E3 2016: Does Final Fantasy XV Live Up to the Series’ Legacy?

Square Enix had a live presentation of Final Fantasy XV earlier today at E3 showcasing an abundant amount of new gameplay. Tabata focuses on Final Fantasy XV being a leading-edge game in the RPG genre with emphasis on adventure, road trip, and combat. Tabata introduces us to an early segment of Final Fantasy XV where the party’s car has broken down and they have to push it to Cindy’s garage. They proceed out into the desert to fulfill a simple quest that only requires talking to a NPC in a nearby diner. After reporting back to Cindy the party gets the Regalia back and proceeds to take off on the road. This segment is a great opportunity to take in scenery with some intriguingly beautiful lighting when the sun starts to set in the desert area.

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After that brief section the demo moves onto combat where we see the gang eliminate a horde of scorpions with ease. It’s action oriented and while your party members outside of Noctis are AI controlled, as Noctis you can give prompt your allies to do special attacks via command. Next, Tabata showed off a battle against a squadron of soldiers and then reveals a menu detailing the magic system which acts similar to items. They’re thrown like grenades with various effects and shown in the demo you can combine effects of spells to customize your magic. By adding potions to your Fira spell you can simultaneously damage an enemy and heal yourself. The healing is done instantaneously so you won’t have to risk getting hit while restoring HP. This was the only magic customization example shown in the demo, but the possibilities appear almost boundless.

Another important feature revealed for Final Fantasy XV is Wait Mode which has been a staple in all Final Fantasy games that used the ATB system. This game does not feature the ATB system, but its purpose is similar. When in battle and you want to choose targets and give a special command the game pauses the action allowing for some time to carefully think about your decisions before executing them. It’s ensured that the addition is not just to make things easier, but to make it more strategic. This mode can be turned on or off at any time through the options menu.

The demo ends here with a repeat take down of a rhinoceros like enemy. Final Fantasy XV looks to be shaping up and it could very well be the game we’ve been looking to put the series back on the map. Final Fantasy XV is scheduled to release on September 30 for PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A VR version is also planned to release down the road.

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