Square Enix's livestream event at this week's EGX in London shows off the first 40 minutes of Final Fantasy 15, revealing some finer details about combat and exploration.
If Final Fantasy 15 is truly representative of the future for the JRPG genre worldwide, then the future is one rife with innovation and experimentation. While Final Fantasy 15's development has been exciting to watch, it has also been a bizarre amalgam of both inspiring and anxious moments. Fans of the franchise were gutted earlier this summer when it was announced that Final Fantasy 15 would be delayed, but recent iterations of the game after that announcement have looked significantly more polished, a trade-off that likely benefits gamers in the long run despite toying with their emotions in the meantime.
Square Enix held another livestream event this week at EGX in London, and the developer once again showcased a build of Final Fantasy 15 that looked remarkably more finished than versions that were exhibited just one short month ago. Building on the momentum generated by the Final Fantasy 15 Tokyo Game Show 2016 trailer, Square Enix played the first 40 minutes of Final Fantasy 15 live, and DualShockers captured the footage in the videos below.
While there were no large revelations to be gleaned from the new footage, there was instead a demonstration of the game's finer points, especially its different character progression systems. Early in the first video, fans get a look at the skill trees for each party member, and the Square Enix representative on stage describes each character's loosely defined role in the party. Noctis' skills, for instance, revolve around his Warp abilities, while Ignis can buff and de-buff allies and enemies with Marks.
The footage also demonstrates Final Fantasy 15's open world gameplay, following Noctis and his crew as they pursue monster hunting contracts at a café they stop in while on the road. Square Enix's livestream showcased some of Final Fantasy 15's dialogue system as well, indicating that fans will be able to, at least at times, turn down contracts or offer to do them for free rather than simply accepting them just by talking to a NPC.
Finally, fans were also treated to more information about the way magic works in the world of Final Fantasy 15, and it's definitely an exciting innovation - players will now be able to craft spells using various reagents they find throughout the world, and the livestream seemed to indicate that there would be a great deal of variation in both the crafting process and the effects of the spells themselves.
Final Fantasy 15 releases in a few months - with a special edition PS4 Slim arriving alongside it - and with each passing week it appears Square Enix is closer to its development goals. While the initial September release date might have been unrealistic, the grand ideas behind Final Fantasy 15 just might not be. If the game lives up to the hype - and there's a genuine chance it will now, rather than the pipe dream it seemed to be a few months ago - it will be two extra months very well spent by Square.
Final Fantasy 15 will release on November 29, 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One.