Final Fantasy XIII as Linear as a Piece of String


Players of Final Fantasy XIII are aghast at the dumbed down map design the game offers, with the entire game seemingly reduced to a single interminable path punctuated by cutscenes and unavoidable mob encounters.

The first 6 hours of the game in maps:


As Vanille remarks in game: “This path is easy to understand, isn’t it?”

There is one small branch (a shortcut) in all this towards the very end, though it involves missing choice treasure. After this the Vile Peaks beget another apparently unending RPG-on-rails experience, the polar opposite of Final Fantasy XII’s MMORPG-like open questing; indeed, there is not a town to be seen anywhere, and shopping is handled through the sterile interface of the save points.

Glimpses of later maps in the hint book seem to indicate this linearity persists to the very end – it is a wonder the game even bothers with a map.

Further fueling the suspicion that the game has been dumbed down to remedial level is the fact that several key gameplay elements remain locked even after 8 hours of playtime, and the game only sees fit to fully enable its leveling system after 4 hours.

Pre-release reviews of course failed to mention any of this…

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  • if i remember correctly, it’s maybe not in the RPG gaming catagory, but resident evil 5 was probably the most linear game i have ever played, but i had endless ammounts of fun with it because the story was amazing, infact i still play it over and over today because the replay value was and still is pretty decent. i love almost every final fantasy game and to be honest, the world map or dungeons being linear never bothered me because of the great storylines. i for one cannot wait for this game.

  • Loads of stupid bitching here. But let’s get back to the facts, it really sucks that the maps are so linear. i liked exploring in previous FFs πŸ™ I liked wasting time in towns with stupid sidequests in previous FFs πŸ™

    I don’t mind the story being linear, because as said previously a dozen times, FF has always been linear. That’s what you get for having a fixed starting character and a fixed ending. there always was some playing around of course but that never had an impact on the game-world at all. but it was fun! may it be optimizing Materia, Guardians or Espers, it always was fun. Killing the optional bosses always was fun and needed more skill then the normal story line. And that’s what made FF so great. Well, and the stories of course, all FFs I played (7,8,9,10 + 12) had a great athmosphere (12 obviously being the weakest) so here’s hoping they managed that in XIII as well..

    I will still buy the game, always been a big fan of the franchise, and as long as the story is good, i will find that money well spent! Also the release date is so close to my birthday i will surprise myself with a present.. Oooh what might it be? It looks like a book but… Ooooh Final Fantasy! Thank you myself!! πŸ˜€

  • FFXII first part is linear. well of course that is story driven gameplay. The map shown here does not even consume 1/8 of the game content. People tend to believe what they read without trying it by themselves. THe reviewer I think does not even bother playing until the half part of the game. I just find it stupid. Thats why I don’t believe in reviews anymore.

  • FFXII first part is linear. well of course that is story driven gameplay. People tend to believe what they read without trying it by themselves. I just find it stupid. Thats why I don’t believe in reviews anymore.

  • omg so much lies here, after i got the game today there are so many made-up facts bout the game here.

    -The straight forward maps were purposely selected to make up the fake statements. Heaps of maps have been to mislead people that the game is linear

    -u can control other members, not just the leader, that is just a default option which u can easily change from auto pilot to manual in the settings

    the blogger of sankaku is obviously bias towards the game. gamespot is definately gonna give this game at least a 9 score with editor’s choice.

  • Wow… When mentioned of linearity in FFXIII, I sure didn’t expect the MAP to be of such level of “linearity”! o_0 FFX-2 players complaining about its excessive amount of sidequests & world-exploring sure have their wishes come true…

    Here’s hoping the game’s other features make up for this. Else, here’s hoping FFversusXIII turns out to be FULL OF EPIC WIN!

    Lighning sure looks mo�© there in the OP pic, notably the eyes, can’t help but to be reminded of [url=]Ginko[/url] (of Mushishi fame).

    LOL. Nice usage of the [url=]BOSS coffee[/url] there.

  • LOL, the internet is so full of witty morons who post comments as if they just became some prophet to utter the very first holy words. You’re not funny, you’re not witty, you’re just another internet moron, and yes that includes me.

