We’ve been hearing a lot from Square-Enix as they slowly build to the release of both of their highly anticipated installments to the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy Type-O and Final Fantasy XV. This time we get a peak at some of the footage we witnessed in a recent preview straight from the developers, highlighting some of the general roaming gameplay in what looks to be an open world, all in glorious 1080p HD.
It’s gameplay trailer shows the protagonists traveling down a road, exiting there, car, and hiking up a hill into a forest. On their journey, they encounter a variety of quirky monsters that look true-to-form of the Final Fantasy series, including a remarkably huge brontosaurus-like creature basking in a lake. All of this is shown with a behind-the-back 3rd person perspective similar to that of Grand Theft Auto. Although the camera relishes the chance to look around at the scenery, we don’t actually get to see much of the combat highlighted in other trailers. Some of the yak like creatures attack the party, but the AI of the other members engage them, as we can see their HP rise and fall in the HUD. We do get a few glimpses of the protagonist slicing some weird crawling critters with his teleporting sword, as well as night scenery as the characters wander with lit flashlights, potentially insinuating that we’ll have time passage in this edition of the Final Fantasy series.
If anything, the trailer certainly makes the world of Final Fantasy XV look tremendous, rivaling vistas granted by sandbox RPGs like the Elder Scrolls series. How much of this land is actually traversable remains to be seen, and we can bet that Square-Enix will be very mum on the matter until release is upon us. We also can’t be sure how much of this scenery has been pre-rendered for us, or how much it has been touched up from an alpha/beta state to look appealing. If this is actually the visuals we can expect from the release of the game, fans will be gasping until they are out of breath. The large city with the massive crystals in the distance is a particular favourite of mine, as well as the attention to detail of people walking around the petrol station. And let’s not forget the wild chocobos in the forest.
What goes without saying is that this labour into getting us psyched about the release of Final Fantasy XV is not one that will be taken lightly by Square-Enix. This particular edition to the Final Fantasy franchise, originally titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII, was first announced in May 2006, long before then Senator Barack Obama had even began to ponder his presidential nomination. The game was set to release alongside Final Fantasy XIII, but instead has been endlessly turned over in-house in what developers colloquially call “development hell.” The last stated release date by Square-Enix was “TBA 2014,” and seeing as we’re almost at the end of the year, we can assume that the release has been pushed back yet again. We do know, however, that the release of Final Fantasy Type-O – scheduled for release on March 17, 2015 – will include a demo to Final Fantasy XV.
Whether the release will go off without a hitch, whenever that may be, remains to be seen. But at least for now we can passively enjoy the stunning visuals on display for us.