Tokyo Game Show 2014 is in full swing, beginning today, and with it comes some of the biggest gaming industry headlines. Not the least of those is a brand new trailer for Square Enix’s upcoming Final Fantasy XV. The two-and-a-half minute trailer represents the first footage of the latest Final Fantasy title since its first trailer appeared at E3 2013. The game has been in production since 2006, and is the followup to Final Fantasy XIV, which was much maligned upon its original 2010 release for PC.
Needless to say, fans of the series have been anticipating the latest Final Fantasy title for ages now. When the game lands on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next year (hopefully?), it will have been in development for nearly a decade. Such things have a way of shifting gamer expectations, so when Square Enix finally premiered this new trailer for Final Fantasy XV, it was bound to be one of the biggest headlines of the event.
So far, the reception from around the gaming community indicates that the new trailer doesn't disappoint. Using a conceit that shows the main characters of the game traveling around the gameplay world in a shiny sports car, the trailer shows off plenty of gorgeous graphics—for which the Final Fantasy franchise is, of course, known—as well a sizable dose of action-focused gameplay.
A year and a half ago, when we saw the first Final Fantasy XV trailer at E3, the game looked like the most action-packed version of Final Fantasy we’d ever seen. That feeling persists with this trailer, which is quite heavy on in-game footage of the characters and their sword-slashing, dinosaur-dueling exploits. The series’ reliance on action has naturally grown with the past few installments and the move away from retro turn-based combat.
The new trailer isn’t the only news we’ve gotten out of the Final Fantasy XV camp so far at the Tokyo Game Show. Square Enix reveals that playable demo of the game should be on the way next March. A voucher to access the demo will be included when players purchase Final Fantasy Type-0 for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4.
Square Enix also announced that XV’s original director, Tetsuya Nomura, will be leaving the project. Nomura, who dreamed up the characters and concept of Final Fantasy XV, and who has been helming the game since the project’s infant stages in 2006, will be replaced by Hajime Tabata. Tabata has been a co-director on the project since last year, and led development on Type-0, as well.
It’s unclear whether or not Nomura’s departure from what has so clearly been his passion project was a choice made by the man himself, or by Square Enix's top brass. The long development pipeline for Final Fantasy XV could have something to do with the split, especially given the fact that we still don’t have any sense of when this game will actually be making its way to store shelves.
Still, the massive open world portrayed in this latest trailer for Final Fantasy XV, what with its burning astral shards, gigantic dinosaurs, and scenic vistas, is nothing short of impressive. Just getting a sneak peak inside that world will likely get most players pumped to follow the remainder of the development project—regardless of who is in charge.
The release date for Final Fantasy XV is still TBA, but the game is being developed for PS4 and Xbox One.