    Trolls for this game are funny, but the apologists are even more so. Bioware can have my fucking money anyday now. I haven’t imported an FF since IX but what a fucking mistake to do so for this one. I finished this game a few hours ago and the story is a fucking mess. A beautifully presented mess but just a jumble you’d expect from a really bad anime script. Many of the characters are annoying as hell (except for Lightning, who I have to say is one of the best FF protaginist to date). The combat system is fun but incredibly symplistic. And the linearity. Oh my fucking god. Sad as it is to utter these words, I lay all my hope on Nomura to make VersusXIII what XIII should’ve been.

  • Thats it? Thats what everyone is fussing about when they say linear… know what I don’t give a fuck anymore just give me my damn game. I dumb myself down for just about everything I play any way so I can enjoy it. This linear business is for you hardcore people who do nothing but play games and then waste time in an area you have already cleared and or are indecisive about every little choice.

  • Just my two pence worth…

    FFVII was really linear for the first 7 or 8 hours, but once you got outside Midgar you were free to roam. Yes in order to progress the story you still had to go to Kalm, then the Chocobo ranch etc. Was it linear? Yes in terms of story, but it was the ability to take time out whenever I wanted to go back somewhere else that makes the map non-linear. Its the same with pretty much every FF game. Linear story, non-linear map design. For example…

    Go to Town A
    Go to Dungeon B
    Go to Town C
    Go to Town D
    Go to Town E
    Go to Dungeon F

    In order to progress the story you have to follow in a specific order, but if I get to Dungeon F and realise that elemental weapon in Town C would be really helpful I should be able to go straight back to Town C, not have to go through Towns E and D to get back there. THATS the concern with FFXIII’s map design. If you pass up a side quest to continue the story a bit you shouldn’t have to spend an hour going through every location to get back there.


    Quick test to find out if you’re fucking retarded and should have wound up in a toilet bowl on someone’s prom night is if you utter bullshit like this.

  • Who fuckin cares its a RPG ITS SUPPOSE TO BE LINEAR!!! Side quests and what not are nice and all but….they don’t matter to the fuckin story…..if you want non-linear gameplay GET ANOTHER GENRE OF FUCKIN GAME!

  • So, people saving aspects of gameplay till later is dumbing it down eh. Really, its not like that is something new to any kind of rpg. Sankaku continues to be terrible about reporting anything to do with gaming, please just continue with what you are good at, posting porn and stories about rape please.

  • People are just finding excuses to make it look bad because it’s Final Fantasy.

    If it was some unknown rpg by another company, this would never get the bad attention.

    IMO, my friend has the game, I saw him play it for hours and it’s awesome. I just can’t wait for the US release myself (Because I can’t understand a single word of japanese).

  • So in order to be non-linear, you have to make a map fancy shapes? You have to ask an NPC first before going to a place? You have to go to a specific place for each quest? Oh please… Don’t make this a bigger propaganda.

    But hey if you’re at it, chapter 1X will have you walk in circle all the way, because it takes place in Babel tower, unlike bridges and roads in other chapters.

  • Just finished the game, well, you guys better be prepared for the ending. If you have been following up with all the trailers and news, you’d have know there is no way this game’s ending gonna be a pleasant one.

  • According to IGN, FFXIII have *sold* more then 1 million copies in the first day (not including the bundles edition).

    Still the official figure of the first five days sale will come out next week. But FF13 is now officially the highest selling game for the PS3 in Japan.

  • Considering that XII had a 3-hour linear progression chapter, and the length of time that XIII supposedly has this isn’t all that bad. As long as you get through the story as you want it to go through means of leveling and weapons, this is at the very least the typical RPG model.

  • This is far from being all the maps in the entire game.

    Beside, the story is probably not linear. Also, with all the optional bosses and sidequests this game probably have, I doubt it’s linear.

    People need to stop whining for nothing.

  • Still going to day-one purchase this (for my 360, deal with it) even though the maps remind me a little to much of X, my least favourite entry in the series. Still, the game world itself seems a lot more interesting than X and the battle system looks amazing, so I’m sure there’ll be plenty to make up for the “pretty line” syndrome. I’m hoping what I’ve heard about there being a wealth of sidequests is true. I guess I was just spoiled to death with the awesome worlds and exploration of Dragon Quest VIII and FFXII, and the satisfying amount of sidequests in the latter. I had no problems at all with XII’s story and even if I did, I consider a game’s world more important that its story. XII, having the most immersive and fully-developed world (not to mention some of the most interesting and strategic gameplay), will always be my favourite entry in the series. I thought VI and IX were unbeatable, but XII took the cake.

