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Take a walk through the Wildlands of Lightning Returns By Erren Van Duine on October 14, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Square-Enix have released over eight minutes of new gameplay for the new ‘Wildlands’ area; a massive and open area which encourages player exploration and discovery.

Narrated by the dulcet tones of game design director Yuji Abe, we get to see a broad spectrum of elements from the concluding act in Lightning’s saga including combat, exploration and a little bit of narrative exposition. Also featured in the video are the deep customization system and the epic boss battle with the β€œChocobo Eater.”

Containing whatever is left of the massive natural habitats which once existed in Gran Pulse, the Wildlands look to be a breathtakingly organic and free roaming battleground for Lightning to confront the spread of Chaos.

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  • Ryuukishi

    Great to hear some Ali Hillis. It stings that they couldn’t do a simultaneous Japan/Western release. πŸ™

  • Somber

    Finally, some LR video and….new music tracks! We need trailer featuring Vanille! Angel of Valhalla must be [you-know] πŸ˜€

  • Storm

    as always… it looks fantastic.

  • FFFan

    Abe taking a cue from Yoshida =) I love when game developers take the time to talk a bit about their games. Too bad SE doesn’t do this more often because I would love to know more about the development process of FF games.

    Now on to the video itself. Let’s start with the pros:
    * Combat looks fun and fast paced. Reminds me of FFX-2 and that is a good thing.
    * A large selection of weapons and shields that look very different from each other;
    * Lightning’s in-game model changes as we change her equipment;
    * Large maps and FREEDOM!!!;
    * Music sounds great.

    The cons:
    * Textures look waaaay too low res for a PS3 game;
    * Most shadows are either wrong or out of place. Plus, there is no self-shadowing or ambient occlusion =( Clearly a 2013 game using 2006 tech;
    * The UI is MASSIVE and obstructs the view most of the time. “Honourable” mention goes to the field map at the top right corner that takes about 1/4 of the screen;
    * Bigger is not always better as the Wildlands look empty (Calm Lands syndrome?);
    * Dialogue and voice acting is on-par with previous instalments… BLARGH.

  • artemisthemp

    Happy that you can customize the color on your gear and that having Y Shield actually improve your chance over X shield, instead X shield just been the only real choice

  • Ehren Rivers

    While I do not have time today to talk much, I wanted to stop in and watch this. So, I’d just like to take a moment to say that in a previous JP play video it was shown that you could get rid of the map entirely. The remaining time will still appear up in that corner of the screen.

  • FFFan

    Well that doesn’t help if I want to know where I’m going. But thanks for the help anyway =)

  • Anime10121

    Must resist urge to spoil…

  • Ehren Rivers

    As with both XIII and XIII-2, you can open a larger map at any time by simply pressing the Square/X buttons or by selecting “Map” from the menu.

  • Jean Paiva

    Chill Out, there are no spolers.

  • Somber

    there’s a single spoiler we already know….Damn SE πŸ™

  • Anime10121

    I wanna go in fresh, I watched that shaky cam footage of the wildlands months ago and thats all I wanna see. No music, no NPC’s, I wanna go into this as fresh as I can. Trying not to watch any gameplay trailers and the only trailers I’ve watched are the “main story” trailers SE puts out for events and the opening CG movie. They are putting out FAR too many gameplay trailers for my taste. I wanna wait until I get the game before I see the animations, finishing poses, music, npc characters etc etc.

  • Jean Paiva

    You’re right. But I can’t control myself. I will cancel my internet.

  • Jean Paiva

    The graphics are great by the way.

  • Sapientia

    Looks good as always. I read an article on IGN where two of their demo guys did completely different things in the Gamescom demo – one found a village called Jagid (Jagd?) and it sounds like there’s a ton of things to do in the Wildlands. Music sounds really nice, graphics look nice, Lightning is Lightning, and all is well.
    Also, about a month left until LR releases. 8D

  • Somber

    I’ve watched the video. Amazing. But, the comment section….it broke my heart. Lots of terrible ppl πŸ™

  • Sapientia

    Also, here is a link to a video on IGN that probably has the best quality of parts in the Gamescom demo.
    http://www.ign.com/videos/2013/10/14/why-were-excited-for-lightning-returns-final-fantasy-xiii

    It also shows new areas we haven’t seen before.
    EDIT: Angel of Valhalla/*Odin* can fight next to us in battle. WE ALL KNEW IT. It’s Odin.

