Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII review

Few game developers are capable of delivering such lavish cinematics for their titles as Square Enix. Boasting production values that appear to dwarf those of some animated movies, the biggest beneficiary of this has been the Final Fantasy series of RPGs. And Lighting Returns… is no different.

Set 500 years after the events of Final Fantasy XIII-2, this third and final part of the trilogy gives players control of the titular Lightning, who now finds herself kitted out with some new powers and on a mission from God. Unfortunately there are only 13 days left before the world will end, meaning she's going to have to get busy saving souls if she wants to keep Him happy and have her sister returned to her.

All of that sounds pretty exciting. Indeed, the flawless animation and beautifully orchestrated audio of the opening cinematic sequence will be enough to captivate even those who have little time for the genre. But once past this and into the game itself, Lightning Returns… is a pretty average addition to the genre. While the costume-based combat has been livened up slightly, it's still hampered by a camera that frequently fails to keep up with the action. And the race-against-time structure ultimately boils down to nothing more than a Dead Rising-style daily checklist for you to work through.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix, Xbox 360/PS3, £50 Approx