We never thought we’d be comparing combat in a game to
Oh irony, you’re almost as sweet as the sounds of turret fire. Grunts riding in Magitek armor exo-suits start attacking, one electrocuting the base’s metal floor. Two can play the elemental game, as the gang penetrate the armor, causing oil to pour out. Cue a flaming explosion worthy of Just Cause.
As well as more advanced magic, core combat has come a long way since Operation Duscae. We’d seen three combo types before; combos automatically triggered during combat, combos that triggered when we successfully parried attacks and combos triggered by our allies. But
now we get a fourth option to prompt allies into combos ourselves. As your allies grow and level up, new combos can be chosen from skill trees, giving you more command choices. It keeps your focus on the whole group of pals rather than just yourself. Metal Gear stealth, Call of Duty turret-shooting and Minecraft levels of inadvertent pyromania – these aren’t the usual influences we expect a JRPG to have. At least XV’s core theme of friendship is recognizably Final Fantasy, with each party member having his use. Prompto can fire flares, which effect light-averse enemies that only come out at night. Ignis marks monsters with warp points, which we can use for aerial takedowns. Gladio has a powerful area attack that can turn the tide of a tough battle. We even saw a Chocobo getting in on the team spirit, giving a Niflheim grunt a good kick. Then after a long day of battling evil, everyone goes down the pub. This eclectic mix of shooting, sneaking, cooking, aerial combat, arson and male bonding is redefining what a Final Fantasy game can be. Tom Stone Aranea Highwind, mysterious antagonist and ‘Captain of the empire’s Third Army Corps 87th Airborne Unit’. Catchy!