Some of the Square Enix developers working on Final Fantasy 15 answer a round of fan questions, indicating that the RPG will eschew the ability to alter the game’s difficulty.
The fan question, which was asked on Final Fantasy 15‘s official forums as part of a selection of interesting queries, touched on some aspects of the upcoming sequel that had yet to be covered by the development team. The fan was particularly interested in the game’s difficulty settings, and how those settings would affect things like XP gain, AI behavior, enemy HP and other factors in gameplay. According to Square Enix, however, Final Fantasy 15 will completely forego the traditional difficulty settings found in most RPG offerings. Instead, the developers offered this alternative:
“The equivalent to difficulty level settings in Final Fantasy 15 is a system where you can switch between different battle modes.”
This latest revelation in regards to a constantly changing Final Fantasy 15 battle system is perhaps the most intriguing reveal yet. According to Square, the ability to switch between different battle modes will offer fans the ability to dictate the pace of battle to such an extent that they will be able to play Final Fantasy 15 at a pace and level of intensity that is comfortable for each individual user. The developers elaborated:
“We want to make it so that both players who like action oriented, technical gameplay and also those who want to fight at a slower, more relaxed pace can all enjoy the combat in their own style…we will go into more detail about the system closer to the game’s launch so stay tuned for more information.”
Apparently, Square made this change as a result of fan feedback, with most of the suggestions and concerns stemming from the Episode Duscae demo that was packaged with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. Combat has been an unusually prominent centerpiece of discussion regarding the two major Final Fantasy games in development currently, as Final Fantasy 7 Remake‘s combat has also been in the news, splitting fans into two camps regarding the changes being made to core gameplay features. Of course, the Final Fantasy series hasn’t always had difficulty settings anyways, with newer titles like Final Fantasy 13-2 and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD featuring the function while games as recent as Final Fantasy 12 did not.
What the focus on combat and difficulty in both titles seems to indicate, however, is that fans are ready to move on from the polarizing and often heavily criticized combat systems featured in Final Fantasy 12 and Final Fantasy 13. Final Fantasy 15 appears to be a dramatic and innovative change to the series’ usual take on battling, but gamers won’t really get a feel for just how big a difference these changes will make until Final Fantasy 15 releases in 2016.
In the meantime, fans can take heart in the knowledge that, at least in Hajime Tabata’s view, Final Fantasy 15 is following in the footsteps of some incredibly successful games. Tabata recently made headlines by suggesting that Final Fantasy 15 is inspired by The Last of Us, and that he believes the story and gameplay of Final Fantasy 15 are married in the same sublime way as in Naughty Dog’s post-apocalyptic survival game. If those kinds of comparisons hold true upon the game’s release, Square Enix may finally have the next Final Fantasy smash hit on its hands.
Do you think Final Fantasy 15 should include a difficulty setting to match other recent RPG offerings like The Witcher 3 or Fallout 4? Does the development team’s alternative to difficulty settings sound better or worse? Let us know in the comments below.
Final Fantasy 15 is scheduled for release in 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One.