Final Fantasy Versus XIII is developed by Square-Enix as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. "This is a fantasy based on reality", whatever that means, seems to be the focus for this new title. The world of Versus XIII seems to be set in a more modern and sophisticated setting, with high rise buildings and a realistic atmosphere. There is an attack on the city and with it the heretics want to take down everything left in the world and turn it into a forgotten place, this is their last stand to protect the final crystal and all the hope that's left in the world.
This is an opposing game to Final Fantasy XIII, hence the name. It's supposedly going to be a darker and more gritty game when compared to the lighter and more vibrant world in XIII. The game takes place in the same world, but the settings and characters are all new and unrelated to FF XIII, despite preceding information which suggested players would be taking the roles of characters antagonistic to the heroes from XIII. The main character is a prince, and the empire in which he serves is the last of its kind and remains the resting place of the final crystal, whatever that is.
In the trailer you don't really see anyone else besides the soldiers and the main character. The game's setting looks futuristic as well as deserted.
Details on the plot are scarce. What we know so far is that the story revolves around a prince, Noctis Lucis Caelum, his name meaning "Night, Light, and Sky", who is the heir to the throne. His nation has become more modernized than other nations, to the point where it resembles a contemporary city far, far more than it does any of the cities in XIII. This kingdom, which remains nameless, has isolated itself from the world in the process. The game's setting involves a war between Noctis' kingdom and another nation fighting for dominance and the final crystals, which Noctis' nation possesses. The game begins after the end of a long cold war between warring nations and the crystals are involved in these conflicts in some way. This has been claimed to be the darkest final fantasy story ever written, but will almost certainly be an exaggeration.
Most of the game's characters are unknown at the moment. What we have seen from trailers and heard from in interviews, Noctis is the last heir to the throne of a dynasty who are in charge of protecting the last crystals. He has to protect the city from people trying to steal the crystal. His eyes change color during battle and this has been noted to be an important detail. He is able to wield multiple swords, spears, and lances. His weapons can also be used as shields. He can also be seen teleporting and moving at high speeds. He seems to be able to use telekinesis to use his weapons. Essentially, he is a Mary Sue.
Other characters that have been seen with the prince are a brown haired man with glasses wearing a suit and is seen driving a car, a large man with dark hair and a scar on his face, and a blond man who is seen carrying a shotgun. There is also Stella Nox Fleuret, whose name means "Star, Darkness, and Sword". Stella is also the name of a nation, implying her to be royalty. Stella is shown fighting the prince and wielding a Rapier. They seem reluctant to fight each other and her affiliation with the prince is unknown. Noctis and Stella seem like total opposites and yet are the main protagonists in the game. They talk about how Noctis is able to "see light", which is a very vague comment and its meaning is still unknown. Noctis is shy but hides it by acting cool, while Stella seems to have had a much better upbringing.
The gameplay has been described as being similar to the Kingdom Hearts series and Dirge of Cerberus. Details are limited because there has been no gameplay footage released. There is a greater focus on realism and blood seen in the game's trailer which has not been seen in the Final Fantasy series until now. The battle sequences will be similar to the ones seen in the "Final Fantasy: Advent Children" CGI movie. There seems to be a high possibility the game will be rated "M" unlike it's counterpart, Final Fantasy XIII, which earned a "T" rating.
In March 2010, Final Fantasy XIII director Tetsuya Nomura revealed that the game would feature airships over the world map.
In June 2010, Nomura revealed many more specifics on the game in an issue of Famitsu. Players will run into monsters both randomly and visibly. Some monsters you'll see, others you won't. Battles are seamless. There are no loading times between field and battle scenes. There is only some loading when moving between large areas or when it's time for a cut-scene. The world is open and players will have a car to get around places. One shot in the magazine showed Noctis fighting in a Shinjuku-like cityscape. Nomura confirmed that it's based off the real Shinjuku. The city-scape in that picture could be seen outside of Square-Enix's Shinjuku office.
In August 2010, director Tetsuya Nomura stated that Versus XIII will play like 2D Final Fantasy titles, except in high-definition, whatever that means. He later affirmed that it will not play from a top-down view, however, but instead from a third-person behind-the-back view, rendering his earlier statement confusing and contradictory, perhaps deliberately so.
Nomura also revealed that voice work was currently underway for both Versus XIII and the unrelated Final Fantasy Agito XIII (which was later cut out of the XIII franchise and renamed Final Fantasy Type-0) at that time. All of the game's cutscenes will also be interactive cutscenes, which will be a major departure from previous Final Fantasy titles.