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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Demo Out Today on PS3

Mat Kishimoto's Avatar + Posted by Mat Kishimoto on Jan 21, 2014 // Associate Product Manager, Square Enix

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

If you haven’t been lucky enough to attend E3, San Diego Comic Con, Penny Arcade Expo, or the other shows that have hosted Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, we have good news. We’re excited to announce that you can get hands-on with it in a playable demo that’s dropping TODAY.

From now on, you don’t have to take our word for it that this game is unlike anything Final Fantasy has ever done before, because it’s finally time for you to see for yourself.

First off, downloading the demo scores you an exclusive piece of DLC that we’re giving to you PlayStation fans — the Utsusemi Samurai garb — that you can use in the main game (it’s not in the demo itself, so don’t panic if you don’t see it). Again, this offer is exclusive to PlayStation owners too, so right off the bat you’re getting something not everybody’s going to get, JUST for downloading it. You can’t tell, but I’m winking at you, especially at all you Final Fantasy XI Ninjas.

So what’s in the demo itself? Of course, you’re playing as Lightning, but you’re now mysteriously tracking down her old friend Snow Villiers in the city of Yusnaan. As Lightning, it’s going to be up to you to fight through the chaos to see what happened.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIILightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

And the battle mechanics? No Final Fantasy is without battles, and this demo gives you just a taste of the real-time elements incorporated into both the field and the battle system, and it includes but a fraction of the ways you can customize Lightning.

Your default equipment sets (or Schemas, as they’re called in-game) are The Savior, Dark Muse, and Black Mage, but three battles into the demo you’ll unlock some Final Fantasy series favorites — Dragoon, Red Mage, and Heart Stealer, which may remind you of a certain thei–treasure hunter.

Once in battle, you’ll notice how the battle system has evolved from the traditional paradigm shift party system into strategically using Schema. Each Schema has its own ATB gauge, allowing you to attack relentlessly with commands mapped to corresponding buttons. Then you’ll switch to a new Schema, and all of your attacks change too, allowing you to pummel the enemy with different elements and attacks. Lightning is a one-woman army.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIIILightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Finally, one of the features that the demo shows off is called the “Outerworld,” a way for other players to communicate their progress via social networks like Facebook and Twitter to post their battle scores. While in the demo, this is all you can do with Outerworld. The full game offers much more Outerworld functionality, including buying and selling items your friends may have.

While sharing your game scores with 9,999 of your closest Facebook friends may not appeal to everyone, we’re excited to give you even MORE free stuff. If you can beat the Zaltys monster at the end of the demo and you post your score via Outerworld, you unlock the Siegfried Garb in the full game. Who is Siegfried, you ask? Play Final Fantasy VI, and all will be revealed.

Okay, so we’ve thrown a lot of information at you, so let’s recap, shall we?

  • The demo is available. For free, of course.
  • Just for playing, you get the PS3 exclusive DLC — Utsusemi Samurai garb. Again, for free.
  • Just for posting your score after the final battle, you’ll get more free DLC. As a note, this DLC will never be available aside from doing this.
  • If you’ve forgotten, just for pre-ordering, you unlock Final Fantasy history with Cloud Strife’s SOLDIER 1st Class Uniform.

Another awesome tidbit we wanted to share with you guys is that if you have save data from Final Fantasy XIII and/or Final Fantasy XIII-2, you get up to two more garbs based on Lightning’s outfits from each of those games — both Guardian Corps and Etro’s Guardian garbs.

We’re so excited over here to have you check out the demo and tell us what you think about the new battle system and gameplay. So what are you waiting for? You can pre-order Lightning Returns here to get free stuff, and of course download the demo later today.

//Add Your Own

143 Comments   14 Replies

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1

+ I-Dusk-I on January 21st, 2014 at 6:09 am said:

I’m psyched.


2

+ beyond_the_cpa on January 21st, 2014 at 6:14 am said:

I cannot wait to play this game. It seems so different than either of the other FFXIII’s. One thing I don’t understand is why the collectors edition isn’t available via the pre-order link above, which takes you to Amazon. I’d get the collectors edition in a second if I could do it through Amazon due to Prime status and gift credit I have with them. I can’t justify the cost through the Square Enix store website.


3

+ beyond_the_cpa on January 21st, 2014 at 6:14 am said:

OH, and this post made my day.


4

+ TheOathsworn on January 21st, 2014 at 6:16 am said:

Guess I know what I’m playing tonight when I get home.


5

+ tmiles07 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:17 am said:

I don’t care what anyone says about the Final Fantasy XIII series, I am ready!


6

+ lpinto79 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:23 am said:

I don’t often comment, but let me just say how much I liked this post. Not only for the content itself (free DLC just for downloading a demo? Yes, please!) but for the small references to other FFs. Siegfried!


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 9:44 am said:

    Glad you enjoyed it!


7

+ Silent_Gig on January 21st, 2014 at 6:24 am said:

Does EU get any of these DLC deals with the demo? Or is it just a US thing?