  • All FFs stories are linear, dont let Mass Effect and Dragon Age brainwash u the idea of RPG.

    A lot of u havent even got the game in ur hand, and yet u can comment like u have played, amazing.

    P/s there is a world map, I took 8hrs to get there

  • What’s up with this “time release” system I’m getting wind of.

    “Further fueling the suspicion that the game has been dumbed down to remedial level is the fact that several key gameplay elements remain locked even after 8 hours of playtime, and the game only sees fit to fully enable its leveling system after 4 hours.”

    Am I going to need to leave my PS3 on for a couple days just to get access to all of the crap I actually need?

  • So like…how about we play through the game before complaining after seeing the first 7 hours of a 60+hour game instead of jumping the “LOL SUX” bandwagon like a bunch of idiots?

    In any case about 9 hours in, and the map design isn’t really a problem for me, I barely even think about it.
    Now, the thing that has annoyed me the most so far is that they fucking keep breaking up my party all the time, making me have do redo all my optimas and leveling up characters through roles I didn’t intend them to be specialized in. Arrrghhh-

  • I don’t see how a linear RPG is a bad thing. Other RPG just disguised it better. Sure, you can run about in the wilderness, walk in a town or two and play some card game. However, unless you go into the nearby temple ruins, beat up the dungeon boss and get key item X, there is no way for you to proceed with the game.

    Previously, game developers simply opened a big area so you don’t see that you are being funneled from point A to B, then from point B to point C.

    • Anon is right. Most games have linear stories. Start -> End. Some may have hundreds of side quests. But the main story remains the same.
      True non-linearity would be like having several games in one. No developer would like to do that.

  • Linear… Now I see what they mean, but I would’ve taken off more than just one point, ya know.

    I like full features in the first hour. I like exploration with treasure. I like puzzle-solving things. But, something like this might actually force me to stop playing the game before I actually start playing it.

  • Wow, a straight map. But I guess I’ll forget about everything once I start playing it, so there’s no real need to complain, anyway. But it’ll be like, I can see Chapter 3 when I’m in the first.

  • TO be honest here, I played through first disc of FF7 and then thought, wow, this is pretty linear.
    Boy was I in for a surprise.

    While my favorite games are ultra open games like FALLOUT series, I’ve seriously never considered the FF series to be open exploration games apart from, grinding a golden Chocobo.

    Me thinks when you reach something similar to Disc 3 and the world opens the hell up, you can explore, side quest, and grind random stuff… until then… we shall see.

  • I would rather reserve my comments until someone actually completes the game and tell me “oh its crap and linear”. We cant judge it at the moment with 3 chapters from the post.

    I remembered when I played FF7 JP decades ago, my 1st impression was, “fuck am I gonna be trapped inside Shinra building until I reach the top floor to kill the last boss, I mean like, Azure’s Dream?” and its only after a couple of hours game play before I realise, oh…theres a map….oh my journey just started…..

  • FF10 was as linear as string too, but it was one of my all time favourite games.

    So I really don’t give a shit.

    Japanese rpgs have always been linear, if you want open branched rpg goodness go with a western rpg.

  • Lots and lots of games from Square Enix are like that. For example, Xenosaga1 – had a few variants and ways to kind of get lost in the story then Xenosaga2 and Xenosaga3 were like going down one path with no chance of altering the stories like and the replays of older missions in the mission fighting computer got old really fast. I have FF12 collectors edition, had to restart 2x got to 3/4 done on the 3rd restart I think and never played it again…

  • Players enter dungeon. Too convoluted. Game is shit.
    Players enter dungeon. Too simple. Game is shit.
    Players get to in put in commands over and over for the party. Game is redundant.
    Players get to put in commands over and over for the party leader, and then change each member’s role in battle. Game is overly simplified.
    Players grind to get more skills. Game is tedious.
    Players progress through the game without a hitch. Game is too easy.
    Players get complex equipment system. Game is confusing.
    Players get simple equipment system. Game is dumbed-down.
    Players get simple, straightforward story. Game is linear.
    Players get branching story. Game is lolWTF.
    Players assume the role of an effeminate character. Game is gay.
    Players assume the role of a masculine character. Game is for faggots.
    Players get a dramatic story. Game is emo.
    Players get a non-dramatic one. Game is as cold as rock.
    Players get lots of missions and sidequests and mini-games. Game takes a lot of work.
    Players get few mission and sidequests and mini-games. Game needs much more.
    Players get fanfare music played after every battle for ten straight installments. Game gets rage.
    Players get new fanfare music. Game gets more rage.

