Jesse Woo
The Final Fantasy XV Hype Rocket Just Hit the Stratosphere
With this much media do you even need to play the game?
02.28.15 - 4:09 PM

With the amount of new media Square Enix is putting out on Final Fantasy XV and its upcoming demo Episode Duscae the term "hype-train" is no longer accurate to describe the effort. It should really be called a hype rocket, and it just hit the stratosphere. In the latest Active Time Report streamcast from London, director Hajime Tabata showcased a gameplay walkthrough and several trailers. Tabata also elaborated a great deal more on the details of Episode Duscae and Final Fantasy XV.

The demo is naturally a pared down experience from the full game, but it has also been carefully curated to help players explore the world and systems. For instance, the area in the demo takes place in the Duscae region, but it's only part of the region that will be in the full game. Moreover, the full game map will be about 10 times larger than full Duscae region.

Players will only have access to one of each type of weapon, and the weapons themselves will not have access to all of their abilities. This limitation is meant to force players to experiment with different weapon types. Tabata did, however, welcome suggestions on weapon customizations for the full game. Also absent from the demo are armor and accessories, though they will be in the full game. However, the demo will include several Phantom Weapons, special weapons that consume MP when activated. The demo's level cap will be 99, but no word yet about a level cap in the full game.

We already know that transportation will play an important role in the gameplay and story, but this time Tabata spoke about the variety of methods available. The car will be limited to the road, but off-road exploration can happen on foot, on Chocobo (although you can't ride them in the demo), and more. Trains will show up as well.

There will not be any towns in the demo, but you will be encounter NPCs in the field. Tabata suggested looking for a particular couple for a bit of humor. There will also be smaller facilities throughout the region, such as the gas station where Noctis must leave his car for repairs. Players will also encounter Chocobos in the field, but as mentioned will not be able to ride them in the demo.

Tabata addressed concerns that combat would be made too easy by spamming the evade button, saying that strategy was not feasible because attacks can come from multiple directions at once and in any case it would drain MP. He hinted at an item that will allow for "technical evasions" that do not consume MP but must be timed more precisely.

Tabata also mentioned that he had taken to heart concerns over hit-lag (the slowdown effect when a weapon strikes an enemy) being too long, and sped up attack animations to make combat more punchy. Button map customization will not be available in the demo, but Square Enix has welcomed feedback on how to handle it in the full game. In fact, Final Fantasy XV seems to have had the most transparent and responsive development process to date. The demo is not complete, and the full game is only 60% done. However the amount of media and feedback during the development stage seems unprecedented for a Final Fantasy game.

If all that information isn't enough to satisfy your curiosity, we have videos with gameplay footage and trailers below. Check out our recently updated gallery too, where you can see more screens from the demo.

Gameplay Walkthrough

Dungeon Trailer

Wildlife Trailer

Full Streamcast

Type-0 HD footage at 1:04:16.
Final Fantasy XV starts at 1:37:18.

Final Fantasy XV is in development for the PS4 and XB1. No release date has been announced, though Hajime Tabata has said that "the end is in sight" now that the game has reached a big milestone. The demo Episode Duscae will be available on March 17 in North America and Europe for those who pre-orded Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.


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