The Last Remnant First Look

Square Enix unveils a new role-playing game franchise for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

SHINJUKU, Japan--The Last Remnant is an upcoming game from Square Enix that the company is viewing as a new pillar of its role-playing game business for the new generation of consoles. This is a wholly original game that the publisher believes will be the start of a new franchise targeted at Japanese and US audiences. Though The Last Remnant is still a ways off from release, it was shown at a recent press conference held by the Japanese studio. While still in an early stage of development, the game showed a promising mix of Square's familiar bag of tricks and some interesting new ideas.

The game follows a young man named Rush Sykes who gets sucked into some pretty spectacular circumstances. Though the game's story wasn't discussed in depth, we got the sense, from the opening cinema, that Rush might just be a reluctant hero. The game's opening scene was shown, and in a departure from most of Square's games, it featured a real-time cinematic using the game's graphics engine. Though the intro sequence was also a work in progress, it was close to matching the production values of the epic prerendered scenes Square's games are known for. The sharp, Unreal Engine-powered visuals were highlighted by slick, cinematic camera angles and an ambitious sense of scale. The intro opened with Rush walking through a lush forest looking for someone. His attention was drawn to the highly detailed foliage, providing a glamour moment to showcase the game's lighting, bump-mapping, and particle effects. Upon hearing a commotion off in the distance, he raced to the edge of the forest and wound up on a cliff overlooking a vast battleground with two opposing armies preparing to square off. The camera swooped in, offering dramatic views of the assembled forces, which included humans as well as humanoid lizards and animal men. Large beasts carrying soldiers and assorted heavy artillery also appeared among the ground troops. As the forces began to clash, a soldier--who looked a bit like Vhaan from Final Fantasy XII, thanks to his perfectly-styled, dirty-blonde locks--started to throw down by using a crazy eye patch and an enormous cannon-like weapon. This is also around the same time young Rush apparently saw his special lady in the middle of the mess, and waded down into the chaos. The trailer faded to white, leaving what happens next a mystery. We reckon this point in the story would be a great place to throw players in to a rolling tutorial as all hell breaks loose, but we'll see.

Following the intro scene, producer Nobuyuki Ueda offered some context and a tour of the game's world, courtesy of a series of gameplay segments. The game's work-in-progress world map was a massive 2D representation of the continent with labeled points you can select to drop in. The points represented proper cities as well as smaller towns and assorted points of interest, but the adventure will span a massive world. The true cause of the conflict that Rush sees at the beginning of the game is a struggle for control of ancient items called remnants. The relics are apparently objects of power that are scattered throughout the world. Unlike other role-playing games in which similar items are tiny and hard to find, the relics in The Last Remnant are anything but subtle. One of the first stops on Ueda's tour of the game was a major city called Athlum, whose centerpiece was a Remnant shaped like a massive sword stuck right in the center of town. The towering blade, apparently known as the Valerai Heart, was visible from all parts of town and looked pretty imposing. Rush was shown running through a town square teeming with inhabitants of varying species--though most were human, there were a variety of lizard folk as well, in small and large sizes. The segment in Athlum showed off different parts of the town, again navigated from a 2D map with selectable points. Rush was shown interacting with some of the townsfolk, including one of the smaller lizard folk, identified in a text box as a "friendly qsiti."

The next bit of the world shown was a point on the world map named Siebenur, a dungeon-like cave interior chock-full of monsters. You'll trigger combat by walking right into your enemies. Ueda noted that the game won't have random encounters. The cave interior was a dimly lit area with monsters, mossy foliage, and running water that kicked up as Rush ran through it. There appeared to be a few routes off the main path that led to other areas within the cave.

The next stop was the city of Nagapur, another metropolis sprawling around another remnant. Unlike in Athlun, Nagapur's remnant took the form of a massive skeletal dragon. As with the tour of Athlun, Ueda showed off different areas of Nagapur, all with people milling about, showing the massive dragon from different angles. The look at Nagapur included another look at a separate part of the map that was tied to the dragon city, the aqueducts. The area was just that, a sewer filled with grimy water and surly monsters eager to cause trouble.

The last two areas shown, Vale of the Gods and Yamarn Plain, showcased areas that appear tailor-made to be dramatic set pieces. Vale of the Gods is a canyon bounded by massive cliffs that showcased more of the game's sexy water effects. Monsters were visible in the area, and so was a totem-like object, which Ueda identified as a treasure chest that contained useful items. Yamarn Plain was actually the area shown in the intro sequence and was designed to be a battlefield. The area was less populated than it was in the cinematic sequence, but there were still a healthy number of enemies milling around the area.