    I dunno what you want Squeenux to do so they can give you the perfect Final Fantasy game.

    • Exactly. People are going to bitch no matter what. If I was a designer at SquareEnix I would say “fuck the fans” I’ll just make what I think is good because people are going to whine and complain, anyway. If anything SquareEnix is probably too nice.

    • Thank you Anon. This is exactly true. The thing is that gaming is an odd hobby where people bitch about things they love. People will follow FFXIII all the way from its announcement to sale, and bitch about it the entire time. Yet, the preorder it and pick it up on its release day, but go to forums and talk about how they will never buy the game because its shit. Since we’re all interested in FFXIII, let’s play the game first and then we can talk about what we like and don’t like about it.

      I also think people set the bar very high for what they want out of a Final Fantasy game. Surely for the money it will turn out to be one of the most enjoyable titles of the year.

    • Do you honestly think that everyone is going to like any change? Fanboys and fangirls of ANY media/everything will complain about every change of anything that they are a fan of. The faster you realize this the faster you’ll understand that FF fanboys/girls are just like every other fanboys/girls out there. It’s disgusting, I know, but it’s the truth.

      However, you also have to understand that there are good changes that gets shit from biased fanboys but praise from critics/normal fans and there are just plain bad changes. I would actually consider the linearity and lack of exploration as a step down from every FF before FFX. The illusion that you exploring a world compared to walking in a straight line added more to the immersion factor(at the very least compared to FFX,FFX-2,FFXIII). I could even argue that it’s a lazy design choice, but I’ll just leave it at that witht that subject.

      Also, am I the only person who misses being in control of the airship? I fucking loved flying Ragnarok around in FFVIII.

    • No, you should leave the games articles and go to the H idol galleries if you want a hot biatch. 60 dollars to walk a straight line for hours with a couple girls with Square fingers, skillfully manipulating the analog stick to get to see some panchira on the cinematics?

      Final Fantasy at its best, definetly.

  • None of this is a deal-breaker, and in some context can benefit the game experience.

    Of course conservative traditionalist who don’t see gameplay and game design decisions made for player enjoyment, don’t see that anymore.

  • In my opinion, RPG stories should be moderately linear. As too non-linear(see: MMORPGs) lack of the story, of the driving forces that make RPGs good.
    However, the land itself leave for loads of choices and exploring. I feel claustrophobic when I’m in a RPG with land that is not vast and not much to explore.

    Things like Chrono Trigger and Seiken Densetsu III were just about perfect, especially Chrono Trigger(though SKIII is underrated). The story was pretty linear, but there was also a lot of leg room. And there was also a lot of places to explore that were are relevant and well developed.

    • SD3 was a little too linear, though. It might have done better with 2 or 3 sidequests, although it’s a game that still amazes me. I really agree with the CT part, especially with the various endings.

  • Oh god, this is much worse than I thought if it’s linear.. I was hoping for something more revolutionary.. instead it sounds like we get FF7:Dirge of Cerberus..

    I think that Lightening would deserve better than this considering how they put so much effort into the character and story.. I hope there’s more to this though, after all, Kingdom Hearts freaking opening lasted 2 hours… if this game is 80 hours i have a hard time to believe this is it..

  • The maps above don’t have to be played straight through. You can explore other areas. You could chart out the strictly story-advancing parts of any piece of fiction in any medium as a straight line. Thanks, temporal structure of the universe! πŸ˜€

    Don’t believe Ondore’s lies!

      • He seems to be saying that while the path to victory is straight through as shown above, there are actually more to the areas than just these hallway areas, and you can still explore.

        If so, then yes, that’s a pretty deceptive summary of the game.

        If not, it still may be a bit deceptive because we have no perspective of scale. The areas are relatively long and straight, yes, but how big are they? There could still be plenty of side to side exploration within these areas. As I think back on many other zones within RPGs and MMOs, their maps often belie the complexity of the terrain.

  • I don’t understand the hate that FFXIII is getting, Almost all games I have played in the Rpg genre is Linear, you just get choices but it ends up being the same goal, Noone ever talks about em, but for some reason this game is receiving alot of critisim for it.

