be a big part of the area, including the many time-limited quests you’ll find there.
Toriyama describes the Dead Dunes as a place that appears to have nothing but sand, when compared to the other continents. While most desert areas in Final Fantasy titles consist of walking around and fighting monsters, this time Square Enix have decided to add explorable ruins, making it a simple yet amusing concept behind the land of sand.
The Wildlands is the fourth continent that focuses on nature and the open world play style. The developers in charge of the new continent, were told, “Give Skyrim a run for its money!” by director Toriyama. The degree of freedom offered in the Wildlands will be much higher, where you’ll also get to ride Chocobos to check out various key points of interest.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII is slated for release in February 2014 in the U.S. and Europe for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.