Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata discusses the development team’s approach to Chapter 13 and why he thinks expanding single player through DLC is a growing trend.
Practically since it was released, Final Fantasy 15 has been hit with claims that the title was either unfinished, needed more time for polish, or was the product of multiple different visions. Any who have played the game can see that some things in the game are off, especially in Chapter 13.
But even while Chapter 13 may feel disjointed from the rest of the Final Fantasy 15 experience, the game’s director Hajime Tabata claims it was never tacked on. In fact, Tabata reaffirms that Chapter 13 in Final Fantasy 15 was always meant to feel like a departure from the main game.
While speaking to US Gamer, Tabata reveals that, “The direction of chapter 13’s content was a deliberate decision made from the development team.” At the same time, Tabata admits that the way Chapter 13 handles combat, which we won’t spoil for any who have yet to play Final Fantasy 15, put a little too much stress on the player.
“That said, the amount of stress inflicted on the player while running through this chapter was greater than we had anticipated. We believe resolving this issue will naturally lead to a better gameplay experience.”
It is that stress that Tabata and the rest of the Final Fantasy 15 team hope to relieve with the forthcoming story update for the game, but that’s not the studio’s only goal. The update will also add new cutscenes and story bits to help further flesh some of the events in Final Fantasy 15 and to better explain the motivations of its characters.
One character that felt underdeveloped and undermotivated is Ravus, and Square Enix intends to better explain why the character does what he does in the game. The update should eventually improve that, but it also means that those who finished the game will need to replay Final Fantasy 15 to get that full story, which is troubling. But Tabata believes that releasing single player DLC to flesh out a game’s core story will become a trend, and players will see more titles adopting a similar release model.
“This model has not been fully established yet. The fans who have grown accustomed to playing traditional Final Fantasy games may feel uneasy about this unfamiliar initiative. That said, I personally believe the approach to updating single-player games, as we are doing with this title, will continue on in the future as a new trend.”
Despite claims that specific elements of the game were intentionally designed a certain way, it’s still hard to escape the feeling that Final Fantasy 15 is incomplete and was pulled together at the last minute. Even without Chapter 13 there are many elements in the game that work well on their own, but struggle to fit in with the larger picture. Basically, anything that moves away from the first open world area doesn’t gel with the rest away of the game, both in terms of gameplay and story.
Nevertheless, there are still plenty of positive qualities about Final Fantasy 15 and it apparently get better after these single player updates release. But asking fans to wait for the “finished” product throws up a lot of red flags, and unlike Tabata most hope that this trend of releasing single player DLC to expand the core story does not stick.
Final Fantasy 15 is available now for PS4 and Xbox One.