    Dragon age orgins: No matter where you start off you still become a warden, and do the other quest if you feel like it aka Sidequest, and then you STILL go to war.

    Fallout3: The main plot still goes the same way, You just get to choose what order you feel like doing them.

    Western Rpgs are Also linear, just disguised better. Jrpgs has been pretty straightforward with their linear style from start to finish, A book starts from beginning and has an end. If you are looking for something that is non Linear you are better off waiting for Final fantasy 14 because that will be a MMORPG which is where you pay per month for non linear gameplay since additional contents keeps getting added.

    so stop playing rpgs, and go play WOW, AION, whatever.
    If you don’t like Football, Why watch it? anyways I have talked to 5 of my japanese friends and they have all enjoyed it, Plenty of Japanese video game streams up also who are commenting that they enjoy it, Its a game get over it.

  • linear is good, j-rpgs is all about story and combat mechanics, to me anyway. the more linear the game is the faster the pace. slow pace but full of freedom RPG like oblivion and FO3 is not to my liking….

  • I guess they were too busy making a ultra cinematic battle system to bother with making interesting maps. Also, I see withholding gameplay elements and leveling up as more of a bastardish thing to do rather than a simplifying, but that’s me. It’ll still be fun as hell, it just looks like it’ll be a little on the easy side.

  • Um, to be frank, this is only a minor flaw to me. I will probably still go buy it because i want to play it. Maybe I’ll rent it first.

    I don’t care if it’s linear in map and/or Story. I’m actually getting tired of “free roaming” RPG’s because they are just as linear, only difference is you can move around more.

    The distance you can move may be all around the map but your displacement is still the same.:/
    The more “open” they are the more linear they become to me anyway.

    There are a lot of other good RPG’s that are just as linear and they are still fun. It’s funny that it’s a little more literal, though.

  • Not necessarily a negative thing – it’s just a matter of opinion. Personally, I like games to be less linear (but not overly so – there’s a limit), but this is just my opinion.

    And actually, I don’t really care if this game is linear or not. I play Final Fantasy for the unique stories and characters.

    It can be more linear than a straw for all I care, so long as I enjoy the characters and the plot.

        • How much can a character change just by walking through a tunnel? And how much plot development can you get out of it?

          Linear storyline is fine, linear world design – also fine, but when the maps are all designed as a line? Not so fine. This is not a racing game so lose the racing track…

          Just look at it people! It is a freaking long corridor! At least if they made normal maps and linked them together it would not feel like a long hallway! A game could still have linear design and story progression, but give you the illusion you have more options.

  • I think SE knows their fans. While I consider FFXII to be a great game the FF fans calls it rubbish. While FFX to me was complete trash it’s gold to their fans eyes. I’m guessing this will be utter trash to me as well. It’s disappointing.

      • I could write quite an essay on why XII was easily one of the worst FF titles ever, but to sum it up, the story was sorrily lacking, and the gameplay was boring.

        Also, it was waaay too similar to playing FFXI, which is itself a game riddled with gameplay flaws. Considering the grouping aspect is one of the best parts of XI, that obviously doesn’t bode well for the offline singleplayer version.

      • Its because Vaan was one of the most annyoing character ever and the story was so fucking lame. Ashe is hot, but its the only good thing about that game.

        And what the fuck, why do some people say its the fault of the 360? Oh right, I guess there are 2 FFXIII out there, the one where you can travel around the fucking world, enter 48248 houses (and everyone is a dungeon where you can spend hours time) and its available for PS3. In the 360-version you can only walk straight forward and beat 3 enemies, then the game is over? What the fuck is wrong with you people, goddamnit. Fuck you, Sonyfanboys. Its just stupid.

        And well, I did hate FFX because it was to linear and the story sucked. And because Tidus is a fucking emo. But I hope that FFXIII will be better. (And I bet it is, I mean…Lighting is hot as fuck.

  • Well, looking at those maps the dungeons look too linear. Exploration is supposed to be part of the fun in JRPGs, right? If you’re just gonna go from battle to battle to shop, why not just make it into an SRPG?

    • JRPGs are usually more story oriented. Western RPGs are the ones hung up on linearity.

      Personally I like linear RPGs because I can just play through the game and not worrying about missing stuff without consulting a walkthrough.

  • RPG and linear should never be stuck in the same sentence, ever.

