Final Fantasy XV
Developer/publisher Square Enix Format PS4, Xbox One Release September 30
It must’ve seemed like a good idea at the time. The live playthrough of a Final Fantasy XV boss battle was one of the low points of Microsoft’s conference as the unfortunate fellow with the controller in his hand consistently failed to parry the gigantic enemy’s attacks, meaning protagonist Noctis spent a lot of his stage time flat on his arse. Perhaps it was input delay, or a patchy connection – no matter. With this and the cringeworthy announcement of a VR sideshow at Sony’s stage, Final Fantasy XV didn’t have the best of E3s. Until we got to play it, anyway. FFXV has come a long way since the
Episode Duscae demo – it looks and runs better now, its UI has been cleaned up, and a new Dragon Age- like ability to pause time and issue battle instructions to party members means combat is a good deal less messy.
It seems that Square Enix is struggling to work out how best to promote a game that takes so many departures from the Final Fantasy template. An RPG is always a tough sell in the context of a three-minute stage demo, but even away from E3, the publisher has laboured in its messaging of this vast, multi-faceted game. There have been two playable demos, countless live streams and, here, a boss battle we’re told may not even feature in the final game. Release is only a few months away; despite its publisher’s travails, FFXV still intrigues.