The plain locale served as the perfect segue for Ueda to introduce another member of the team: Hiroshi Takai, director of the game's battle system. Takai noted that the key to Last Remnant's battle system is that it lets players control large groups of combatants with a simple control scheme. The feature is important because of the dynamic nature of the battles. Once you engage an enemy, both your forces and the enemies' can grow larger, due to reinforcements being summoned during the course of a battle. We saw an example of the way this system works while watching footage of the game.

In battle, Rush engaged a group of enemies with a force of his own. The fight began traditionally with a menu that seemed to initiate the actual skirmish. Once the forces began fighting, the camera zipped around the battlefield, zooming in on some fighters and flashing button prompts. Apparently, if you enter the correct button inputs in time, a descriptive text will flash onscreen to call out whether you succeeded or failed. During the battle, various fighters could be heard talking to each other. There seems to be a number of different factors that come into play during battle, and one of the more important aspects seems to be positioning. Another interesting aspect to the text alerts was that they seemed to indicate when some groups were working well together. For example, a group of small qsisti lizard men cast a deadly, explosive fire spell that took out some enemies in one fiery blow that popped up a note about their being in sync.

As the fight progressed, enemy forces called in reinforcements, which affected a bar at the top of the screen that appeared to be tracking the status of allies and enemies on the battlefield--possibly morale. When the enemy reinforcements, which included a massive flying beast, arrived, the bar favored the enemy faction. However, it evened out once Rush called his own special buddy, a giant clockwork Cyclops summoned from a crystal.

We also noticed that as the battle raged, the game's soundtrack changed dynamically. Takai noted that the soundtrack would change to reflect how you were doing in battle. As far as what kind of music played, the theme was big on rock music and screeching guitars. While the battlefield can grow larger as both sides summon help, it's apparently also possible for wandering enemies to be attracted by the fighting and join in. Takai stated that although there are some familiar aspects to the game's combat, the team hopes to make it a new experience. Based on what we saw in the demo, the game's combat certainly looks like it will certainly be a change of pace from what we're used to in Square Enix's RPGs.

Based on what was shown off so far, The Last Remnant seems like a unique new entry into Square Enix's robust library of RPGs. The game's visuals are already looking great and the gameplay looks like it has an intriguing mix of familiar and new elements. The game is slated to ship simultaneously in the US and Japan for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sometime in the future. Look for more in the coming months.

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Discussion

200 comments
Gammet25
Gammet25

You've gotta be kidding me that its canceled.

BaronSector
BaronSector

Its not supported for laptops, though, is it? I want it on the PS3 now!

JukedSolid
JukedSolid

I really wanna try this out. Sounds like an FF style but with full scale battle sequences. Awesome!

Mist00
Mist00

no official ps3 release date though :(

rpgisforme
rpgisforme

sounds great! Can't wait! Like the thought of the huge battles, sounds very interesting.

leemcx
leemcx

sounds good.. will have to wait and c

Wozmcfc
Wozmcfc

Hooray, no random battles.

GamerHawk
GamerHawk

This sounds like it could be really fun! i want to know more :D

Richard_Praxton
Richard_Praxton

Hmmm... a 2D map for navigating sounds kind of odd in a next-gen game... but most of Squenix's games have something that sounds weird on paper and ends up being amazing. Looking forward.

Kenji_Masamune
Kenji_Masamune

pft, crapbox timed exclusive 360 should stick to it's demographics: FPS and sports games for college frat boys.

gatrosk
gatrosk

Looks good. I'll definitely have to get it when it comes out.

H-A-V-O-K
H-A-V-O-K

sounds to me like its gonna be Final Fantasy with large scale battles. maybe with alittle less polish than FFXIII. But hey i'll probably buy this one.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Will look forward to seeing more on this game. Square Enix is capable of producing one great game here.

Slump3317
Slump3317

Long way off but I'm still pretty excited. Not so sure about commanding 10-50 peeps though. I miss the days of only four to a party :-)

DiabolicalX
DiabolicalX

its probably a game that will be less refined then the monarch series, so thats probably why it will be released sooner, looks cool though

hot_dao
hot_dao

Why are they making this one faster then FFXIII? I mean they started this game months after they started FFXIII... but i'll get this game anyways because it's by square-enix... but i hope it'll look better on the PS3 because it has nvidia in it (i think)... oh... and i hope they don't put in TOO MUCH SHINE in the game like most games for 360 have!!!

