Final Fantasy Versus XIII Gets Name Change, Announcement Trailer
Final Fantasy XV got its first reveal during the Sony press conference on Monday. Previously titled Final Fantasy Versus XIII, the game was first announced in 2006, alongside Final Fantasy XIII. Though it’s disappeared from the public eye, with little information given about its status over the last few years, this announcement was the first anyone’s heard from the game in a very long while, and confirms the progression of the series past the MMO XIV.
The first trailer revealed Monday by developer Square Enix shows a combination of in-game cutscenes and gameplay footage, detailing the world and life of the protagonist Noctus. Noctus is crown prince of a mafia family that runs the kingdom in which the game takes place and is in charge of protecting a crystal, which an invading force – seen throughout the course of the trailer – is trying to claim. (The game is a part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, but has a unique world, and currently has no connection to any of the other games.) The setting and atmosphere are distinctly darker than in past entries for the franchise, and show a great deal of European influence, with a central city that looks almost gothic in its appearance.
The combat is real-time, and all footage shown from the trailer, and subsequent gameplay footage released later during E3, indicates a single-player experience, with no indication given as to whether or not companions on the battlefield will be controlled by the player or AI. Noctus is seen diving, jumping, and hiding in ways that at times feels almost like a third-person shooter. But later, he is shown roving the combat field, with the series trademark large swords, and doling out damage that puts of a mind both the ATB combat from Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 (in the heavy damage done to large foes), and the promised, action-based combat for the upcoming Lightning Returns. Noctus is also demonstrated to have some degree of magic at his command, though its utilization and control are still somewhat unclear, and in the gameplay footage, he’s able to leap between ledges, and even dig his sword into the side of a building to take down foes.
As this is a game that has been in development for a very long time, it’s announcement, both for a confirmation of its release, and the name change (a surprise at the end of the trailer), is a welcome one, for any fans of the series. Though it does look to be adopting a great deal more western elements, as well as moving further away from its turn-based combat and RPG roots, the series has reliably produced detailed worlds, and engaging characters and stories. It will be gratifying to finally see what the end product is for a game that many worried might never see a release.
Final Fantasy XV has been confirmed for release on the PS4, and though the first trailer was shown at the Sony conference, it’s likely to be cross-platform onto the Xbox One as well. No announcement date has been given as of yet. The initial trailer, as well as further gameplay footage, can be viewed here and here.