MAKUHARI, Japan--If you're a fan of waiting in long, interminable lines, the "closed" stage at this year's Square Enix Party is for you. It's here that the vaunted publisher is showing off extended trailers for a number of its upcoming projects, including new looks at all three Final Fantasy XIII games, collectively known as Fabula Nova Crystallis Final Fantasy XIII. While you can check out our impressions of Final Fantasy XIII here, it wasn't the only action-packed trailer on hand. Just as impressive was a new CG trailer of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a completely original action role-playing game that will take place in the same universe as FFXIII but feature new settings and a new cast.
The trailer opens with the words, "This is a fantasy based on reality," before cutting to a car moving at high speeds along the freeway in a futuristic city. Riding in the backseat of that car was a spiky-haired, pensive-looking young man, clad completely in black leather. The car he rode in was being accompanied by a pair of cars of the same make and model, but other than the trio, the streets were empty. The trailer then cut to a wide angle shot of a building that looks a lot like a museum, accompanied by a quote from William Shakespeare: "There is nothing either good or evil, but thinking makes it so."
Inside the building, sitting on a throne of sorts with his eyes closed, is our sullen-looking hero. After a few moments, he notices something is amiss, opens his eyes, and heads outside the building, where we see the building is completely beset by troops looking to do him harm. As he calmly walks down the stairs, a few troops open fire with their automatic rifles, but the bullets harmlessly bounce off an invisible, perhaps telekinetic, shield he controls. After he lets them spray some more lead his way, he leaps into the air and summons, oh, around 20 nasty-looking swords out of thin air. Grabbing one, he bull-rushes headlong into the crowd of enemies, slashing and slicing his way through the faceless soldiers. At one point, he wedges his sword through a soldier's arm, twisting so that the arm is turned backward; as the soldier continues to fire his weapon, our hero guides the soldier so that the spray of bullets hits the soldier's surrounding comrades.
Perhaps bored with the simplicity of the opposition, our dour hero teleports up the steps again, when he notices soldiers rappelling down the side of the building. In an instant, he's teleported to the face of the building itself, slicing ropes and stabbing bad guys as he zips and ports from spot to spot, or uses his sword as a spring to hurl himself higher up the side of the building.
Back inside the museum, the throne we saw near the beginning is engulfed by magical symbols and bathed in a pure white light. As the main character returns to his seat, we see a robed figure who looks like he's none to happy with our hero's exploits. As the trailer ends, both characters have cast some impressive-looking spells as they look to face each other down.
While the origins of the robed figure, the spiky-haired butt-kicker, and the soldiers remain a mystery, it's clear from this trailer that Versus XIII is going for a dark and violent (in some cases, even bloody) look, much more so than the bright and colorful action in Final Fantasy XIII. We're curious to learn more about these characters, the world they inhabit, and the gameplay that will comprise this project in the coming months. We'll be bringing you all the latest information on Final Fantasy Versus XIII as it becomes available.