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 9:45 am said:

    Everything detailed in this post are US and North America specific


8

+ ElReminator on January 21st, 2014 at 6:26 am said:

Now that makes me Happy. And exclusive unlockables for playing the demo? That’s just great! :D


9

+ UnrealSackboy on January 21st, 2014 at 6:26 am said:

Ryan Clements! Is this the Surprise you were hinting at yesterday?? :D :D AWESOME :D :D


10

+ UnrealSackboy on January 21st, 2014 at 6:28 am said:

@beyond_the_cpa Yeahhh Square Enix has been doing that a lot lately…making the collectors editions only available through them. What cool thing about it though is that it really becomes a collectors edition because only certain amount of people will have it.


11

+ UnrealSackboy on January 21st, 2014 at 6:29 am said:

But I rather not buy it from them cause Digital river (the distribution service they use for the site) can really be a pain in the arse if something goes wrong with the order or you need something changed.


12

+ ossiecastro5 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:30 am said:

I’ve always been a fan of Cloud, Sephiroth , and Squall in FF games. I guess I’ll finally try this out. I might also pre-order Lightning Reutrns as well. When will it be released and how long do we have left to pre-order this?

Also, any new on those Kingdom Hearts avatars? I, as well as many others, are more than willing to pay for them. I would literally pay $5 just for that heartless emblem!


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 9:46 am said:

    LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII releases on February 11th so you only have 21 days left!


13

+ Tennisgamer010 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:32 am said:

Please bring Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria to PSN


14

+ Tennisgamer010 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:33 am said:

Dear Square Enix, Please release Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria as PS2 Classic


15

+ Tennisgamer010 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:33 am said:

Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria as PS2 Classic, on PlayStation Store


16

+ Sonicfan11589 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:37 am said:

Is there any other way to unlock Lightning’s FF XIII-1 costume, i only played FF XIII-1 on 360. Also thanks for the demo i look forward to playing it.


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 9:58 am said:

    The only way to unlock Lightning’s uniform from FINAL FANTASY XIII is to have save data on the same console you will play LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII.


17

+ ElReminator on January 21st, 2014 at 6:43 am said:

@16 : I think you absolutely need to have a save file. But XIII can be found easily for a greatest hit price nowadays, so you could just start a game, have your save file and enjoy the outfit! :)


18

+ omega_alpha-619 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:45 am said:

This made my day… just woke up and already very happy about this news. Thank You =)


19

+ Megrim23 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:48 am said:

This is great news! I was skeptical about buying this game as a pre-order but after playing the demo I may change my mind. For now I have just been playing Tales of Xillia & FFXIV while waiting on LOS2 to be released. I have a feeling I will be playing this for hours tonight though!


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 9:59 am said:

    Did you know…..there are weapons, shields, and a Miqo’te costume from FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn featured within LIGHTNING RETURNS: FINAL FANTASY XIII?

    Hopefully that’s even greater news!


20

+ NX_Nytrux on January 21st, 2014 at 6:50 am said:

@15: +1 Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria as PS2 Classic, on PlayStation Store


21

+ DuoMaxwell007 on January 21st, 2014 at 6:56 am said:

soo this is supposed to be an action RPG yet I read the words ATB in that blog…. Kingdom Hearts was an action RPG and I dont remember any part of that having anything that remotely mirrored ATB.. it was simply “mash x to attack repeatedly and dodge attacks in real time/manually” You know the things ppl expect in an action RPG


22

+ RulitoCR on January 21st, 2014 at 7:00 am said:

This looks really awesome!!


23

+ FreshRevenge on January 21st, 2014 at 7:03 am said:

This is great. I didn’t realize there was going to be a demo for this game. I am looking forward to February. Will be picking up the CE.


24

+ Psychosocialize on January 21st, 2014 at 7:04 am said:

This is perhaps the best news I have gotten since ever! Im a huge fan of the “13″ series. I cant believe people don’t like this series! I for one am sick and tired of everyone saying FF7 remake everyone needs to get off that game. Lightning is the new Cloud lol. I agree with an earlier post about how its lame you cant preorder the Collectors edition outside of Squeenix store:( that’s Squeenix for ya.


25

+ KazeEternal on January 21st, 2014 at 7:08 am said:

Do we get anything for Platinum’ing FFXIII and FFXIII-2?


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 10:00 am said:

    Virtual high five!


26

+ faraway25 on January 21st, 2014 at 7:08 am said:

Dont wink at those stupid ffxi ninjas all they did was take jobs away from us hardworking paladins!

Anyway I’m glad we get free dlc! And I like the fact were getting a lot from other FF games and I’m looking forward to more from them.


27

+ omega_alpha-619 on January 21st, 2014 at 7:17 am said:

Stupid?!… Paladins hardworking? Pffffft… Paladin was a cake walk… Ninja took hard work, dedication and skill to play well.