TimDigit
TimDigit

It's not ground breaking, it's large size MMO, I want to control a large group of characters I care about, 10 - 50 true characters that matter; not pointless minions, boy that sounds a little hard, but it would make a great game instead of the typical me and my army or me and my five friends fighting a war scenarios...still looking forward to seeing how it does though, and I hope they can work in something random, maybe not the army but hunts for supplies.

hellpolice
hellpolice

Let's hope Squarenix take this game seriously and break some ground with it if they want to corner the RPG market. Good think I have a 360 and if I have some 500 bucks of spare change (lol!) I would get the PS3 too. I have nothing negative to say about Sony for the last two gens I've been a Playstation user. And for the hardware as long as it doesn't get broke its ok with me. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- robdaman111 said "...come on here every time an pretend to b a marketing advisor for ur respected console an state what it has hardware wise and what games it has cause no ones gonna care bout ur opinion just like no ones gonna care about mine just chill" I couldn't agree with you more I'm sick and tire wherever I go on the net I find this "Marketing advisor" type of gamers. lol!

robdaman111
robdaman111

this is funny as hell u come on here to check a game out an then out of no where a flaiming sessions starts. people chill the hell out theres no reason to flame each other honestly. my bro has a 360 and i have a ps3 but u dont see us flaming each other no we'll appreciate what games we each have and say if theres a game i want thats only on 360 say lost odesy or sumfin or if he wants to buy a game for my ps3 that he wants thats cool to u get the best of both worlds theres no reason to come on here every time an pretend to b a marketing advisor for ur respected console an state what it has hardware wise and what games it has cause no ones gonna care bout ur opinion just like no ones gonna care about mine just chill

ShaunFroggatt
ShaunFroggatt

Woah man, Ive got to say the fighting sequance will look alot more crisp and clean on the 360 no jagged and rough lines like on the PS3 version, BAM!! *DREAD LOCK* Rasta style mon! This game is gonna piss on all RPGS coming out anytime soon!

edhc44
edhc44

randomfulness says Interesting that it's not a PS3 exclusive... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not really. Considering how expensive developing this kind of game has become this gen, we can expect less and less exclusives... I just hope S-E keep realising this games on the 360, I'm not planning to buy a PS3 anytime soon...

TMontana1004
TMontana1004

Let's hope we will get another RPG as great as Oblivion.

tony2077ca
tony2077ca

i wonder if it'll keep me addicted to rpgs

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

in the immortal words of Larry The Cable Guy and, some other person Get'R'Done and OMGWTFHS

riseofnations36
riseofnations36

Oh and considering the times nowadays , don't take my comment as fanboyism , i enjoy both the 360 and ps3. Heck , i'm planning on buying a 360 next week.

riseofnations36
riseofnations36

Thank god i got one of the next gen consoles (PS3) , otherwise i would be deprived of this awesome game.

randomfulness
randomfulness

Interesting that it's not a PS3 exclusive...

Sutton
Sutton

The environment screen looks a lot like Final Fantasy XII architecture.

Mystearical
Mystearical

If this game is in it's "early" stages of development BUT the main character has a NAME... then where do FFXIII and FF vs XIII stand? Eitherway I LOVE the art and surprisenly the female is actually NOT half-naked!

oscar8563
oscar8563

Sounds awesome. Hopefully it isn't a total let-down, like Final Fantasy Online.

360player_eq12
360player_eq12

lol looks like elephant mans hand or something in the link. =P

akuma7703
akuma7703

Personally I think it looks good. I'm hoping it turns out to be an action-RPG: traditional RPG's aren't really my thing (the only exception being FF7). Still, any new japanese RPG's on the 360 can only be a good thing as it's currently starved for them.

Knightmare_King
Knightmare_King

toobzy08 I'm not complaining about anything i'm just making an observation and a opinion...as far as i see it microsoft has alot of games coming in regardless if squareenix puts games on their system or not.. i just feel that the company themselves are kinda making promises they are not keeping; they said they were all for multi-platforming now cause they dont want to be picky anymore but they are obviously kinda favortizing there games to other systems and less to microsoft that's kinda being contradicting to there word. I'm not upset at it don't get me wrong but it would be nice to get some of there games and not leftovers...LOL and what game microsoft "hogged" cause the way i see it mostly some of the third party games are going multi platform (ex. GTA IV, DMC 4, ETC)

Krunkcity3000
Krunkcity3000

the combat screen reminds me of Dynasty Warriors. this may be better than i thought

