Although I had great fun with FFXIV (an MMO iteration of the Final Fantasy franchise), I’m incredibly excited for the next single-player RPG title in the FF family. I’m not sure if it’s just the old familiar feeling of FF the way it was first introduced or if I just enjoy the story-based solo play, but I am stoked for FFXV.
Final Fantasy XV will be released on September 30, 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It can already be pre-ordered here. During E3, producer Hajime Tabata stated that the developers are working on a PC build version.
The most recent game play trailer was released earlier this year:
And here is the E3-specific trailer:
The main character and only playable character, Noctis Lucis Caelum, is the crown prince of Lucis. Lucis is the only kingdom of Eos that still maintains control of a crystal, granting the realm access to magic. Their culture is based around magic, while the other nations advance more technologically without crystals. The story begins as Lucis is overthrown on the eve of a peace conference where Noctis will wed his fiancee Lunafreya, an Oracle priestess charged with combating “the Plague of the Stars.” Noctis and three of his closest friends set out to overthrow the enemy forces and regain control of Lucis, and it’s crystal, in order to reinstate peace throughout Eos.
FFXV is an open world game intended as a roadtrip between four friends that allows free travel throughout the world. You can go anywhere there is a road (and much later, where there is no road BECAUSE THE CAR FLIES!!!!!!!). The car can be manually driven, or set to autopilot between destinations. You can also find Noctis on his cell phone, among other tech advances, which is super great because he still uses a sword for battle. Fantasy games, sigh. There are various skill-ups by party members, including cooking, fishing, photography, survival, and magic visible in the demo videos.
The magic system is unique. Players gather (or “absorb”) resources from the earth and “craft” magic spells to be used in combat. Spells can be fused with items to create spells that multitask. In the E3 video, the player fuses a heal potion with fire magic to create a spell that AOE heals the player and fire damages the enemy. Resources are also used for additional crafting jobs. In the demo, the players used gathered supplies to cook meals that boost stats.
The combat action system moves seamlessly from exploration to fighting. For players who prefer more time to consider the battle and make battle decisions, the game includes “Wait Mode” that appears similar ATR battle modes of past iterations of Final Fantasy. It is entirely optional and may be used whenever the player wishes or not at all.
According to developers, the game is approximately 40-50 hours long, but has enough content to take up to 200 hours to complete all side missions and exploration. I sure hope so, because we’ve waited so long!
If you’re interested in seeing Mr. Tabata’s entire presentation, you may do so here:
*** There were two separate presentations which were virtually identical. I chose this one because it was more compact and equally informative.***