    What’s fun about RPGs is that you play your character’s role and you can do whatever you want to do whenever you want to, jeez, even in Pokemon Blue I could chose the order of Badges and look for different pokemons to get, and pokemon is very straightforward already.

    Anyways, a book is linear though, so as long as this game has a good storyline maybe it’ll hold it’s own, Resident Evil 4 was extremely linear if compared to the other RE games and yet is one of my favorites, I’ll only have a definitive opinion when I play it.

    Just my 2 cents,


    • No faggot.

      You play a ROLE in an RPG.

      In that ROLE, you generally play Saviour of World X, or Galaxy Y.

      “A character or part played by a performer.”

      YOU, are the PERFORMER, playing the part of a character in a story, nothing more. YOU are not the writer of the story. You PLAY AS THE CHARACTER, this is implied by the genre: Role Playing Game.

      If you want to decide what happens to the hero of the story, go be a frigging Dungeon Master and stop trying to enforce your sandbox faggotry on the rest of the world in order to ruin well thought out story lines.

      Good day, Asshole.

      • Guess you never played a real RPG then, a Dungeon Master is only supposed to give you the world and pull the strings in the back, how your character acts evolves/acts is totally up to you.

        Let’s say, for an instance, Crono Trigger, now that’s a very well thought game, you have different endings.

        According to your theory you could just watch a movie or go to the theater instead of playing a game.

  • Personally I dont care about the layout, this may actually be better for me, since I play RPG’s solely for the storyline, nothing else, so this just means not as many side quests or backtracking like many other RPG’s have.

    • I thought exactly that exploring part is something that makes a RPG much more interesting.

      If you can’t get lost in a dungeon, then whats the point of a dungeon? beside the different leveldesign

      • Or maybe one of the many people who don’t want/have time to play 5 hours in one sitting? There is nothing more annoying than having to save and quit in the middle of something. It really breaks the story if you have to defer stopping the invading army of evil minions so you can write a report on how great your boss is.

        • Is the only reason why you play to finish the game as soon as possible? Is it really the reason why to play games for you?
          If the game is fun I dont mind playing it for even half a year. Even in the same enviroment running forward and backward, loading and branching to know all of its secrets. Even linear game can be very enjoyable, but if it isnt it will piss me off. And some FF games suffered from this – to be exact FFX. You cant choose anything, you just run forward as fast as possible only to be forced to return to area where random monsters spawn to grind few levels to be able to beat boss…
          FFXIII looks even worse.

        • Well seeing as 4,5,6,7 were all good i would be fine if the other FF games were more like them. I disliked FF10 for the leveling system. 8 wasn’t bad once you got past a new magic system and setting for the combat menu.. summoning eh. 12 was ok but i still missed the mindless wandering around… (Yes i did enjoy mindless open world maps random battles and such)

        • Well generally speaking, you want games to encourage feelings of autonomy and competence in the player, linearity tends to trade autonomy for competence. It sounds like they were overly concerned with easing people into the game.

          But a lot of people like a linear game simply because they want to do everything in one playthrough and not feel like they’re missing anything because of it. Afterall, how often do players just happen upon sidequests by discovering them nowadays? Increasingly people will look to guides to be sure they don’t miss anything. A linear game can prevent people from feeling reliant on guides to spend their playtime wisely.

        • There is no “supposed to be” in the gaming industry.
          Everybody likes different things in a game, which is why there is such a variety of games out there.

          There is not a single defining characteristic in any genre. Things change for better or worse, but this is how games have gotten this far. I for one prefer a linear game compared to “go-back-and-forward-through-the-same-hub-100-times-in-a-row” style of games.

          If we stick to the same formula over and over again, then all games are going to be like a certain series of graphical updates that EA is selling each year.

        • My favorite example of a non linear RPG is Legend of Mana. Which people mostly didn’t like for some reason.

          If this is the first 6 hours of the game, I’m gonna rent this, and maybe buy it after. Or buy it used. I hate used games though…

          I’ll be deeply disapointed if it really is as dumbed down as they say. Because FF games were already pretty dumbed down.

  • I don’t mind, as long as the game keeps focus on the story and fighting system. You’ll eventually branch out.

    Always gotta have something to bitch about…why not do another article on why the PS3 is better than the 360..again.

  • Who cares if its linear?

    Will I enjoy the story?

