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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 2 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 3 Parrot Mambo Drone review
- 4 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 5 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
Latest News Articles
- This week in games: Diablo 4 whispers, Civilization VI launch
- The Nintendo Switch is a radical mash-up of consoles and gaming handhelds
- Tobii's new eye tracker adds head tracking with an emphasis on PC games
- Halo Wars 2 hands-on preview: Blitz mode's thrilling twists could trigger an RTS revival
- The Xbox One's first email app is here, and it's not Outlook
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: The new best Android phone
- TV buying guide: What to look for when buying a TV in 2016
- Best iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus plans: Optus vs Telstra vs Vodafone vs Virgin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTesting Capability LeadNSW
- FTProject Manager - Intelligent Transport SolutionsNSW
- CCProject SchedulerVIC
- FTBusiness Analyst - HKMAAsia
- FTProject ManagerSA
- CCAnalyst Programmer (12-Month Renewable Contract)Asia
- FTAgile Front End Developer- HTML5 & CSS3NSW
- FTNetwork and Security Engineer - Checkpoint, Firewalls, VPNNSW
- FTDelivery LeadNSW
- FTDigital DeveloperNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (J2EE/Oracle) 161031/AP/512Asia
- CCSAP GRC consultant with ABAP experience . Canberra LocationNSW
- CCIteration ManagerVIC
- CCADABAS Database Administrator - NV1 clearedACT
- FTIntegration Solutions ArchitectNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/SQL/Web) 161026/AP/632Asia
- FT.Net CRM Dynamics Developer LeadVIC
- CCProgress DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Java Developer-Java SE 8, HTTP APIs, Protocol BuffersNSW
- CCTechnology Training ManagerNSW
- CCApplications Support Technical OfficerACT
- CCQlikview DeveloperNSW
- FTSecurity Consultant / SMENSW