FFXIII linearity explained by Square Enix

Final Fantasy XIII has been a huge success sales wise in Japan, although people that have played it aren’t quite as enthusiastic. The game has been criticized for being very linear compared to previous installments in the long running RPG series. Director of FFXIII Motomu Toriyama and producer Yoshinori Kitase gave an explanation as to why this Final Fantasy lacks the freedom of previous titles.

“We made the map and battles function as part of the story, so that players get the same feeling as the characters. To achieve this, we wanted the story to progress non-stop,” Toriyama said.

Toriyama also attributed the linearity to the difficulty of creating multiple towns that the older games offered in current generation technology. “It is a result of considering HD graphics will be the mainstream. Considering the amount of work to make graphics that deserve HD, it is hard to make towns in the conventional style.” Toriyama also added, “In the limited period of development time, to convey the great story that deserves the name of Final Fantasy, and to convey the battles that entertain players enough, we condensed each element.”

Using this same logic, Kitase explained why the much sought after remake of FFVII would be difficult as well. “This issue is related to whether a FFVII remake will happen or not. It is very hard to make games on PlayStation 3 in the same style as the games in that era had. Making graphics will take enormous time.”

Kind of a bummer that apparently sacrifices had to be made to the gameplay in order to achieve the visuals in FFXIII, but they sure do look pretty.