  • Sapientia

    That’s IGN for you. Don’t even bother with them.

  • Noctis Caelum

    THIS IS JUST AMAZING O_O
    I’ll go first to the wildlands

  • Sapientia

    You’ll probably get your butt kicked. Just sayin’. πŸ˜›

  • Sheesh. Army of One sure is epic in this game. πŸ™‚

  • TO

    My friend at the expo says they’re considering releasing a demo.

    I HOPE SO!

  • Ehren Rivers

    They said during the livestream it’s something they are very seriously considering, but it’s not for sure yet. Once a decision is made, they’ll try to let people know immediately.

  • TO

    I hope they do it.

  • Mateus.E

    The ruins area has a nice background music,you guys should recognize it easily.Considering the music,and the badass that owns it and resides on the ruins,the wildlands won’t be completed so quickly.It won’t be as “Linear” as I thought,like,you clear this continent at once,then that one,etc.We will most likely be “forced” by story or gameplay to switch around the continents,without a specific order perhaps, …until each of them are naturally completed.maybe I am being dumb,and this was really obvious…but I would really hope they do this.

  • Erren Van Duine

    Thanks for spoiling…

  • Sapientia

    I don’t know if you’re kidding or not, but I kind of figured most had figured it out by now, and have seen the footage from the gameplay stuff. But I’ll put a little spoiler thing anyway.

  • Mateus.E

    that goes for many games.I wonder if I am being nasty or prejudiced,but are they like that on other comment sections outside the rpg section?Man,hate and nitpicking really moves the world around.People lose time to find and persecute things they don’t like instead of using it to cherish what they love.I can see quite clearly that SE is putting all the fans feedback they can,after all.This here is dream come true,in the exploration part,considering the first game…such a gigantic world map,so little time,literally.in the gameplay part,they got rid of the OPTIONAL “mash to win” part of the paradigm shift.And made quite some upgrades too.Well,I am confident in this game.

  • Storm2356

    You won’t be forced by the story to switch around or do it in any order, from what they’ve said.. There’s a tutorial in Yusnaan at the start of the game, and after that it’s pretty much like, “You’ll probably want to go to Luxerion, but we don’t care, do what you want.”

  • Storm

    yeah. I noticed the low res textures.

  • FinalFantisiac

    Ok, this is pretty awesome. My excitement gauge is at full so I can’t say I’m getting anymore excited (that’s a good thing).

  • Mateus.E

    well,”forced” means that,although they won’t be holding your hand nor impose you with a sequence,there must be a “Logical” sequence to the plot,or the most logical one,to proceed around the continents.Or a way that will let us identify “foreshadows” quicker..Gameplay,well,they said the difficult grows by the day,but not by area or continent…but still,there may be something in the gameplay or in the enemies that suggests…”Um,I ain’t ready for these enemies yet”.I think they said something to that effect.

  • Mateus.E

    heh,if they made it so easy to figure it out he was Odin,then that wasn’t that big of a spoiler.Who knows,they could make you think it’s odin,then disprove it….but that is,well,highly unlikely.Well,even if he isn’t,I am still calling him Odin,he is so cute.
    So,Odin,or angel of Valhalla,is going to fight as an AI controlled caracter.Is that only possible at the wildlands?Fang is going to be a temp,so,it would be interesting to fight with both Choco Odin and Fang…and,if possible: Hope,Sazh…Snow,Noel,Vanille…and Caius.

  • fiveval

    When did you start writing in UK English, Erren? πŸ™‚

  • Sapientia

    Her FFXIV:ARR review is written really well, not like I’m some judge or anything, but it is.

  • fiveval

    No doubt. What I’d meant is, American English folks hardly ever say, “Square-Enix have,” or “Disney have,” even though those are grammatical, lol. Every other English speaker does, I think.

  • Storm2356

    I see what you’re saying. There’s a good chance that some areas will have tough monsters you can’t fight anywhere else, but mostly, from what I understand, these are located inside Chaos Infusions, which, as the name implies, are areas with high concentrations of Chaos that make monsters stronger.

