Friday, September 19, 2014

By Jamaal Ryan

You’ve probably already seen the new trailer to Final Fantasy XV, but look at it again!

When first footage of FF XV's gameplay hit E3 last year, it was both stunning and unexpected, rotating away from the RPG rooted combat of yore, and aligning itself more towards the action genre with Kingdom Hearts style gameplay and much like the most recent installment, Lightening Returns. 2013’s showing felt like a Platinum game in some respects; blindingly fast, with massive scale. It very much looked like it would be one of the most impressive action titles yet.

Gorgeous. Destructive. Epic. All would have been enough to recapture my interest in the FF franchise. But TGS 2014’s look at FFXV adds a significant level of realism to the game.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way, FF XV is looking fucking amazing. It looked stunning last year, and clearly Square has been hard at work on the game. The lighting, the hair rendering, the vistas, the freakin’ skin textures on the bottom of that elephant-bison looking thing; FFXV is the most visually impressive game I’ve ever seen.

Now the combat this time around seems to be scaled back a notch, with less gravity defying gymnastics and rapid movement around 2 story enemies. Our heroes seem to be held back by weight and momentum, making FFXV look less like Devil May Cry, and a bit more like Monster Hunter. We’ve seen Noctis’ companions jump in and aid him in battle last year, however this trailer puts more of an emphasis on teamwork. The way that they trade blows on enemies, leap over one another, and carry one another out of harms’ way looks grounded and well-choreographed. I certainly respect the perceived move away from the over the top action for more personal combat. That’s not to say that FFXV no longer has scale. There are certainly creatures in the world, both cosmetic and combative, that you’ll encounter on your journey.

TGS has long stood as the mobile platform, let’s-dump-western-titles-here-because-it’s-another-trade-show convention, but the presence of FFXV alone has made it worthwhile for console fans. 

Image courtesy of Gematsu

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