Final Fantasy XV at E3 2016: What We Learned

Over ten years in the making Square Enix revealed the newest installment of its flagship series to an eagerly expecting audience at E3 2016. Introduced by the director of Final Fantasy XV Hajime Tabata the audience was then treated to the never before seen demo “Trial of Titan” featuring Noctis in a boss battle against the immense Titan. The demo featured improved frame rates which was a common complaint in earlier demos. The demo was fully playable at Sony’s corner though the version as seen on stage was confirmed to be an E3 exclusive and would be changed for the full release.

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Wait Mode Introduced

Also revealed was the long anticipated Wait Mode which developers said would integrate the game’s real time combat with more turn based strategy reminiscent of earlier games in the series by allowing players to pause the game. During the demo the player can be seen entering Wait Mode to teleport, select items and target enemies. In addition during combat Noctis can be seen using a shield. Previously it was thought he could only use weapons and dodge attacks for defense. Whether or not this is a new ability or an alternative to wielding a weapon remains to be seen.

FFXV VR Demo

ffxv vrPerhaps the most exciting announcement was the ability to play a VR demo of Final Fantasy XV. Players are able to use the Playstation VR and PS Move controllers to take control of the character Prompto. In the demo one controller is used to point and move so as to avoid damage and the other is used to target and shoot at the enemy. The demo features a fully immersible world to move around in such as being able to warp to higher ground for better view and deal more damage with head shots as compared to shots to the body. A representative from Square Enix stated the VR would not launch with the full release and would most likely be a DLC add-on later.

New Magic System

Players were also introduced to a more complex magic system than what was previously known. Similar to Final Fantasy 8’s Draw System players are able to take magic from the environment to use in battle. However, Final Fantasy adds a unique twist to this by allowing players the ability to mix different magic types such as Fira and Cure to simultaneously attack the enemy with fire damage and heal one’s self with a spell known as Healing Flame.

Regelia Type-F Can Fly

Another interesting new development concerns the car, known as Regalia Type-F, that features so prominently in earlier trailers and demos. While it was already known the car had the ability to fly it now seems to be upgradeable into a more powerful flying airship. In the demo it showcased more advanced enhancements such as metal wings and jets. Though it was confirmed the ship can fly anywhere on the map it will only be able to land on roads.

flying Regalia Type F

Flying Regalia Type-F

Altissia

And also highlighted was the extent to which Altissia, a canal filled city based on real life location, Venice, is able to be explored. Unlike earlier demos featuring road tripping and vast empty spaces in the overworld, Altissia is a city completely packed to the brim with people, gondolas, and various activities to entertain players. One can wander around looking for secrets, interact with NPC’s, take a boat ride, or even have a drawing of their character done by a street artist.

Final Fantasy will be released September 30, 2016 on XBOX One and Playstation 4.