Several years in the making, Final Fantasy XIII is a testament to the sheer production value Square Enix puts into its flagship RPG series. A labour of love for almost everyone in the company, this instalment in the franchise takes equal inspiration from its last game, Final Fantasy XII and decade-old classics such as Final Fantasy VII. Starring a female character called Lightning, the game is set in the future where the world is divided into two significant areas - Cocoon, a paradise high in the sky which knows only peace and prosperity; and Pulse, the dark, dingy and dangerous lower world. Long ago mankind was blessed with the presence of the fal'Cie, who decided to watch and protect over the world. However, peace and tranquility on Cocoon was not to last. After one renegade fal'Cie wakes from its slumber, humans are cursed by the fal'Cie, turning them into magic-wielding servants. These became l'Cie - pawns chosen by the fal'Cie to bring chaos and destruction. Gameplay uses a combination of turn-based action and new real-time elements such as Paradigms, which allow players to assign roles to party members at any time in combat. The Active Time battle system provides the freedom to execute several different commands in a single turn using an action gauge with multiple command slots. Add to this a usual mix of interesting characters, a twisting storyline and all-new Summons to kick the snot out of your foes, and you have one action-packed RPG.