Final Fantasy XV: Most Epic Role Game For 2016
Final Fantasy XV is an epic role-playing game that spans dozens of hours. The kind of game where you travel across a fantastical world in order to save the planet from some kind of ultimate evil. But it also differs from past Final Fantasy games, which were often defined in part by linear stories and strategic, turn-based combat. FFXV has been in some form of production for over a decade, and the end result brings the series into the modern day with a vast open-world and dynamic, fast-paced battles.
The core of Final Fantasy didn't get lost in this transition and towering ambitions and big, new changes, the parts of the game that have stuck with me are those more personal moments between four friends who truly love each other.
FFXV puts you in the role of Noctis, a sullen 20-year-old prince who looks ripped out of a Japanese RPG playbook, complete with the ability to wield both magic and huge swords, and an inability to come to grips with the heavy responsibilities of adulthood.
FFXV reminds us a lot of Final Fantasy VII, a game which marked the series' ascent to true blockbuster status. Like that game, FFXV feels like a collection of contradictions that, despite themselves, gel into a cohesive whole.
FFXV is a vastly different experience to actually play. Whereas traditional JRPGs tend to be linear affairs, from its earliest moments FFXV offers a huge world to explore at your leisure. Though nowhere near as dynamic or dense as games like Grand Theft Auto or Assassin's Creed, the space instills a similar sense of freedom and awe. Here's a huge world where you can go just about anywhere.
For every thrilling adventure, there are multiple tedious fetch quests that simply have you running from one place to another in order to collect and deliver an item. One particularly egregious mission had me staring at the ground for a good 40 minutes searching for five red frogs on a beach, calling to mind the low points of massively multiplayer online games of the early 2000s.
FFXV does away with the concept of random and turn-based battles, the menu-based combat system familiar to anyone who's played previous Final Fantasy games.
The changes are largely refreshing, but come with rough edges and inconsistent rules. While combat is faster and more satisfying, it can also get confusing and messy, especially when you're fighting huge groups of enemies or especially massive bosses.
FFXV surely had made a lot of changes. This changes solves one of the big narrative problems with open world games where in you are in a quest to save the world.
The Final Fantasy XV will be available on November 29 on PlayStation and Xbox One.