Last week, at Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV Uncovered event in LA we got our first sneak peak at one of this years most anticipated games. Coming September 30th after ages in development we will join Noctis and company on their journey across Eos in search of the last crystal, stolen by the forces of Niflheim.
In conjunction with the release date, the Japanese development juggernaut announced a CG animated movie (featuring the vocal talents of Game of Thrones starts Sean Bean and Lena Headey) a five part web anime and the Platinum Demo which is available to download now on PS4 and Xbox One.
Taking place separately from the main game, the demo has been designed to show us the new game-play style in FFXV whilst acting as a sort of dream sequence prologue to Noctis’ story.
Upon booting up you can see the team at Square Enix have worked extremely hard to deliver graphically diverse environments, from a beautiful forest to a contemporary pseudo-European city centre, although the demo does suffer from noticeable frame-rate issues which can dampen the impact of the visuals.
The new combat system feels very similar to that of the Final Fantasy/Disney crossover series Kingdom Hearts, focusing more on instant melee combat than the traditional turn based fighting that made the franchise so popular. They have explored this type of instant action before in FFXII and Type-0 but XV does feel more like a combination of it’s predecessors and hack ‘n’ slash action games such as DmC and God of War.
Throughout the demo there are little platforms that Noctis can stand on which create various effects such as changing the time of day, altering the weather and enabling you to drive. The trailer shows that vehicles are a big part of the full game although the handling on the ones in the demo left much to be admired. They just felt unnatural and quite clunky, hopefully this will be sorted in the final release. The environmental changes seem completely aesthetic and just to show off the engine’s ability to showcase rain and sunrises rather than being implicit to a task in the game-play. One of the more unique ground buttons turns Noctis into a fantastical giraffe creature which has the ability to attack enemies. It looked gorgeous and it leaves me to wonder whether this is a power found in the main game or just another showcase of the models used.
I won’t spoil the story, it doesn’t really make much sense anyway as it’s set in Noctis’ dream, but the Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo is a unique showcase of what is to come from one of this year’s big releases.