Digital Foundry takes a look at the process of how Final Fantasy Versus 13 eventually evolved into Final Fantasy 15 over a ten year period.
Final Fantasy 15 doesn't just feature plenty of long and winding roads - it went down some of them during a long and ardous development process. The game was originally announced all the way back in 2006, back when what would eventually become Final Fantasy 15 made its debut under the moniker of Final Fantasy Versus 13. As the change in title implies, the development process for Final Fantasy 15 was a little unusual.
The game would not only change names over its ten year development process, but would also transfer to an entirely different game engine, new gaming platforms, and even switch over to a brand new development team. While some games don't fare well after so many significant changes (like Duke Nukem, for instance), it's clear that the final product was, in this case, a well-recieved success.
Fans of the series can explore the history of Final Fantasy 15's development below, courtesy of Digital Foundry:
As the video above shows, almost everything players can see from both the Final Fantasy Versus 13 CGI videos and later gameplay demos ended up being thrown out by the developers. The only thing that really persisted from the early years of development were the characters and environments themselves, suggesting that while Square Enix was happy with the overall plot, the same couldn't be said for how the game itself had been evolving its early years.
That being said, even after the game was reinvented as Final Fantasy 15, gamers can still see plenty of screenshots and videos from just a few years ago which feature content and situations which never made the final cut. Despite many items being dropped in production, the final game still boasts an impressive runtime of 50 hours and up.
It also looks like the studio waited until the general backbone of the game was in place before polishing off the technical side of things, as 2015's Episode Duscae represented a fairly complete look at how the final product turned out - barring some large technical differences. The lighting system was completely revamped, removing the artistic haze that was present in the demo. The studio also did a good job improving the performance of the final title, as Final Fantasy 15 breezes through areas where Episode Duscae would hang up, slow down, or suffer from frame rate drops.
It's clear that Final Fantasy 15 went through some dramatic changes during its long development, and while the finished product isn't without issues, the overall reception of the title has been very positive. Gamers preparing to join Prince Noctis can take a look at our guides on combat tips and how to identify enemy weaknesses to make things a little easier on them when they ply their trade within the game.
Final Fantasy 15 is available now on Xbox One and PS4.
Source: Digital Foundry