Fi­nal Fan­tasy XV

De­vel­oper/pub­lisher Square Enix For­mat PS4, Xbox One Re­lease Septem­ber 30

EDGE - - DISPATCHES PERSPECTIVE -

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.

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