What is it?
Final Fantasy XV is an open world action role-playing video game developed and published by Square Enix for XBox and PS4. Astonishingly, it was first announced in 2006 and has taken a decade of development. It is released November 29.
It takes place on the fictional world of Eos. All the world’s countries – except Lucis – are under the dominion of the empire of Niflheim.
Noctis Lucis Caelum, heir to the Lucian throne, goes on a quest, accompanied by three companions Gladiolus, Ignis and Prompto, to retake his homeland and its magical crystal after it is seized by Niflheim.
What they say
Whatever else you say about it, the fact that it’s playable, enjoyable, and relatively coherent is a testament to the developers’ sheer bloody-mindedness in getting the game finished.
But although much has changed in the games industry in the last 10 years, Final Fantasy XV avoids the pitfall of feeling old-fashioned before it’s even released. Instead, its greatest failing is one of gaming’s oldest problems: it has no idea how to tell a compelling story.
Somehow they pulled it off. Don’t ask me how, but Final Fantasy XV is not the sputtering dumpster fire some worried was inbound after years of developmental tumult.
It is, in fact, the opposite, however improbable that sounds. Final Fantasy XV feels like a glorious return to relevance for Square Enix’s venerable mix of rideable birds, hopping cacti and emo fashion victims.
While it’s safe to assume fans and outsiders will find some aspect of Final Fantasy XV disappointing--be it the shallow story or finnicky Astrals--it would be hard for anyone to deny that Final Fantasy XV is a fascinating game after giving it a chance. Where its characters fail to impress, Final Fantasy XV’s beautiful world and exciting challenges save the day.
When I’m riding chocobos across the beach at dusk with my three friends and hunting iconic Final Fantasy monsters in a huge, picturesque open world, Final Fantasy XV feels like nearly everything I could want from a modern Final Fantasy.
But when it funnels me into linear scenarios and drab, constricted spaces that plunge the simplistic combat into chaos, my blood boils a bit.
There is so much good here, so much heart - especially in the relationships between Noctis and his sworn brothers. It just comes with some changes and compromises that were, at times, difficult for this long-time Final Fantasy fan to come to grips with.
This is a Final Fantasy that merges the decade of progress established by its contemporaries with the series’ iconic blend of storytelling, art, and music. And more than any game in the series before it, FFXV feels personal, creating the kinds of connections with fictional characters that few games manage.
I may forget parts of the story, the hows and whys of the grand adventure, but I won’t forget those intimate moments. It’s a journey where the characters grow in more than just stats.