Final Fantasy XV (ファイナルファンタジーXV) is an upcoming action role-playing video game being developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The fifteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy series, it is a heavy departure from previous games, providing a darker and more realistic atmosphere that focuses on human emotions and believable characters. The game features expansive environments and a seamless and customizable battle system, which gives players great freedom regarding their preferred play method.
Final Fantasy XV started production shortly before its announcement in May 2006, when it was initially unveiled under the title Final Fantasy Versus XIII (ヴェルサスXIII)
alongside Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy Agito XIII (which was later renamed to Final Fantasy Type-0). The game's long development time and absence from the public eye gave rise to several rumors concerning its possible cancellation or shift to another platform. In June 2013, it was eventually revealed to have been renamed and switched systems from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Final Fantasy XV is being developed by a team within Square Enix's 1st Production Department and directed by Tetsuya Nomura, who also designed characters and conceived the concept and base story.
The story is based on the Fabula Nova Crystallis
mythology, that revolves around a struggle between divine beings and their chosen l'Cie, servants who are granted magic powers to fulfill a predetermined task. However, the precise impact of these concepts on the story is not known. It has no direct relation to the other games in this series as it features a unique world, visual design and different characters.
Its main protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum
is the prince of a mafia-like royal family which protects the last remaining crystal in the world and rules over a technologically advanced city-state. The plot centers on the invasion of a war nation that tries to conquer the crystal. During the course of the game, Noctis meets the aristocratic and kind Stella Nox Fleuret
who shares his ability of seeing a mysterious "light" connected to a goddess of the dead.
Final Fantasy XV is an action role-playing game with third-person shooter elements. The player character is seen from a third-person perspective that will be adjusted depending on the weapon currently equipped. The game's environments include kingdoms and villages, and allow for much freedom and interactivity: for example, objects can be destroyed and different paths may be chosen to reach a destination. The world map is a wide, open field that the player can traverse on foot or by using a car, an airship or a chocobo. A day-and-night time system affects the appearance of monsters on the world map.
Final Fantasy XV uses interactive cutscenes in the form of real-time events. The player keeps control during them as the gameplay is not interrupted, which will result in natural progressions and storytelling that is similar to that of first-person shooters. However, the game also features uncontrollable pre-rendered full motion videos (FMVs) for scenes in which player control would have little to no effect. The ratio of real-time events and pre-rendered FMVs is 7:3.
The game's party-based battle system is a realistic version of the one seen in the Kingdom Hearts
series, where the player selects a command such as "Attack", "Warp", "Magic", "Item" or "Link Form" and the characters will then perform the desired move. There are also other actions such as 'double-jumping'.
The party comprises a maximum of three members and control over them may be switched during battle. The team is initially assembled by the game, but players can choose their preferred party members later on. However, the main protagonist Noctis is permanently present and the only character that can equip any weapon, while others are specialized in one type of combat.
Attacks may change into chain combos
by switching weapons or having several characters charge at opponents at once. In addition to the regular offensive tactics, mechas and tanks can be stolen from enemies and used against them. The battle scenes are seamlessly integrated into the environments with no load screens or transitions. Animated portraits at the bottom-right corner of the screen indicate the characters' movements and emotions even if they are separated from the party leader.
Weapons include swords, axes, lances and guns, offer various attacks and may be customized or used as shields.
Magic takes on different forms depending on the party member that casts it; for example, Noctis' magic emanates from his weapons.