Final Fantasy XV has been a massive undertaking for years now, but it's finally on the horizon!
The last full-length main Final Fantasy game launched way back in 2009 with Final Fantasy XIII. Final Fantasy XV has been in development for nearly ten years, which has left fans with a lot of questions about the game. That's why we're here.
We've put together this guide full of the things you ought to know before you dive into the meat of the game. We'll cover the battle system, the world of Eos, the characters, and more!
Final Fantasy XV launches on November 29th, 2016 for Xbox One and PS4.
The world of Eos
Final Fantasy XV takes place in the world of Eos. To put it bluntly, this world is absolutely massive. It has been predicted that the main continent roughly scales to 780 square miles and several times the magnitude of the main continent from The Witcher 3. It's also much, much larger than Grand Theft Auto V. This means that Final Fantasy XV may be one of the largest open world games released in recent times.
While there is a main quest, and story to follow, you have much more freedom in Final Fantasy XV than we've ever seen. In the past, the open world didn't crop up until you were hours and hours into the game. That isn't the case here. Since you're on a road trip, you are given the chance to start exploring the world within the first ten minutes.
There are also multiple continents on Eos. Each one has it's own weather patterns, so you can expect to run into storms, snow, sunny days and more.
There are also several different kinds of transportation that are available in Final Fantasy XV. Your main mode of travel is the car that Noctis and his friends all ride around in, The Regalia. The Regalia is a pretty sweet ride, with some hidden features but it's far from the only way you can move around. There is of course always running around on foot, along with the return of a franchise favorite; Chocobos.
The Regalia is one of the stars of the show, though. It's a convertible that can switch between a hard top and no roof depending on the weather. Since the game is based around a road trip, the Regalia is a consistent part of this. You'll spend a good chunk of your time driving along scenic roads, and you will need to stop to camp for the evening, or to refuel your car at gas stations. The Regalia isn't just a car, though, later on in the game, it is actually able to fly.
Final Fantasy XV revolves around Noctis, the Prince of Lucis and his three friends. After years of cold war between Lucis and the Empire Niflheim over the last remaining crystal of power, a peace accord has been reached. As part of the agreement, Noctis is to wed Lady Lunafreya of the imperial province of Tenebrae in the city of Altissia.
Before the treaty can be signed, Noctis along with Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto head for the site of the wedding. Before they get very far, though, news reaches them. The Niflheim Empire used the peace treaty as a guise and invaded Lucis, destroying the capital city of Insomnia.
Reports that King Regis, Luna and Noctis himself have been killed reach the party, along with the fact that the Lucian Crystal has been stolen. Rather than fall to despair, Noctis and his friends start a quest. They'll have to outrun Niflheim, somehow recapture the Lucian Crystal, and reclaim the Throne.
Unlike earlier games that had a fairly large spread of playable characters in your party, there are four in Final Fantasy XV. Noctis, Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus. Each one has their one perks and drawbacks, and each one adds to the story in different ways.
Noctis is the main character, and he is the Prince of Lucis. This is the guy that the whole story revolves around. One of his most exciting abilities is used in battle, Warp Strike. Using this ability Noctis can throw his sword and then teleport to wherever it lands on the field of battle. Warp Strike makes it easy to get out of the way of a nasty hit, or to get closer to the action in question.
Gladiolus Amicitia is Noctis's bodyguard. The eldest son of a noble family that serves the royal family, Gladiolus takes his position pretty seriously. However, his relationship with Noctis is more like a brother than an aloof bodyguard.
Ignis Scientia has been raised alongside Noctis since they were children. His role in life is to act as an advisor to Noctis. He's a somewhat reserved, but highly intelligent young man. A tactical mind, he is the one who cooks for our party when you stop to make camp on your journey.
Prompto Argentum has been Noctis's friend since high school, but he is not from a high-born family. Instead of being bound by duty, he is here because he is loyal to Noctis. He's also the comedic relief our of the group, trying to lift everyone's spirit. While Prompto is the weakest member of the time physically, he can chain attacks with Noctis making him much nastier against enemies.
There is also the Lady Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, the childhood friend, and now fiancee of Noctis. Luna is a captive of the Niflheim Empire but is still the youngest Oracle in history. Her ability to speak to the Gods has given her country of Tenebrae a degree of autonomy they would not otherwise have. She and Noctis have a long, and complicated history, and she is the main heroine in Final Fantasy XV.
One of the core facets of Final Fantasy games has long been it's combat system. In each game, we see a slightly different system that has adapted to the way gaming has evolved over time. The system in Final Fantasy XV is no different, and they have made serious strides. The aim is to deliver a seamless action RPG experience that allows you a degree of customization in how you play.
You receive four slots to equip weapons, magic or shields. However, you only control Noctis in combat. You can still chain combos with other members of the team, and combat is entirely active time. There is no waiting for your turn to attack, and using Warp Strike you can move quickly and efficiently in and through the battle. Hitting L1 and a direction on the D-pad will let you call your friends to you, make strategic strikes easy and effective as well.
It wouldn't be a Final Fantasy game without magic, right? You'll find both summons — known as Astrals — and magic in Final Fantasy XV. Magic is found in the environment around you, and while there are only four basic types, you can customize things to your liking. You'll need to draw the magic, and then transfer it into a flask before use.
When you go to put magic into a flask, you can put two kinds of magic into it. You can also use items to customize your magic further, letting you fine tune it to do as much damage as possible. There is a second magic type beyond the elemental kind, but there aren't many details on it quite yet.
Plenty More to see and do
There is a ton more to see, and then hundreds of things to do within the game. Multiple mini-games, side quests, and places for you to explore when Final Fantasy XV releases on November 29th, 2016. This is just the very surface of things. You can expect plenty more from us about Final Fantasy XV as well. Our review is coming next week, followed by all the content you need for your adventures in Eos.
Final Fantasy XV launches on November 29th, 2016 for Xbox One and PS4.