This year’s Tokyo Game Show continues to prove that maybe Square Enix really is going to finally release Final Fantasy XV sometime in our lifetime. Days after announcing a change of director for the often-delayed game from Tetsuya Nomura to Hajime Tabata as well as releasing a new Final Fantasy 15 trailer at TGS 2014, Square Enix has also released an 8-minute gameplay video of the title from the trade show along with the first details on an upcoming demo for the game.
The video shows off some impressive lighting and other special effects before giving us our first extended glimpse at the game’s battle system. Unlike other main titles in the Final Fantasy series, Final Fantasy XV‘s combat is more akin to a third-person action game as opposed to turn-based battles. Long time followers of the title know this is because Final Fantasy XV was originally supposed to be a spin-off of Final Fantasy 13, being announced in May 2006 as Final Fantasy 13 Versus. But Square Enix repeatedly delayed the title and it was once thought to have become vaporware. The game re-emerged from development hell after getting rebranded as Final Fantasy XV at E3 2013.
If that battle against a behemoth has you thinking of the combat in Kingdom Hearts, you’re not alone. Tetsuya Nomura may no longer be the director but it’s clear that his framework draws inspiration from his other key Square Enix franchise. (Rumors have it, by the way, that the reason Nomura stepped down as Final Fantasy XV director is so that he can finally give his full attention to Kingdom Hearts 3. Be still, my heart.)
Fans will be able to get a taste of the gameplay for themselves when Square Enix releases its “Episode Duscae” demo next spring. The demo will be packaged with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Hajime Tabata, the game’s new director, told the crowd at TGS that players will have the option to drive the car seen in the just released trailer or they can have another party member drive in auto-pilot mode. Players are encouraged to get out of the car and explore the world around them and doing so will lengthen the demo to between three and four hours. Tabata also stated that Chocobos might also be added to the demo.
The demo will be of even higher graphical quality than the gameplay video seen here. Square Enix had been developing Final Fantasy XV using PC hardware but now with the release of the next-gen consoles can begin optimizing the game.
We’re still a little disappointed there isn’t a concrete release date for Final Fantasy XV, but the information presented at TGS is at least encouraging. Getting a meaty 4+ hour demo to sink our teeth into next year should help sate our thirst for more Final Fantasy XV until Square Enix releases the real deal.
Final Fantasy XV is in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.