We never thought we’d be com­par­ing com­bat in a game to

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - PREVIEW -

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

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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!

2016

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