  • Wassim Mokhtar

    Damn…. the music is so soothing….. and on top of it, the environment of the wildlands looks so right with the game’s lore and when mixed with the combat of the game…… It just blends in so well.

  • iLoveLightning

    Got to play this yesterday and it’s now surpassed XIII as my favourite game. It was fucking amazing.

  • Leon Aether

    My heart ached watching this last scene… I so want to save that chocobo!!!!

  • Leon Aether

    Yay! Thank you Sapientia!!! Will definitely ride Odin again! πŸ˜€

  • NRool

    Again, thank you lot so much for giving me the chance to attend the event and play this, I had the chance to play the wildlands Demo, but I didn’t want to play it too much so I only played it once.
    But yeah, I went from hyped to ecstatic for this, the maps are absolutely enormous, really shocked me how huge they are.

  • Sapientia

    Oh, okay. Makes sense.

  • Sapientia

    Ooh, can you tell us what you thought of the Wildlands. Like, how large is it exactly? The music? What did you think of the battle system? I wanted to go to the event so bad, but I live nowhere near Central London.

  • SazhKatzroy

    I love how they added in music from the previous games.
    “New Bodhum” from XIII-2 and “Test of the L’Cie” from XIII – to name a few
    But I really like how they transition the music depending on the area.
    The boss battle music in this video was cool too!!

  • SazhKatzroy

    Lucky!!!
    It really looks amazing. Looking forward to the story contents too.

    Supposedly there is something beneath the temple…
    I remember under the floating chair in XIII-2 there was nothing but pitch-blackness, and I always thought to myself something had to be down there.

  • NRool

    Well, I’ll try, but sorry if it seems a bit vague.

    I’d say the wildlands (all sections) alone are probably around 2-3 times as large as the Main section of the Archlyte Steppe? (possibly bigger since it was a demo build and I didn’t get the best of looks) I only got 10-15 minutes to explore and a good majority was spent fighting a Behemoth and some big ol’ monster (Quest monster), but trust me, I opened the map to get my mark and find out where to go, and I just zoomed out and had a scroll about on the map, and I can happily say it’s absolutely freakin’ HUGE. I was wandering about for a little and found all kinds of goodies too, side quest knic-knacs (I believe you have to collect a bunch of flowers from around the wildlands) and my Sister said she found all kinds of other stuff too that I hadn’t found, and she had no clue how to even fight in the battle system, so you can tell her experience with FFXIII is limited, yet she still found so much and got to do so much as well.

    It’s quite literally jam-packed with small alcoves to search, treasures, parts for side quests, monsters, etc, small pathways that lead to other sections (I don’t remember clearly but I think there are like 3 or more huge expanses that are connected via pathways in the wildlands) and some huge castle on a hill :V

    The Music I couldn’t hear too well, luckily I heard the leaked uploads from a while ago and they were playing a good few tracks that play throughout the areas out loud at the event, now as a HUGE Final Fantasy nut and Music Nut AND Final Fantasy music nut, I am so in love with the soundtrack thus far it’s not even funny, the music is so pleasant and varied amongst the places (I’ve heard music from other places and we got to see some of Yusna’an, I didn’t play the Yusna’an demo though) but the Wildlands in particular have this brilliant theme to it that adds to the sense of exploration, it makes it feel like you are going about this huge untamed world, and just add so much to the experience (luckily it was playing during part of my demo!)

    The Battle system …. this is kinda difficult for me to describe.
    Y’see I’ve easily clocked 400+ hours into XIII and another 200 into XIII-2, and I don’t usually use auto-Battle, so I’m used to manually inputting things, so I thought “this’ll be easy to get used to, I’ve played enough XIII” or so I thought, whilst yes having knowledge of XIII will help you out a lot, I hope to god for newer players there is a tutorial, You have to keep an eye on so much during battle, similar to how in The World Ends With You you have a ton of things to manage, in this you have to watch your ATB, keep an eye on the opponents knock-down “gauge” and keep Lightning moving about, all whilst prepping to defend yourself with the right shield and technique (different shields function different, some allow Mediguard, whilst others will boost HP I think, and well, some are resistant to fire, some are better for blocking physical moves, etc) so you have to keep your garment or outfit in mind for when an opponent is about to pull out a super move.
    it’s very hectic but at the same time very, very unique and fluid.

