Square Enix wasn’t all talk about changing things to suit today’s base; they’re doing it already! Square Enix has expressed concern over the years as to how they have been unable to capitalise ...

Square Enix wasn’t all talk about changing things to suit today’s base; they’re doing it already!

Square Enix has expressed concern over the years as to how they have been unable to capitalise on the kind of success they had with titles like Final Fantasy VII and said that they absolutely intend to change up the style of play and whatever else to recreate the success of these previous titles. Well, they’re not planning to make anyone wait and find out, because after the several changes made to the latest in line, we finally have Final Fantasy XV, which is already taking a much darker tone than the ones previously published, with characters being more realistic in their presentation. FFXV follows the same mythology that is made central to all the games, but its representation, interpretation and format tend to differ in each game of the series.

The stylistic departure from previous titles in this sub-series means that the same world will be shown in a drastically different way. The game revolves around a very modern day earth-like world, where a war between two nations to control the world’s crystals is made prima facie. The protagonist of the series, Crown Prince of Lucia, Noctis Lucis Caelum, has gained magical powers because of a near death experience that has left him altered in ways that would become clear over time. This shows a clear connection of this game to the goddess of death Etro, the mother of humanity and the one who brought balance to the world by imbuing mankind with chaos. The nation of Lucia has lost its crystal, and this has led to certain devolution of what it stands for, blighting it in progress. It was the last one left who still had one, and unbeknownst to them, it was Nilfheim, its rival for the same crystals, that made sure it went missing. At the same time, during the last days of negotiation for a number of treaties signed to ensure peace between Lucia and Nilfheim, they invade it, and swage war against all nations, ensuring that Noctis remains a fugitive in his own land. His only option being that he fights the forces of Nilfheim, in an attempt to ensure that the crystal is taken back out of their control.

The gameplay has been altered significantly, closely resembling that of Kingdom Hearts now, but that was to be expected, considering Tetsuya Nomura, who was initially heading the game for design and direction, left to continue work on Kingdom Hearts after that. Yes the game has been delayed constantly, and then changed platforms after the initial announcement made, but this is new for the series, becoming an action RPG with FPS elements thrown in. The entire game can be interacted with using free running now, and that’s all battles included. You have cars and chocobos for exploration if you so wish, and you require to gain buffs with the environment you are in and transitions in weather and time. Sleeping at night helps you character level up, eating various things, including wild herbs provides immediate status buffs that grow weaker with time. A necessary requirement for levelling up is camping, and all your stacks finally result in a level up while you camp.

The game now has a new battle system that has been dubbed the Active Cross Battle system, because it very closely resembles the more realistic style of battle that was first introduced to this series in Final Fantasy Type-0.

Like most action RPGs, the commands are mapped directly onto the controller, instead of the previous menu based UI like options, not completely eliminating the turn based feel of the older games. Since loading screens have been done away with, battles happen with a gauge appearing at the top showing proximity to an enemy. There is a certain period of time within which the party can avoid confrontation, after which an altercation is inevitable. The load screens are limited to change in environment, like moving into an area that allows for marked change in the way Noctis interacts with his environment, like when you head into towns. There is a lot more that can be said about the creatures at Noctis’ disposal for summoning, and also the sword systems in place, which is quite extensively mapped out on your controller dependent on you wish to use it. Stealing Mechas and Tanks is also an available option.

Well that’s what Final Fantasy XV is meant to be like, and from the reveal we got, it might actually live up to everything it is being made out to be. We’re not just hopeful, we’re a lot more excited about what might end up in our hands.

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