Final Fantasy XV began development in 2006, shortly before it’s announcement, only for it’s release date to be in 2016. This game has been in development for 10 years. But is it worth the wait?
This game is being developed by a team within Square Enix’s 2nd Business Division and lead by director Tetsuya Nomura until he was appointed to finish Kingdom Hearts III and replaced by co-director Hajime Tabata. The game was originally going to be released on the PlayStation 3 only, but has now switched to the eighth generation platforms.
The game focuses on the sole playable character Noctis Lucis Caelum – the crowned prince and heir of the Lucis nation. Lucis is a part of a modern-Earth land (with environments based on Tokyo, Venice and the Bahamas) divided by four other nations – Tenebrae, Niflheim, Solheim and Accordo. All of these kingdoms – apart from Neflheim – held crystals would gave them political power. Naturally, these crystals caused wars to erupt across the land and for all of them to be lost, apart the Lucis crystal. The Lucis kingdom planned peace negotiations between the other nations, however on the eve of said meeting, the Neflheim invades Lucis and steals the crystal, driving Noctis from his home. He and his three childhood friends – Gladiolus Amicitia, Ignis Stupeo Scientia, and Prompto Argentum – travel together in order to defeat the Niflheim and regain the crystal. Other character’s include Cor Leonis – another friend of Noctis’ who is reowened as one of three nation’s most powerful warriors – along with Lunafreya Nox Fleuret – Noctis’ fiancee and an Oracle (a priestess who can combat the ‘Plague of Stars’ – a supernatural phenomenon that threatens to plunge the world into eternal darkness) and Regis Lucis Caelum CXIII – Noctis’s father and King of Lucis.
Final Fantasy XV features an open-world environment and a battle system – dubbed the Active Cross Battle System – will be similar to Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy Type-O‘s systems, which incorporate the ability to switch out weapons in real time. There will be no interface menu – instead certain actions and mapped out on different buttons, such as Attack, Magic, Technique and Item. When approaching or being approached by enemies, a gauge will be appear onscreen and if the player does not run away successfully in a designated time period, they will be forced to fight. Noctis’ weapons are laid out in deck and can include swords, shields, axes, lances and guns. They can have multiple ranks, such as Crush, Ravage and Counter and offer different abilities – for example, Crush weapons are specialized for open attacks while Ravage weapons are more for multiple attacks at one time. Phantom Weapons can also be collected which drains the MP bar (while other actions do not compared to other FF titles). Noctis himself has special abilities (the crystal maintains special abilities but inhabitants of Lucis and the other nations are granted special powers through near-death experiences, as Noctis did) and summon monsters.
This game is said to have a much darker atmosphere compared to other games in the series and much more realistic human characters. The director wished this game to focus on characters that take a road trip together (which I suspect is the reason why they scrapped a female protagonist from this game as they had originally planned) which is mostly evident from the release trailer and the usage of Florence+ The Machine’s cover of “Stand By Me” as the soundtrack (this song was the main song used in the movie with the same name, which is based on Stephen King’s The Body, which focuses on four teenage boys who become the best of friends while travelling together). The game also features vehicles (including aircrafts apparently), chocobos and camping with environmental features, such as rain being able to put out fire element spells.
Alongside the game, a five-episode anime called Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV has been released with a feature film (by the same people who did Advent Children) called Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV to give more details about the character’s backstories without stretching it through the game series as part of a multimedia project. An exclusive PS4 demo entitled Platinum Demo is also a part of the expansion.
- Final Fantasy XV will be released worldwide on September 30th of this year on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. So far, there are no plans for a PC release.
- Watch the release date trailer here.
- Watch the evolution of Final Fantasy XV from 2006 to 2016 here.
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