Story, Gameplay, and Development You Should Know Before Playing FFXV
Final Fantasy XV has been one of the most anticipating games so far in 2016. As the game release is coming in two months, we are going to take a look at 3 things you must know before playing the game related to story, gameplay, and development
Let’s take a look.
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You can read my review here.
Final Fantasy XV takes place in the world called EOS which is similar to the modern day earth. The game was created with the idea of “a fantasy based on reality”in mind. All of the countries in this world except the kingdom of Lucis are under dominion of Nifhelm. Noctis, heir to the Lucis, is being on a quest to retake his homeland and its magical crystal after they had been recently seized by Nifhelm during the peace treaty agreement between two kingdoms.
There are 4 main people in Noctis’ party: Noctis, Ignis, who was raised alongside Noctis to be his adviser, Prompto, who is more carefree and from a lower class family, and Gladiolus, Noctis’ personal bodyguard.
Lady Lunafreya, the princess and an oracle of Tenebrae, is also one of the main characters in Final Fantasy XV even though not being a core member of the party. Guest characters such as Cor and Lunafreya, also join and leave the party temporary throughout the game similar to Final Fantasy XII.
The relationship between these Noctis and Lunafreya is a key story of the game. They are childhood friend that are set to marry as a part of peace treaty agreement between Lucis and Niflheim.
Luna character is expected to have a lot of depth, dynamic, and complex. Her relationship with Noctis is actually more complicated than a typical love story.
In terms of scale, Final Fantasy XV will be one of the biggest JRPG ever. The game support over 200 hours of gameplay across the main story and side quests The main story itself should take around 40-50 hours if you only focus on the main story and ignore all side contents.
Active Cross Battle
Combat in Final Fantasy XV has a significant change from previous generations. Instead of a traditional turn-based, the battle system in FFXV is called the Active Cross Battle. It is a seamless combat system that takes place in real time environment with all locations from a plain field, to forest, building, and even on a street.
Battle against bosses is carried out in the same fashion as a standard battle but requires more party cooperation.
Noctis can warp around the field by throwing his sword and warp to a specific location. He can warp to any location having a glowing icon telling that it is a warping spot. There’s no limitation in distance as long as the warping spot is seen.
Warping along with special moves and dodging requires MP to perform.
Magic, on the other hand, does not cost any MP. It works more like an item by gathering elemental magic from different sources and combine together to create a magic item called magic flask.
Different magic types also have different effects. Fire catches glass on fire, wind will blow out fire, blizzard will freeze water and so on.
A party member is in a critical state when their HP reach zero. During the state, they are unable to attack or use abilities with a depleting HP gauge. A character in a critical state must be rescued by other characters before the gauge reach zero. If it happens, that character will be in a knock out stage. In case Noctis is knocked out, the game will be instantly over.
Summons is a major part of Final Fantasy series without a doubt. In FFXV, they work differently by having specific summon requirements as well as different attacks based on environment.
7 summons are known in the game and can be obtained in a various way from beating them in battle, discovering them, complete specific objectives, and so on. There are also minor summons but details are yet to be revealed.
The game also has a wait mode which is an option to make the game easier especially in a critical state or those who are not used to a real-time combat system. When it is activated, everything will be stopped allowing a player can freely target an enemy, cast magic spell, select teammate abilities and techniques, and more
Wait mode can be switched on and off at any point of the game.
All party members have their own skill trees and can learn new techniques for a powerful move. For example, Ignis’ skill “Mark” creating a warp point for Noctis. Prompto “Piercer” can stun enemies while dealing damage at the same time.
Final Fantasy XV quest types can be separated into 4 main categories: main quests, hunting quests, regional quests, and only for fun. Main quests are purely about the main story progression while hunting quests are for hunting a specific monster for rewards.
Regional quests are different between each regions and the only for fun quest are something like a minigame, fishing, chocobo racing, and so on.
Camping is a main part of Final Fantasy XV gameplay. It can be set up at any camping haven and at any time of the day. Camping will give player levels up from experience acquired throughout the day as well as food buff from Ignis’ cooking.
While camping, you can also see different personalities between each character.
Regalia is a prominent transportation of Final Fantasy XV. The car can be driven manually by Noctis or automatically by Ignis. However, it cannot drive off road and can only park at a specific parking spot.
On the second half of the game, Regalia can be upgraded into an airship giving you more option to fly across the world map. A player can fly anywhere they want but need to find a road to land on.
To get around, a player still need to walk by themselves or rent a chocobo from chocobo farm. Train is also available at some point of the game with an exploration option while riding it.
Day and Night Cycle
Because of the game theme “A fantasy based on reality”, Final Fantasy XV comes with a day and night cycle. At night people will light up their home like in the real world. Strong monster will emerge during the night because of the “Plague of the Star”
One day in the game is a 24 minutes in an episode Duscae. However, it’s not confirmed whether or not that will be the case in the final game.
Virtual reality will be included in Final Fantasy XV but not during the official release date. Square Enix stated that VR experience will be released post launch. When the VR mode is activated with VR headset, a player can play as Prompto, and the game will turn into a shooting style.
Final Fantasy XV had ten years of development. The project started in 2006 when it was still called Final Fantasy XIII Versus back then. A few years later, it was rumoured to be cancelled because of the slow development process.
In 2012, the project was changed into Final Fantasy XV and had been fully developed 4 years after that. Final Fantasy is going to launch globally on November 26, 2016 in PS4 and Xbox One.
If the game does great after launch, there’s a high possibility that it will be released on PC as well.