Final Fantasy XV Preview
Now That Final Fantasy XV, A New Empire is out- it’s about time we had a look at the latest instalment in the franchise. You may remember our review of the previous game, which had a rocky start when it was originally released. Luckily that’s all in the past now, and the new game promises to bring the excitement and adventure which will all love.
This game launches with a movie voiced by Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, and Game Of Thrones’ Lena Headey. And rather than beautiful cinematics that you get with most other intros, this game begins with a tutorial on how to fight. Once the tutorial is out of the way, the game starts with a flash forward to the four heroes of the game fighting a god.
Back to the present, and they have a broken down and are stuck in the middle of nowhere. They proceed to push the car in the direction of a town or city. Final Fantasy XV is about freedom, and the moment you enter the small civilisation called Hammerhead, you are free to move around. It has an almost ‘Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’ feel to it as you are able to pick side quests and learn lots of new skills such as fishing, hunting and even cooking.
Once you’ve been in the town for a while and you’ve managed to complete some tasks, you unlock another area of the map. Honestly, this map is pretty darn impressive in its scale. If you are that way inclined, you could forget about the main story and lose yourself in hours of side quests throughout the land of Lucis.
The main storyline revolves around the car breaking down, which causes Noctis (the protagonist) to find a way to fix it so he can get to his wedding. Throughout the game the car, Regalia, gains wings, a new paintjob and other repairs. You will also get missions to go to certain destinations throughout Lucis to earn prizes. Weirdly, when you fight you don’t reap the rewards right away. Instead the XP racks up and is only applied once you’ve slept.
Of course, as with all games there are flaws. And in Final Fantasy XV you will notice a few things which seem a little strange or amiss. For example the first time you try to fight in combat, you’ll see that there are indeed some very impressive acrobatics, but the general move set you are given isn’t
And then there is the blatant sex symbol added to draw men in: Cindy. She performs that ‘car wash’ movement of leaning very low over the bonnet of Regalia, and is fancied by pretty much every character in the game (especially Prompto). The main issue with having such a sexual female symbol in the game is that it points out that the game is targeted at men. This pushes out the women who also enjoy playing these sorts of games. However, Cindy doesn’t detract from the story, and she doesn’t impact on the gameplay- so it’s just a matter of personal opinion really.
Once these little niggling worries have passed you by, there might be one more element of the game which could be seen as a little annoying. At some point in the game, you will lose your free roaming ability, and instead be thrusted into a series of corridors, similar to previous instalments. It will take away the joy of walking around and completing random missions whenever you feel like it and force you to go through the main storyline.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is kind of like taking candy from a baby. If you’ve been enjoying the freedom of the game, having it ripped away might be pretty irritating.
Overall though, this game is something which has been a decade in the making- and you’ll play the story to finally see how it all ends. Once it’s all over, you might decide to go back and replay some side missions to explore the lands, or maybe you’ll be satisfied leaving it there. This game is a marked improvement over it’s predecessor and if you truly love this series, you can find out more about it at the Final Fantasy 15 website.
And remember, this game isn’t just available on the PS4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows- but it is also available as a free app on the app store for your smartphone or tablet device. Whichever way you decide to play this game, you’ll be able to join the journey of Noctis and his friends and save the world.