Straight out of Gamescom comes a hour long gameplay video for the “master version” of the newly delayed Final Fantasy XV. The video, which you can watch below, accomplishes two things. The most important of the two: Final Fantasy XV is done and it looks great.
The other accomplishment feels like a confusing tug on the heart. Well, two tugs, and they are pulling emotions in two different directions. On the one hand we can see the game as it is and most of us would more than likely be content playing Final Fantasy XV in its current state. The other direction is one that sheds light on the reasons behind the delay. This light causes acceptance, something some gamers still need to learn.
Final Fantasy XV Video Highlights
The gameplay video starts at the very beginning of the game. It continues into the first few hours of FFXV.
It is at this title screen we run into the first negative of the video. Take a look at that iconic finger pointing at “Load Game.” Now, if you are a fan of “Final Fantasy,” then you know what sound it should make when the cursor is moved up and down that list. In the “master version,” the classic sound effect is replaced with a more subtle *tink*. The replacement of that sound effect can be overlooked by the events proceeding the initial start up screen, which also has a difficulty selection of either “normal” or “hard.”
Once the player has made the choice of difficulty, the game wastes no time whisking you away to a seemingly action packed intro. Jarringly, the video cuts—it does that a quite a bit in this video. Presumably to not spoil too much of the story.— to the quartet pushing their car along a desert road, Florence + The Machine’s cover of “Stand By Me” playing lightly in the background of the boy’s banter.
In a short while we are given the first glimpse of what the main menu will look like.
This is the menu players will no doubt be spending a lot of time in. Luckily it all looks easy to navigate, uncluttered, and not a genuine eyesore. Whomever is playing the game in this video takes time to go through all the menus so we can get an idea of how the system works. It is still a mystery what exactly the “Photo” option will be, but judging by the camera under Prompto it may be something more than a simple screen capture feature.
We also get a closer look at Final Fantasy XV‘s leveling system. Entitled “Ascension,” the mechanic bears a striking resemblance to the “Sphere Grid” of FFX. It’s even called the “Astralsphere.”
It is here you will spend Ability Points (AP) to learn various useful skills. The skills shown in the video were “Libra,” the ability to equip a second accessory, and “Phase.” “Phase” is a skill that allows you to consume MP to auto dodge attacks by holding down the dodge button. A skill players of the two demos know well.
The “Astralsphere” looks robust, but the player didn’t zoom out to show the whole thing. There is currently no way to know if, similar to FFX, the other characters can eventually learn each others abilities. Or if there are areas that are locked out and require a specific item to pass through.
After some set up and a brief tutorial on how the gameplay is structured, Noctis and the gang are free to roam the wild. They’ll find campsites, hidden dungeons, and ferocious monsters that are far too strong for a level one player to even tickle. The video jumps around, nimbly skipping crucial story beats, and highlights the battle system. A system that has evolved significantly since “Episode Duscae,” our first real taste of the game.
This is also when you will start to notice exactly why Director Tabata has asked gamers to be patient. The frame rate takes some noticeable dips during the flashy, particle effect strewn combat. It makes for awesome eye candy, but even the prettiest spark riddled explosion looks like a mess at 10 or less FPS. Maybe now we can excuse the two extra months and let the development team fine tune the hell out of this game?
I haven’t spoiled all the features in the video, and this final tid-bit isn’t the last morsel one can glean from watching the video.
When the Episode Duscae demo came out players were teased with one of the staples of the “Final Fantasy” universe. The Chocobo. The video released today finally answers the question of how the big yellow bird will exist in the game.
Chocobos will be fully customizable! Players will be able to change their mount’s name, adorn them with medals, or even change the color of the bird’s feathers using dyes created by harvesting resources in the wild. The video shows a race between Noctis and Prompto, presumably the medals are won here. They will even level up as you use them.
All these things coming together certainly look and, more importantly, feel like an entry into the “Final Fantasy” series. The longer wait has become simultaneously excruciating and welcome. I can’t help but want it now, but I must be patient. I must keep reminding myself of this.
What about you geeks? After you check out the video below let us know where you stand with Final Fantasy XV now that you’ve seen what the final product will be. Are you going to pick it up on November 29th when it’s unleashed unto the world?