It was in May of 2006 when we were first told about Final Fantasy XV, only then it was known by the name of Final Fantasy Versus XIII. For years after that we heard nothing. The internet community mumbled rumors of the games cancellation or delay and yet still Square Enix stayed quiet. E3 2013 brought a new revelation though; not only had development of the title not been cancelled, but now this new single player Final Fantasy experience would be making its way onto next generation consoles, both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. Pegged for release at some point in 2014, that makes this a title with a massive eight years of development behind it. That doesn’t necessarily make a great game, but the information so far released about Final Fantasy XV has us very interested.
If you were expecting the usual turn based, slow moving role playing game that could describe the majority of former Final Fantasy games then look again, Final Fantasy XV is an entirely different animal. It’s still a role playing game, but this time it’s described as an ‘action role-playing game’ which means more real time fighting, no more waiting for your turn to attack and even some third person shooter elements. You’ll be able to run around the battlefield striking foes instantly, wherever they may be; this could allow for a far greater dynamic in battle sequences, as striking different sides of bad guys and changing your position for a momentary breather could alter the eventual outcome of the fight.
There are still similarities to old Final Fantasy combat systems, in that you’ll still have a party comprising three different characters who you can choose to take control of at any time during the battle. There is still a vast assortment of different weapons accessible to the different characters, including everything from typically enormous swords, axes, guns and lances, and magic attacks and healing spells still have an important role to play. There are no more loading screens to deal with as you jump into battle so the whole game should seem a lot more seamless and more immersive.
Immersive is a key word when describing Final Fantasy XV as it seems obvious that this is really what the developers have been aiming at. The user interface on the screen is tiny and as minimalist as possible so that you’re focused on the enemy during your fights, and the whole look and feel of the world around you seems to emulate realism far more successfully than previous titles in the series. Although the extra graphical prowess of the next generation consoles has something to do with this, it’s more that the developers have chosen to create this game in a darker and more realistic style. Expect to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster throughout the course of Final Fantasy XV, with a highly charged plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The main protagonist of the game is a prince named Noctis Lucis Caelum, the heir to the throne that protects the last remaining crystal in the world. When another civilization attempts to infiltrate the modern and technologically advanced city, Noctis and his allies will need to jump to its defense, sparking a global conflict for possession of the crystal. More details about the story will undoubtedly find their way into the public domain before the release of Final Fantasy XV in 2014, but it sounds like an interesting premise, one that is sure to be fraught with danger, battle and heartache.
From announcement videos and snippets of battle footage Final Fantasy XV looks like it will be a visually impressive game, though some facial detail does seem to be lagging behind other next generation titles that we’ve seen snippets of. It seems likely that XV was originally intended to be launched on current generation consoles, but due to the length of development was changed to next generation part way through. This could mean that some aspects of the game aren’t as integrated with the next generation technology as those games designed specifically for it from the word go. Despite that, you’re certainly not going to find this game unattractive, and with a big world to explore there will be plenty of different scenes to take in.
Although we don’t have an exact release date as yet, we do know that the game will launch at some point in 2014 and so we look forward to yet another great title for the next generation consoles.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 08/14/2013
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