Fans of the series have waited a long time for Final Fantasy XV. It’s been a bumpy road since its original announcement in 2006. Years of silence about the game’s state of development made fans skeptical about its eventual release. It’s surreal to think that in just a week players can finally get a taste of the game almost a decade in the making. Square Enix is not quiet anymore and has provided fans with a steady stream of new information and trailers. It seems they are starting a video series called “World of Wonder,” with its first installment focusing on the wildlife and ecology of Final Fantasy XV’s world.
Portrayed as a nifty nature documentary, with no narration or soundtrack, the trailer provides a glimpse into the creatures Noctis and company can encounter in the game. Square Enix has decided to provide more of an open world to fans compared to the controversial style of Final Fantasy XIII. There are some well known recurring monsters that can be identified in the wild including chocobos, behemoths, coeurls, and even the massive adamantoises. Forests, prairies, and wetlands can be seen as well. The wildlife and ecology of Final Fantasy looks expansive, fun to explore, and will pose a challenge to players. One aspect of the trailer that might not be apparent at first glance is the time shift and weather types. Sunny weather as well as overcast skies and fog can be seen, as well as time shifts that include morning, day, evening, and night.
The second trailer shows off a bit of the combat found in the game. Noctis and team head into some caves (referred to as dungeon in the trailer). Players can see a bit of how party interaction works as there are scripted reactions to events happening around them. It looks as if battles can happen very quickly, with seamless transitions into battle. The roar of the incredible battle theme begins instantly upon engagement (seriously, Yoko Shimomura does it again). The right corner of the screen displays character status while the left seems to display techniques of Noctis and the MP (magic points) available for use. The screen isn’t filled with menu’s which can either indicate the combat is more simplistic in nature, or is more elegant in nature and doesn’t need excess menus. I won’t find out until the demo drops how the combat mechanics work exactly and how the menus are used. Lastly, Noctis can teleport to enemies quickly, as seen in past trailers, and also seamlessly switches weapons on the fly.
While there is no definitive release date, or window for that matter for Final Fantasy XV, Square Enix keeps reminding us that he game is in development… which is a good thing considering how long its taken. I wouldn’t expect Final Fantasy XV in 2015, but I would venture to predict we will see much more of the game at this year’s E3 in June and Tokyo Game show in the fall. I hope to see a release in 2016, but I also wonder if that counts as the game’s 10th year anniversary.