I’m just a few hours in so I can’t say much about the game. So far, I’m actually a bit confused about what’s going on because all kinds of strange terms are used – l’Cie,” “fal’Cie,” “Cie’th,” or “Gran Pulse” and I find it damn hard to remember what they mean.
Here’s what I think I know: the game is set in a world called Cocoon. It’s a gigantic sphere and outside its shell is some kind of netherworld known as Gran Pulse. Fal’Cie are otherworldly beings and there are two kinds: the Fal’Cie and the Pulse Fal’Cie. Pulse Fal’Cie are considered dangerous and people who come into contact with one are viewed as infected and called l’Cie. The game starts when government troops take care of a whole village whose people are suspected to be infected by a Pulse Fal’Cie. Some civilians resist because they suspect they face more than just an evacuation. That’s the grand scale.
Then there are the individual characters who make up your party and most of them have a more specific reason why they fight the government troops. For example, one of the l’Cie is the fiancée of one character and the sister of another and they try to save her.
First impressions: Final Fantasy XIII reminds me a bit of Final Fantasy VII (the design of the city, fighting against the government) and Final Fantasy X (the characters’ looks, personality). There’s a bit of romance. But the female character (the one that got infected) looks rather child-like when she’s standing beside her boyfriend, so I can’t bring myself to really care about them. Actually, all female characters so far look a bit on the anorexic side, IMO. The game also seems very linear so far. No exploring, just following the path the developers want you to take. Oh, and the battle system is fast and I think my best option is to just press one button. (Or maybe I just need to get the hang of it.)
In short: great graphics; a slightly confusing story and battle system (but both with potential); I miss the magic of some of the previous games a bit.
Here’s a trailer: