The leaked news of a Final Fantasy XV demo turned out to be true after being officially announced at Tokyo Game Show this morning. Alongside the demo announcement was the news that Tetsuya Nomura has finished his work as director of the game and is now moving his focus to Kingdom Hearts 3. More exciting though was the reveal of a brand new trailer that highlights just how ambitious in scope XV is proving to be.
After the more high octane taster shown at E3 last year, this trailer showed a vastly different angle to the game with a surprising roadtrip aspect that seems to focus on Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolus and Prompto. Some striking imagery was shown including the main boys dodging a colossal monster in their car, visually stunning country vistas as well as sprawling cities, and finally the return of the world map which has been missing since Final Fantasy XIII.
In terms of gameplay it still looks as action packed as ever; Noctis can form combos by using different weapons or even through the use of his own teammates. The trailer also showed that players will be able to traverse the world map through the use of a car, something not seen in the series since Final Fantasy VIII. A wealth of areas were shown such as barren wastelands, countryside fields, goblin infested caves and a sparkling coastline lit by the night sky. It also seems that much of the story will be told during the actual gameplay as opposed to the lengthy cinematic cutscenes that Final Fantasy is known for. This trailer has actually managed to rid me of the only worry I had for the game, which was that it might get repetitive in terms of combat. With so many varied aspects such as driving, fighting, exploring and conversing, it seems like the game will be able to sustain the usual lengthy Final Fantasy experience with some thrilling new ideas.
The story seemed to take a step back from the political nature of the last trailer to focus on the more brotherly bond between the main four men. The fifth member, Cor Leonis, who was shown in the last trailer was, strangely, not shown here but it’s possible that Square Enix wanted to focus just on these characters for now. Stella, Noctis’ love interest, was shown with a new look but there’s still now word on whether she’ll be playable yet. Finally, a new name was mentioned in the form of a female character called Luna who could be the mysterious black haired character teased in the character lineup previously. Apart from that, this trailer belonged to Noctis and his three friends who it seems are fighting their way across the country whilst taking in the magnificent sights and sounds.
This was an amazing trailer that really managed to showcase just how ambitious and different this particular title is going to be compared to the rest of the series. It’s a brand new universe that radically blows the expectations of the series away, but considering how troubled the series has been over the past few years this could be the shot in the arm it needs. The future of the franchise hinges on this game but it definitely seems as if it’s got the chops of proving just how exciting, adventurous and varied Final Fantasy can once again be.