Final Fantasy XV has been granted the honor of being on the cover of the latest Game Informer, and Square Enix has summoned up a Neo-Bahamut’s worth of spoiler-free information for fans to pour over.
Nova Crystallis has gathered all of the information in a single place, shining even more of a light on a game that I just can’t get out of my mind this past week. Square Enix has me by the nose-hairs on this one.
- When the team was starting Final Fantasy XV, the brand image wasn’t very clear.
- Tabata believes the franchise can’t move forward without setting pride aside – he knows fans still have hope in where the series could go.
- Tabata and his team at Business Division 2 identified three core qualities they believe define the FFbrand: challenging the status quo, providing an exceptional experience and using cutting-edge technology. He thinks FFVII was the last game in the series to use all three points. FFXV is a make-or-break moment – a chance to bring back lapsed fans and new ones into the fold.
- When moving to FFXV, the game disconnected from Fabula Nova Crystallis. Additionally, Stella fromVersus XIII was shifted significantly and while the team tried to keep as much as they could from the original concepts they took this opportunity to shape XV into a full range of imagination.
- FFXV‘s story focuses on friendship, destiny and legacy.
- As soon as you start the game there is a battle in a location yet to be revealed. This is similar to FFIIwhere you start the game right with a boss battle. It also acts as a tutorial before going into chapter 1.
- Chapter 1 picks up right after the opening sequence with Noctis and friends on the road to Altissia. The Regalia breaks down in the region of Leide and the party has to get out and push the car to the nearest station. This is the first area where players will encounter the open world.
- Early on Noctis and friends meet both Cid and Cidney and she tasks them with several quests while the car is being repaired.
- Fantasy based on reality idea is still intact – at the Hammerhead station an instrumental version of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold” can be heard playing in the background.
- The beginning of the game is said to be heavy with familiar imagery before bending things toward fantasy and wonder.
- There are dialogue choices in the game that leave to different outcomes. For example Noctis was able to ask his friends for advice rather than asking for a discount or loan from Cidney. The reward for these options seem to revolve around status bonuses similar to eating or resting.
- Combat has improved since the demo – controls are more responsive, and weapons can be swapped on the fly using the d-pad. GI saw tabs for swords, daggers, lances, firearms, shields, royal arms and elemental spells. There was also a category called machines though their purpose is unknown.
- Magic spells are collected like a resource and can be recharged at various places on the map (thinkFFVIII‘s Draw system).
- The Regalia (the car) has a trunk that acts as party storage. You may need to pay money to gas up from time to time but the cost isn’t crazy. The car radio plays remixes of classic FF themes such as “Final Fantasy.”
- On your way to a destination, Prompto may ask to stop and take a photo. His pictures can be seen during camp and can be shared on social media. Should you continue to take pictures with Prompto his photography skills will improve.
- All four of the main characters have special talents – Noctis can fish, Ignis can cook and Gladio has survival instincts – and all of these can be “leveled up” by continued play.
- When you call a summon they won’t always do the same thing. They are entities that exist in the world itself. So depending on the situation they will do different things. For example, Titan sometimes will run up and hit an enemy, sometimes he will throw boulders at the enemy and it’s possible he will even give up and leave the battle. They will also act differently in a dungeon than they will in the overworld.
- The black dog seen in trailers is a faithful servant. Its name is Umbra.
- Noctis and friends encounter Niflheim’s Ardyn fairly early on while en route to Altissia.
- There are four quest types: for fun (fishing/chocobo racing), main story, monster hunts and regional quests. Currently there are over 200 quests in the game but the team are working to add more.
- Later on you can synthesize magic to create more powerful versions like Blizzara.
- Weapons can also be improved with materials collected in the world and won from battles. The main way to improve yourself, however, is through ability points which accumulate as you level up.
- You have the choice on how you upgrade Noctis and his companions like strengthening auto-dodge or teaching them new commands. It’s an effort to shape the player’s play style.
- Luna is the presence that supports Noctis in order for him to fulfill his destiny. She’s also the type of heroine you want to meet but can’t quite reach.
- Tabata has no intention to create sequels or anything out of this. He wants people to purchase the game to be able to enjoy it for a long period of time. That doesn’t necessarily just mean additional content but other things to create an interesting experience.
Final Fantasy XV launches for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on Sept. 30.