IGN gave out free tickets last minute to their preview screening to Lightning Returns – to which we were lucky to attend. The event featured game footage and a chance to play the game (different to the demo at Eurogamer). Not much information was disclosed on the event page, but whoever turned up were pleasantly surprised by what they received.
In a quaint venue in Limehouse, housed 100 playable pods with the demons for Final Fantasy: Lightning Returns. After standing in a queue for an hour, time went surprisingly quick while getting excited for what was in-store for us inside. It was worth the wait, being escorted in to a free cloakroom and seating area in front of a stage, you guessed it, IGN had more than a demo for us to play with.
Lightning Return‘s developer Motomu Toriyama and gameplay director Yuji Abe came in and took centre stage providing a running commentary on some brand new gameplay footage we watched. It was amazing hearing from the duo what they thought about the game, the hidden Final Fantasy cameos with bits of music being heard in the background performed by the travelling performers (or in this case, con man) and even unlocking Cloud’s variation of outfit for Lightning. IGN’s top fans submitted questions to be answered, mainly about this being the last of the FF 13 series – yes it is but not after rapping up all the loose ends and seeing some character development.
The fighting follows Crisis core with real time fighting including dodging, fighting using the four face buttons (x triangle, square and o). Certain magic attacks will cause enemies to ‘knock out’ so they fall over temporarily and you can attack the enemy easily till they regain consciousness. There is a lot conversation in the game and you are able to hear random comments by Lightning and her team as you run around. The Locations are vast and have changed appearances depending on the time of day.
They talked about the game spanning over a 7 day timer, so possibly being shorter than the other FF games. It had also had adopted a new dress sphere system where you could customise bits of the outfits, down to the colour, weapons and holsters to equip specific abilities. The combinations are vast and it was an added treat to see some of the conceptual art from the game which included so of the beautiful outfits such as the thief ensemble.
A great end to the evening was the raffle of FF memorabilia including signed games, artwork and a chocobo plushie. Every attendee received a Lightning Returns goodie bag containing a t-shirt, draw string bag, poster and free drink. We also got given free square pie with mash to keep us going.