Looks like Square Enix is taking cues from its peers to reinvent Final Fantasy.
The Final Fantasy series has achieved its impressive lifespan by keeping things fresh. Each new installment plays with the mechanics of a genre that would otherwise be excruciatingly familiar. The upcoming second sequel to Final Fantasy XIII, dubbed Lightning Returns, brings the series' combat to a whole new level of action-RPG. In fact, the game's producer thinks the gameplay might feel right at home in the unforgiving world of Dark Souls.
"If I were to describe the gameplay," says producer Yoshinori Kitase, "I'd say that there are some elements with the severity of [something like] Dark Souls." The similarities are visible in what we've seen of the combat - gone are the days of waiting for your turn to attack. In Lightning Returns you'll be fighting solo with full control over your movements. Monsters will have weak points to exploit and can be staggered to buy yourself precious seconds of safety.
Meanwhile, Lightning Returns seems to be borrowing other classic game mechanics as well. The game's story must be completed in seven in-game days, so time management is critical - but, with successful completion of missions, that timer can be pushed to thirteen days. There are also limited inventory slots, forcing you to carefully manage your gear. So it's a Final Fantasy game in the clothes of Dark Souls, with a dash of Majora's Mask and Resident Evil. If Square Enix can pull it off, that's one heck of a recipe for greatness.