Krunkcity3000
Krunkcity3000

Oh my, when i heard about this game i thought it was a PS3 exclusive but i am happy to hear its not. I want to have a reason to buy a PS3 but i really haven't seen anything other than MGS4 and Kojima hasn't convinced me yet that the game wont come to the 360 in some shape or form. I heard about HOME and LIL BIG PLANET but what is all the hype about? They aren't system sellers.. Again this game looks cool but i was hoping it was a reason to buy a PS3. Sorry if anyone takes this as bashing but it honestly isnt

zeke2040
zeke2040

The only thing i can say is that , this game is going to rock!

akuma7703
akuma7703

Exactly. Cats need to stop moaning about why they think their preferred system is "better" (of course, unless the thread IS about that) and focus on what we're all here for: games. This fanboy ish is getting old quick.

nvfigueiredo
nvfigueiredo

It's a good thing that this is coming out for both systems... let's just hope Square Enix isn't pushing one of the versions (the PS3...) back in order to port it easily. Also, a question for Gamespot... I would like to know why was I sent to a X360 page when this game is available for both systems? Worse than that, the article doesn't mention anything about the machine used for this 1st look... I've been noticing the exact same thing happening in a lot of multi-system game news... Question nr 2 for Gamespot: could you explain (in an editorial, for example), what is you policy regarding the "PICKS" section on the site's homepage? I imagine, naturally, that... you pick them... buy how can "Tecmo Bowl" be a pick... when there's no mention to the Final Fantasy XIII first impressons?!?!? FFXIII is clearly one of the most anticipated games on the making!!! I fear that stuff like this is ruining Gamespot's credibility... At least I'm pretty disappointed with their editorial line.

anthonylucas
anthonylucas

Choice is the fruit of being a gamer, if you don't like it don't buy it, but give the rest of us a break and write about something worth the time it takes. I'm 100% sure both systems will be amazing regardless of what they are capable of, just depends on your opinion about what makes a game or a sytem worth buying. This game looks unbelievable, but I am a HUGE RPG fan and will always be. Right now I have a 360, in a year I'll buy a PS3. Hopefully by then Final Fantasy 13 will be here. To each his own.

akuma7703
akuma7703

@jamalnos: Stop spamming, esp when you have no point. For everyone else, he's posted the exact same post in several other threads- threads that have nothing whatsoever to do with what he's talking about (eg: the NBA LIVE 08 First Look). Why, are you on Sony's payroll? Either that or you're a not-so-smart fanboy that needs to get his facts straight. The speculation is over and has been for months. As a lot of developers pointed out from day one the 360 and PS3 are VERY comparable in terms of power with both systems excelling a little better at different aspects. And it's not called "Parallel Power", it's "parallel-processing"- something most modern machines do: Intel Hyper-threading, Core Duo, and yes even the 360 (which IS a multi-core system). The number of calculations the cell-processor is capable of is a different matter entirely. I'm not a360 fanboy (indeed I own most any game-systems except the PS3 and Wii) but one thing a lot of people appreciate from Microsoft is CHOICE. You said it yourself: "..if you want wireless..". That's the point: I don't need wireless so why pay for it? What say I prefer a stand-alone HD player (or the fact that watching movies extensively on any system eventually wears down the optical drive) and I don't want the system for HD-movies then why pay for it? Choice. Sony rammed unnecessary technology down our throats. It would be a different matter if the format wars were decided and HD-Video was the standard but that isn't the case yet. And that brings me to the final point: the ONLY reason thePS3 costs more than the 360 is the fact that it includes a BluRay drive. Everyone knows that already so how come you don't? Take the drive away and you basically got a 360 with bluetooth controllers. FACT.

jamalnos
jamalnos

Guys, please wake up and know the truth, Xbox 360 machine is less price than PS3, that is true but why? I will tell you. With Xbox 360 If you want to communicate by wireless you must buy it separately, if you want to attach removable memories cards or flashes you must buy another part separately, if you want to see HD movies you must buy another part separately, if you want to save game progress or any other files you must buy a HDD separately, beside no HDMI port yet, and that huge power adapter (where will you put it?). At the end your Xbox 360 will be like a spider web with the devices attached into it . Finally all of that will be the same price of PS3 or more. But in the PS3 side, all of that is built-in inside it. With Blu ray technology, HDMI technology, 1080p technology, CELL Processor (Parallel Power) technology, PS & PS2 emulation power, user friendly interface and that sexy design. So what is the mistake that Sony did? This is Living, this is Entertainment.

Marth3001
Marth3001

what the heck are you guys talking about, the 360 has 1 jrpg, i know a lot of people that are dieing for more rpgs, any kind is good

Orthrand
Orthrand

Not more japanese RPG's.