    Games don’t always have to be a sandbox to be a fun game. I don’t see why lately everyone’s been complaining about games being linear at all.

    • you know i was really hoping for awesome gameplay.. but it seems they were brain dead once again.. sadly ill get this game regardless.

      i’ve always loved ff6 n ff7 for its awesome gameplay. and i’ve been disappointed in every ff after 7, been hoping and praying they’ll finally make another success, and not eyecandy that fools people into thinking its a hit, when clearly they have no effing clue what made ff games so great in the past.

      • Hopefully all this outcry will convince Square to make a true FF game again. The post FFX games have been straying like crazy from the loved formula.

        Hell, they should look at Dragon quest and it’s success. Those games sell like hotcakes.

        • lol @ Artefact

          @ Anon – The obvious middle ground is to create unique pieces of medieval-inspired armor/clothing and allow us to equip the pieces as in as many ways as possible without looking like a clown.

          This way you’d get variety of all kinds of fantasy looking clothing. Example: equip the clothes you like and then manually (drag and drop maybe?) put on pieces of different armor until you achieve the wanted aesthetic effect.

          Medieval-realistic is boring and very ugly.

          Dragon Age has ridiculously huge armor that you are forced to equip or not. You can’t just pick which parts you want to put on.

          Final Fantasy is like a stupid fashion show.

        • He does have a point about the character designs and general ethos. Imagine the population of Sweden dumped onto a Californian beach and then dressed by the latest Japanese fashionistas and you have just encapsulated Final Fantasy’s designs.

          Not that the pathetic medieval cosplay of Dragon Age is much better though…

        • Uhm, wut? Post FFX? Try Post FF8. FF8 at least had stats, in FF9 they dumbed it down and then in 10 they took away the stat system almost completely (i.e. no weapon/armor stats).

          From 9 on they have been dumbing down to crap, FF9 I thought was going to be like FF1, it was nothing like FF1, a monkey boy from another world!?? WTF!

          They really need to go back to the dungeons/elves/dragons roots and f_ck all this new agey effeminate men sci-fi crap.

          I swear I think the gamedevs or the people designing these new games must be gay!

    • they always need to find a reason to bitch about . KOTOR , NWNs and Dragon age are all linear rpgs yet no one ever mentioned it . but now they try to knock down rating for a good game over nothing

        • Exactly… The story may branch (so its obviously not a linear story) but the maps are linear, and that is what is being discussed here. They may not be AS linear as this game, but I won’t bash the quality of FFXIII just because they didn’t make some loops and curves in their maps.

        • Fallout 1 and 2 are one of the best exemple of good non linearity. In the first one for exemple, you can reach one of the endings in ten minutes without a fight with the right choices at the character creation, or you can spend hours doing all the side quest and talking to everyone.

        • How would you do it? charge at archdemon without leveling up at all and get slaughtered in your grey iron splintmail armor?

          There is a limit to how much freedom you can have. In this case, the lack of “whatever you want” is sacrificed in favor of building up tension, diving into stories, and pumping you up for the final confrontation.

          Would you rather have had a open world map where you talk to 100000000000 npcs individually and try to convince them to join your army? and then give every single one of them armory/weapons one individual at a time? and there’s absolutely no goal in sight, not even destroying the blight is required.

          Is that the kind of “open ended” gameplay you would want?

        • In every map you can choose from different paths that ends in different outcomes. You can play evil, you can be idealistic, you can skip parts, you can fail… Thats enough to give it a RPG feel and gameplay. FF is not RPG anymore and probably never was (maybe FFI and FFII – I never played them so I dont know)

        • Intro part
          Choose one out of four locations
          next one
          next one
          next one
          Ending part

          This concept has been in used in Bioware games since Neverwinter Nights. NWN, KotOR, Mass Effect, Jade Empire, Dragon Age…

          btw: The order you do things in DA HAS some impact, though not much. Put the templars in charge of the mage tower and you can’t have them help out with the posessed boy in Redcliffe. That’s it.

        • If by “whatever you want” you mean The Mages Tower, Orzammar, Redcliffe, or the Bresilian Forest. Of course, the order you do those in has no impact on anything, and after that you’re off to Landsmeet and a straight shot to the end of the game.

        • What the fuck, KOTOR linear? KOTOR has always been the benchmark for Non-linear game-play you fuckwit.