Know your place paladin. ;-)


28

+ tmiles07 on January 21st, 2014 at 7:30 am said:

XIII-1 was linear, XIII-2 was Pokemon on steroids… I have high hopes for XIII-3…

I only wish this update would come out before 2 today so my PS3 can automatically download it.


29

+ Shimrra74 on January 21st, 2014 at 7:34 am said:

What time will the demo be up?


30

+ omega_alpha-619 on January 21st, 2014 at 7:43 am said:

@ Shimrra74: Probably like 10 hours from now… like all tuesday updates. :(


31

+ RandomReduX on January 21st, 2014 at 7:51 am said:

I CANNOT FREAKIN’ WAIT


32

+ perrandy on January 21st, 2014 at 7:58 am said:

i will certainly try the demo later today.even though,i’m not a fan of the final fantasy series with the exception of ffx.btw,how big is the download?


33

+ omega_alpha-619 on January 21st, 2014 at 8:05 am said:

@ perrandy: If it’s the same as the JP demo (which I am fairly certain it is).. the size is 1.7gb. ^_~


34

+ FearMonkey on January 21st, 2014 at 8:06 am said:

So this is the same demo I played at Comic-Con?

Sweet. I didn’t have a chance to spend as much time with it as I wanted so now I can just play it forever.

Thanks! ^_^


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 10:03 am said:

    It is similar to what was at San Diego Comic Con, but there was more added awesome


35

+ IIIBlazeIII on January 21st, 2014 at 8:12 am said:

I’m Ready for some more Final Fantasy goodness!


36

+ Souledge94 on January 21st, 2014 at 8:13 am said:

Woot thanks for the free outfits.Cant wait to play the demo.


37

+ KANE-FIRE on January 21st, 2014 at 8:24 am said:

Thanks


38

+ Mando44646 on January 21st, 2014 at 8:33 am said:

I’ll definitely download the demo and give it a try, thanks!

I am still disappointed by the fact that you arent releasing this on the current console generation. Im much less likely to buy a game if it only releases on last gen consoles


39

+ AriesWarlock on January 21st, 2014 at 8:35 am said:

@Mat Kishimoto

Thank you for the demo, tell the guys back in HQ. With a demo I can tell my friends to try out the game.


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 10:03 am said:

    I’ll pass along your message! :)


40

+ AriesWarlock on January 21st, 2014 at 8:48 am said:

Also, “Play Final Fantasy VI”

Why, are you guys making a remake or something?


41

+ LightOfValkyrie on January 21st, 2014 at 8:53 am said:

Two outfits from the demo, an outfit for pre ordering, and another two outfits for pre ordering from Gamestop. Man I can’t wait to play this.


42

+ JimmyChaos on January 21st, 2014 at 8:59 am said:

I think the only black sheep in the series were Final Fantasy 13 and 14. You have totally fixed 14 and made it a lot better. Lets hope the same care has gone into this episode of 13.


43

+ narutofanO6 on January 21st, 2014 at 9:02 am said:

can’t wait


44

+ Icestar10 on January 21st, 2014 at 9:07 am said:

I can’t wait to play it!


45

+ viceforce on January 21st, 2014 at 9:22 am said:

Wow awesome news. Can’t wait to download the Demo and get those DLC. Played the demo from the Japan store so I know what to expect. Also I’m doing a XIII (and XIII-2) re run for anticipation of this game. Can’t wait for February Sony


46

+ Tinye310 on January 21st, 2014 at 9:36 am said:

Can’t wait for this game! Just starting XIII-2 and then by the time I finish hoping lightning will be out! woooo


47

+ Hellion83 on January 21st, 2014 at 9:40 am said:

Has the demo been released on PSN yet? in the US that is. Because I can’t find ti anywhere…


48

+ boomstickbhg on January 21st, 2014 at 9:41 am said:

How is the samurai outfit from the demo different from the 2 samurai outfits we get as a pre order bonus at EB?

Does this mean there (for some odd reason) are three different versions of a samurai outfit, or is it one of the pre order bonuses?


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    + Mat Kishimoto on January 21st, 2014 at 10:06 am said:

    Not only are the two samurai outfits at GameStop visually different, but the Utsusemi PlayStation 3 exclusive one offers different strengths and bonuses in the full game as well.


49

+ boomstickbhg on January 21st, 2014 at 9:45 am said:

Is there any way to access the online features in the full game (mainly the item selling/buying from friends) without having to use Facebook or Twitter?

Due to being hit by a car and the following lawsuit against them, I’m not allowed to use facebook (not that I ever would have anyway).

I’ve never used Twitter and never will.

Please give us real online options, not options tied to some terrible social networking sites.


50

+ neuropunk on January 21st, 2014 at 9:54 am said:

I wish classic style Final Fantasy would make a return. They should get rid of the XiII series and pretend they never happened. Lightning is a terrible character and the stories are horrible.

Turn based combat needs to make a return on console instead of this inferior combat. And yes, I played thru FFXIII unfortunately and a little of XIII-2 and the demo of LR, and they are all terrible.

How the hell could they screw up what used to be my favorite video game franchise, so badly?


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