Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (PlayStation 3)
The final instalment in the Final Fantasy XIII aims to wrap up the entire storyline while bringing further tweaks to the gameplay
- Open world gameplay
- Well tuned battle mechanics
- Characters and dialogue are forgettable
- Side quests can become a bit repetitive
Lightning Returns is the strongest effort out of the Final Fantasy XIII series, but it is still saddled with the same unremarkable characters and setting as before.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
In an uncharacteristic move for Square Enix, the Final Fantasy XIII series receives a third instalment with Lightning Returns. Final Fantasy X was the only other game in the long-running franchise to receive a dedicated sequel.
In 2010, Final Fantasy XIII introduced the protagonist Lightning and her companions consisting of friends and family. In 2012, Final Fantasy XIII-2 took the story in a different direction by focusing on Lightning’s sister, Serah, and her companion Noel Kreiss.
The final instalment in the Final Fantasy XIII aims to wrap up the entire storyline while bringing further tweaks to the gameplay. As the game’s title alludes, Lightning returns as the protagonist in the third instalment.
Passage of time
Five hundred years have passed since the conclusion of Final Fantasy XIII-2, which ended with chaos being unleashed on the world. Humanity has spent those five centuries waiting for the cataclysm to take its course.
The game begins six days before the world is expected to end. The god, Bhunivelze is creating a new world and wakes Lightning, who encased herself in crystal, to gather the souls of humanity so they can be used to populate the world.
The ticking clock is a new addition to Lightning Returns, requiring you to complete quests as quickly as possible in order to beat the destruction of the world. The soul gathering also forms a key component of the adventure, where the souls are purified in order to be reborn.
Not only does Lightning return for the third title, but so do her companions from the first instalment. Surprisingly, not much has changed with her friends over the five centuries that have passed, except for Hope who has gotten younger from the second game.
Final Fantasy XIII received criticism for its linear level structure, and the second game introduced more of an open world. Lightning Returns takes this further and lets you travel freely between each of the game’s four expansive zones.
Where Lightning Returns really excels is in its combat system, and gameplay has been tweaked to make it more action packed than before. There is no longer a party of team members to control, as Lightning does all of the fighting herself.
The game comes with a large amount of customisability for weapons, defences, and accessories. You’re also able to customise Lightning’s appearance with the numerous outfits that can be collected within the game.
Lighting Returns does a good job of addressing some of the shortcomings of the earlier instalments, such as the linear gameplay. The characters and story are mostly as forgettable as before, though the solid battle system just about makes up for it.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 4 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
- 5 Telstra Wi-Fi 4GX Advanced III review: Testing the world's first 600Mbps wireless hotspot
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Valve cleverly battles Steam cheaters with two-factor authentication
- Minecraft steps into virtual reality as Samsung Gear VR Edition appears in Oculus Store
- Corsair's K70 RGP Rapidfire features new gaming-focused Cherry MX switches
- EVE Valkyrie's new Carrier Assault mode will fulfill your Millennium Falcon dreams
- Doom co-creator John Romero teases new PC shooter
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
- CCTest AnalystQLD
- CCAnalyst Programmer (JAVA/Windows Programming) 160422/AP/544Asia
- FTVendor Manager / Team Lead - ITIL / ITSMVIC
- FTBusiness Intelligence ConsultantSA
- FTFunctional Kronos ConsultantNSW
- CCAWS ArchitectNSW
- CCJava Developer- 12 month contractNSW
- FTBA/Technical Project Manager/Product ManagerQLD
- CCProject CoordinatorACT
- CCProduct SpecialistVIC
- CCSQL DeveloperVIC
- CCContract ManagerVIC
- CCInfrastructure Engineer - Windows, VMWare, HyperVWA
- FTSenior Revenue Systems Functional AnalystSA
- CCAccount Manager - Software Solutions - Global IT CompanyNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager, Technology Upgrade & RefreshNSW
- FTManager; Enterprise ArchitectureNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - ICT SecurityNSW
- CCCommVault Backp EngineerNSW
- CCUAT Test AnalystWA
- CCSenior Oracle DBA- Part time 20 hoursWA
- CCService DeskWA
- CCContract Analyst/Programmer II (Drupal 7.39/PHP) 160427/CAP/vccAsia
- CCSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer | National Systems Integrator & MSP | CBD locationNSW