This past weekend Square Enix held another Active Time Report. During the hour long presentation which can be found with subtitles here (skip to 4:45), Square unveiled another trailer for Final Fantasy XV. For those of you closely following the odyssey that has been this games’ development, it’s easy to notice the differences in this trailer than what was seen in past combat trailers and the demo which came out last year. Square asked for feedback regarding player experiences inside the demo and it looks as if some of that may have been incorporated into the newest changes or combat mechanics.
The demo starts with the party sneaking into a Niflheim base. This appears to take place fairly early in the game due to level 6 enemy soldiers. The stealth shown off flows well, with Noctis being able to warp around without being noticed, to quickly and quietly take down enemies. It plays into how the ability function without feeling shoehorned in. Graphically wise the game looks fantastic and the enemy mechs look menacing.
The biggest changes are probably the HUD. A more expansive offering that offers up a lot more control over the characters than we’ve previously seen. Just from watching the demo, it’s clear how controlling Noctis is more involved than just pressing X with pre-selected swords. Changing swords on the fly would theoretically add a bit of tactic to the game; customizing your equipment to suit enemies, bosses, and so on. Magic is also included here which complicates what you could equip, potentially having to balance physical attacks and magic. Attack and defend options are indicated on the left side of the HUD. At times this switches to another HUD with your party members names and listed abilities for combo-attacks.
Overall, from the trailer Square has made positive strides with the combat. This is likely the final iteration before the game’s release. Speaking of release date! It looks as if we are getting a actual release date announced in March… which is absolutely bonkers:
On March 30th in Hollywood (wow, seriously?) Square Enix is hosting a Final Fantasy XV event where the release date will be revealed (wow… seriously?). It’s also going to be streaming live on Twitch and Youtube. Its pretty surreal how close the game is after waiting so long. The big question is whether or not it comes out this year. Development has supposedly been pretty smooth for some time now, but a winter 2017 release won’t be that shocking. I’m fairly optimistic, it will be 2016. For now, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.