You've seen the video, now here's a closer look at some screenshots from the game and the story that drives the next multi-platform installment of Final Fantasy.

Under the rule of the Sanctum, the sky city of Cocoon knew a long and prosperous peace, but the Fal'Cie from the "lowerworld" of Pulse awaken from their slumber and curse humans, turning them into the I'Cie, the magic-wielding servants of the fal-Cie.


Those branded with the mark of a I'Cie have to fulfill their Focus or "face a fate harsher than death itself."

"After thirteen days of fates intertwined, the battle begins," according to the press release.

"We know that our fans have been eagerly awaiting the next installation of the franchise – FINAL FANTASY XIII will exceed all expectations," said John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix, Inc. "Coming simultaneously to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for the first time, FINAL FANTASY XIII will be available to all players who are looking for the most immersive gaming experience of 2010."


As I mentioned when I posted the Final Fantasy XIII video earlier today, Leona Lewis will be providing the theme song for the latest Final Fantasy. My Hands , which hits stores in her second album on Nov. 17, was chosen because the developers said they felt it fit the game's "powerful themes and strong female protagonist."

The game, which hits in Japan on Dec. 17, will feature a a new "ultimate active time battle system" that allows players to execute numerous commands in a single turn with a multi-slot ATB gauge. Player will be able to choice between inputting individual commands in each slot for consecutive attacks, or expending multiple sots at once to activate more damaging attacks.

The game also adds a new game mechanics called Paradigms, that allow you to assign one of six gameplay roles, like Commando or Medic, to your characters.

A new summon system introduced Gestalt Mode, which allows players and their transformed Eidolons to fight as one through simple button commands.

Are you ready for Final Fantasy XIII? You've got four months to prepare... unless you're importing it.