We'll get the bad out of the way first. There's no way this thing is coming out this year. Director Tetsuya Nomura is interviewed in the magazine and said that because they're trying to do a number of incredible things and the focus is on quality, they will need more time. He joked that because Duodecim Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Type-0 and Final Fantasy XIII-2 are all due out this year, players should forget about Versus for the time being.
That's going to be tough to do, as the details the magazine has on the game do have us excited. Most of the information can be discerned from the Premier trailer, which will be released in HD later this week.
Versus has a party-based combat system where you switch between three character, Nomura confirmed. The game will have more playable characters than just the four who were shown in the trailer, he also said, although the number of such characters won't get too high.
Each character has different abilities, both in weapon use and in the effect of their magic calls. Main character Noctis can use all the game's wide variety of weapons. One character, a blonde guy who appeared in the trailer, is skilled with guns, and he alone can be switched to a third person aiming mode for precise aim.
The Versus development staff seem to be going for an eventful gameplay experience. Nomura highlighted the game's real time event system, where some wild things will happen as you're moving about. This was seen in the trailer as a giant behemoth beast attacked when Noctis approached a bridge, and as ships crashed to the ground around Noctis and crew. The game transitions to these events seamlessly, a system that's taking some time to develop, said Nomura.
Other intriguing features mentioned by Nomura are a day/night cycle system for the game's world map (in the trailer, the world map parts are the nature areas towards the end), and the ability to ride cars, air ships and chocobos. You can also steal military use vehicles, although Noctis is such a good guy that he won't steal from common folk. Noctis can also kill off enemies to steal their mechs and other mechanized war machines. All these features can be seen in the trailer.
The trailer also shows some vague story and character details if you can read the subtitles. In the Dengeki story, Nomura cleared up a few incorrect assumptions people have made regarding these areas.
Towards the middle of the trailer, an old man in a throne, confirmed to be Noctis' father, says something along the lines of "You cannot be king." He's saying this not to Noctis, as many had assumed, but to someone whose identity Nomura would not disclose.
More significantly, the end of the trailer shows an armored lady in an apparent confrontation with Noctis. Many assumed this was heroine Stella. But it's not. Nomura says the lady is a dragon knight and an enemy.
Our next update on Final Fantasy Versus XIII will come at E3 or beyond, Nomura told Dengeki, so you're going to have to make the most of the new trailer when it hits later this week.