The Final Fantasy XIII saga has been praised by some for it's amazing battle system and story, while being hated by others specially for its extreme linearity. In Final Fantasy XIII, players spend most of their time in long corridors with little chance to explore, Square Enix addressed this problem in Final Fantasy XIII-2, and with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, the company is aiming to provide even more freedom than its predecessores.
Lightning Returns' design director, Yuji Abe, revealed some details regarding key points and new features of the game. The game boasts fields larger than any seen in previous Final Fantasy titles, including more freedom to explore, with the team focusing on two main points: have some parts that won't be seen by players on the first try and make all visible areas as accessible as possible. An example of this is the fact that dungeons will have many structures that will bring plenty of differences in elevation, which will allow players to go from areas that are located to the top, all the way to the very bottom.
"Our games have never put too much consideration into the idea of 'being able to go to areas that look accessible,' so we've made it our goal to take that part a step higher, covering 100% in those regards might be a little difficult, but I'd say that you'll be able to go to about 90% of all visible areas", said Abe. Added to this, for the most part, the game will be played in a seamless, open world structure with no loading times, with the exception when players teleport to a different location or are relocated during a story event.
Abe also suggested that there may be new liberties granted in the way gamers advance through the game as well. When asked about players who will try to beat the game without participating in regular battles Abe replied "I believe there will be a huge hurdle to doing that, however, Lightning will be able to level up by simply clearing key events, which will increase her parameters. Again, if you want to increase her parameters by a larger amount, you can also purchase equipment." Although it looks like he's saying combat won't be optional, he seems to suggest that it won't be as necessary as in previous Final Fantasy titles.
What do you think of Lightning Returns' freedom and open world? Share your opinion in the comments below, and don't forget to watch the new trailer of the game.