Final Fantasy XV: Platinum Demo – Impressions
A game with a development history like Final Fantasy XV sure doesn’t seem like the safest bet. I remember being a child when I first saw the dark and somewhat melancholic trailer for, as it was at the time called, Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Fast-forward to the year 2016 and we may finally be able to play this game, albeit be it far less dark and melancholic and more loaded with bromance, but at least the black clothing stayed. As a little teaser Square Enix has kindly granted us a tiny dream chapter to get a feeling for the game and that is what we are looking at today.
The demo is set in the dream of main character Noctis in his younger version who is guided by a cute little furry being. The “plot”, which is more of a set-up and little else, is him being trapped in his nightmare and looking for a way to wake up. What this actually is, is a graphics showcase. There are special plates that change the weather and fast-forward the time to give you a good look at that lovely sunlight engine. It also lets you mess around with the gameplay a bit, but here’s a really drastic problem. While you learn the basics of attacking and changing weapons throughout the young Noctis part, the main gameplay selling point is the fast paced and very aerial fighting style only found right at the end of the demo when you get to play as the older version of the main character and I will get to that later. The problem is that the fighting apart from the final encounter is very stale and packs little to no effort. Enemies are stun-locked with every hit and damage doesn’t even matter. They are mere roadblocks when you are exploring the scenery.
– I am still not quite sure what age Noctis is in the real world… –
The environments are certainly pretty. The ambient lighting and weather effects are quite impressive, it is just sad that everything feels so empty. There is nothing but the occasional monster roaming around. No wildlife or other people, but that will certainly change in the final version (at least I hope so). Walking through a giant room as a miniature Noctis was fun and showed some physics gameplay with an interactable environment. Still, there is little to do here apart from being occupied with killing the same non-threatening enemies again and again. The highlight of the demo, and what it is certainly building up to, is the last fight in front of the citadel.
– Some Through the Looking Glass stuff going on here –
A flash-back gives us a small, but welcome, hint towards the relationship between Noctis and his father. With new resolve Noctis transforms into his older self and we can now experience the gameplay as it was meant to be. With access to two weapons (four if you explore a bit and think outside the box) the player has to take on a massive giant wielding an equally enormous iron cleaver. The gameplay is actually really fun, I have to admit. Dodging is done through holding a button and Noctis dodges automatically, even though some attacks cannot be avoided this way and still requires some thinking on the player’s part. Offensively the player can switch weapons on the fly with the help of the directional keys. All the weapons vary greatly in their style and thus make the combat feel versatile. Combine this with some great aerial versatility, since Noctis can throw his sword into certain parts of the environment and instantly teleport there. As a whole the combat is a lot of fun and only makes me crave for more. There is even an option to fight a stronger version of this enemy over and over before finishing the demo. The only problem is: No saving throughout the entire demo. If you want to just play around with the combat a bit you have to walk through the entire demo again.
– More of this, please! –
The demo certainly did its job, since I now want to play this game more than before. Most of it is just a graphics showcase, but the climax at the end was what really saved it for me. If Square should add a little feature that would let me save at his point to fight the Iron Giant over and over again, I would be completely satisfied with this demo. Still, the combat is fun and that is what truly matters here. I can only recommend downloading this little demo to get a feeling for the game and whether you will buy this game when it finally release on 30th September of this year.
Image sources in order of appearance:
- https://images-eds-ssl.xboxlive.com/image?url=8Oaj9Ryq1G1_p3lLnXlsaZgGzAie6Mnu24_PawYuDYIoH77pJ.X5Z.MqQPibUVTcPP2czlA..yDVWSlTWLQRk7ofH4EUHe27SVqCfA4TpdcALioqSMggbCzrawxt7T9OGetdFuLJJCKnBnkNoMl5dQkWjNnQB5j956KBeAo.6lya0YjOPhqBjI8I7zel606UUmS8B0uCzGXTfxcRr2ho2fklchSo3ZK4eU2EOdY_Xyc-&format=jpg (Last date of access: 05.04.2016)
- https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/cB8zVT1-7l-s_cI8oiBuExmPs0Q=/77×0:921×563/1280×854/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/49201587/screenshot_3.0.0.jpg (Last date of access: 05.04.2016)
- https://criticalteatime.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/74676-platinum2bdemo2b25e2258025932bfinal2bfantasy2bxv_20160331072806.jpg (Last date of access: 05.04.2016)