    It’s a shame you couldn’t attend, but from what Toriyama mentioned there MIGHT be a Demo at some point before release, personally I would love a demo so I can actually have a proper stroll through the Wildlands, 10 minutes really wasn’t enough to judge such a huge complex and vast game <3

  • NRool

    The one in the Arena?
    that was World’s Collide from XIII-2, admittedly I have that on my iPod *shame*

  • iLoveLightning

    Look forward to the Dead Dunes also! This shitty youtube quality really doesn’t do the area justice; the textures of the sand are so much better, you can literally see each grain and sliding down the sand dunes is really fun!

  • SazhKatzroy

    haha I have all the osts on my iPod too πŸ™‚

    But yea I really like how they took advantage of using music from the past titles. LR still has a diverse soundtrack it would seem

  • Sapientia

    That sounds amazing. Well, on Mognet Central a friend and I (Storm, he’s here sometimes) traversed the Archylte Steppe in both FFXIII and XIII-2.
    But I actually took a streamlined, no enemy encounters (if I did encounter one, I subtracted that time from the overall thing), no chocobos…and from Yaschas Massif all the way through the Steppe and Mah’habara to Oerba, it was 22 minutes and 22 seconds. So, if Toriyama and the others are right and like you said, the Wildlands alone is two times bigger than the entire Gran Pulse world of FFXIII.

  • Sapientia

    Wait, there was a Dead Dunes demo, too? This is the first time I’ve heard of this! O.o

  • iLoveLightning

    No, we got to play the actual game. First though, we had to load a save in the Wildlands, but then after that you were free to go to the train station and ride it to Luxerion / The Dead Dunes.

    I didn’t get as much playtime in Luxerion or the Dead Dunes though.

  • NRool

    Oh no no no, I meant just the main plain of the Archlyte Steppe, and perhaps up to the end of the Vallis Media if you add up all the pathways into one long one.

    Apologies if that sounded confusing … I think if it’s just the Steppe alone from XIII … probably around 5 times the size. the WHOLE of Gran Pulse? Mah’abara, Sulyya Springs, etc all included?

    I’m going to take a wild guess and say if you add all four continents together in LR, it’ll probably be around twice the size of Pulse altogether … but then again, thats all speculation, it could be 4x bigger than all of Pulse for all I know.

  • Sapientia

    Really? It’s not that I don’t believe you, but four others I talked to said they only had 10-15 minutes in the Wildlands and that was the end of the demo, kind of like the Yusnaan demo I played at E3.

  • Sapientia

    I know, I was just showing a comparison since I was kind of blown away by it when I added it all up.
    And yes, the time it takes to run the length of Yaschas Massif all the way to Oerba (excluding the hidden area in Mah’habara and the path to Titan’s Trials) was 22 minutes and 22 seconds. So I did mean that the Wildlands is essentially the size of Gran Pulse. The ENTIRE area, excluding the two things I said above.

  • NRool

    DAYUMN, that’s insane, also, I love timing things like that, I used to do laps around Hyrule in Twilight Princess to see how quick I could do it.

    And I apologise for ME misunderstanding, hahah

  • Sapientia

    No problem! I didn’t explain it very well the first time, anyway. πŸ™‚

  • Somber

    I agree! Boss music is a badass. πŸ˜€

  • Sothe Zephyr

    When i saw Chocobo eater….i instantly thought of FFX xD Great gameplay footage tho!

  • orangeluigi

    Oh my god I may have to get this and I don’t even own a PS3!

  • Hope Fantasy

    You can get it for Xbox 360 πŸ˜‰

  • orangeluigi

    Sweet thanks

  • iLoveLightning

    Sorry for such a late response! My laptop broke. Basically I played for 15 minutes, then the lady told me my time was up. Then I went to do some quiz thing and after that I went to play again for 15 minutes. Then I played the E3 demo twice and after the event was over you could play again, so I got to play for a few more minutes. ^_^!