FI­NAL FAN­TASY XV

Empire (UK) - - ON.SCREEN - MK

AF­TER A DECADE in de­vel­op­ment, Fi­nal Fan­tasy XV sur­prises sim­ply by be­ing good. Its story — ex­iled prince Noc­tis and bud­dies Gla­di­o­lus, Ig­nis, and Prompto go road­trip­ping to re­claim his lost king­dom — won’t win awards, but its slick real-time com­bat and vast, vis­ually strik­ing open world might. It’s a stark de­par­ture from pre­vi­ous in­stal­ments though, with stats and char­ac­ter man­age­ment buried in sub­menus. Hav­ing four he­roes ini­tially feels re­dun­dant, too, as only Noc­tis is ac­tive, but their combo skills in bat­tles prove a de­light. The changes are ul­ti­mately pos­i­tive, suc­cess­fully break­ing the game out of its genre ghetto. This is a Fi­nal Fan­tasy for the mod­ern au­di­ence, and all the bet­ter for it.

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