          Did the ability to pick which planets you explored in which order somehow throw you off? Or the ability to pick which part of the questing area to actually explore first on a per planet basis (or which parts to not even fucking explore at all)? Or the ability to fucking choose the destiny of the main character? Or the ability to make a choice for every quest about whether or not he wants to follow the dark side or light side? What the fuck version of KOTOR did you play?

        • Dragon Age is not linear, sure it has a clear cut goal: “stop the blight”.

          It does offer the option to modify political landscape, destroy dynasties, end legends, have sex with crazy religious girl (lol Ashley Williams clone), etc.

          I’m pretty sure the “MUST DESTROY BLIGHT”‘s “linearity” can be forgiven.

        • Actually their gambit system was a great idea… that wasn’t used to its fullest. They should have had job-class gambit setups you bought early in the game to make it things interesting. And it would have been awesome if you could have saved gambit sets ups for bosses, areas, normal situations or w/e… but no they make you micromanage EVERYTHING.

          Even aside from that you should’ve had more good endgame ways to kill things other than hack-n-slash, and it was retarded to give animations for when you learn new skills because it makes it take FOREVER to learn all a lot of them in one sitting… I literally fell asleep learning them once…

        • I really wouldn’t comment on the story which was average but I do agree with the previous guy, FFXII was a step forward in terms of gameplay.

          To me there were a couple of additions (bear with me if this were introduced on XI because I didn’t play it) that should become a recurring part of FF games.

          -The Gambit system (albeit with room for optimization)
          -Seamless battle transitions
          -The ability to use any member of your party anytime and manually select his\her actions.

          These things, coupled with the option for active and wait made a really customizable and enjoyable battle system

          You could choose the way you wanted to play the game, you weren’t forced to leave it all to the AI yet you could do it and enjoy exciting cinematic experience, or you could be one of them and feel the need and use of companions and concentrate on an specific task.

          I’m not a big fan of the genre nowadays, I just played some of the memorable JRPGs of the SNES and PS era, I’m sure there must be a better battle system on an RPG, but FFXII’s the one I’ve liked best.

        • Same anon here. I would not agree. The combat was dry and repetitive, and the areas were expansive but mundane. The gameplay is basically a port of FFXI, which at the release of XII was already dated. I admit I found it to have some initial charm, but it was a matter of novelty that quickly lost its appeal.

          The gameplay had a lot of potential that it came nowhere near fulfilling. It ended up making for a good dungeon crawler, but a relatively crappy FF title.

        • I just want to tell everyone that if you played FF10 and still didn’t know what they meant by linear, then your complete fucking morons. Please don’t have children.

          Aside from that your still pretty fucking stupid for not realizing they weren’t talking about the story being linear.

        • Wow. Until the last couple comments in this reply chain I thought that perhaps the world map WASN’T that strait. Eck….this isn’t looking too good, but as long as the gameplay is still fun, and I at least find the story/characters likable….I guess I could deal.

        • @Darkrockslizer

          that makes two of us, i thought they were just complaining about the story, which would be stupid to complain, but the maps? seriously? no tows? no backtracking?

          its true that they never showed in-game tows in the previews but i thought they were just doing it so the game is more interesting to explore

          if this is really true it’ll be a complete let down

          i was waiting for ff13 to buy a ps3 but i might be buying a 360 and pirate the game in the end

          i’m so sad right now ;(

        • anon 17:30: taken from the article above:

          > “After this the Vile Peaks beget another apparently unending RPG-on-rails experience, the polar opposite of Final Fantasy XII’s MMORPG-like open questing; indeed, there is not a town to be seen anywhere, and shopping is handled through the sterile interface of the save points.”

          you still get the open world map. So where is your problem?

        • here is wild guess, people expected it to give you some “dating-sim” like feature where you get to date the ladies (forgetting the fact that the lead character is a lady?!)

          everyone seem to have forgotten the FF is *NOT* a dating sim and there is *ONLY* *ONE* *PATH* in the game. It have always been that way.

          and I will still get it, I’ll even pay for express shipping to get faster.

      • Agree – I like Mass effect a lot, but generic mission sucked so much… But dont take it as a agrument against nonlinearity being inferior to linearity – Mass Effect had a lot of freedom in regular missions. It was hardly linear. Its more argument for opinion that all kinds of games can be done well. But it have to retain the game concept that is slowly fading in FF series.