I don’t think I would be exaggerating if I said that Final Fantasy XV was the most hyped game in the world… Okay, maybe second most behind Half Life 3. After all these years we finally have a demo. Is it what we hoped for?
Much like with Final Fantasy Type-0, I’ve been trying to stay pretty spoiler free on Final Fantasy XV. So going into this demo I was going in pretty fresh. I had a vague idea of changes that had been made from the original vision of the game. I knew about certain elements existing and not existing. So how was it?
The first thing that hit me was the realism of it all. What happened to my Final Fantasy? I mean, I knew it was sort of coming, but I wasn’t expecting to be hit with the realism of it all so fast. It really isn’t my biggest idea of “Final Fantasy” when I see a bunch of guys running around with leather jackets. It just isn’t.
The world actually felt a bit empty in the demo. There were enemies here and there, but most of what you did was walking from waymarker to waymarker. The foliage felt like it got in the way a lot though, as did general terrain. Sometimes I would be fighting and then Noctis would just be standing there because he got interrupted by a 1 cm high ledge.
The camera? The camera is awful. It makes combat way more complicated than it should be. It’s super zoomed in on Noctis (and slightly offset from him), and doesn’t zoom out for battle. So whenever you get an enemy that moves a lot… the camera tends to go all over. Oh and that’s basically every enemy, ESPECIALLY the behemoth boss. Between the camera movement and the fact it was offset and not centered, I had the biggest headache after playing through the demo.
Combat, to me, felt like a big failed attempt at the Kingdom Hearts system. Perhaps it was the holding down square to attack, perhaps it was the lack of being able to do your own dodge rolls and all defensive stuff being on L1, perhaps it was the camera… but it just didn’t feel right to me. It was probably mostly up to the camera. Trying to even move or adjust the camera while locked on would just have you switching targets. Getting knocked into a “stasis” due to 0 MP after using warp attacks to actually be caught up to the enemies was irritating. Having my actions interrupted and losing my MP was irritating. I really hope some stuff in here changes, because as it stands now it really felt, to me, like a failed attempt at the Kingdom Hearts system.
I’m torn on what I think about camping. While it’s a neat concept, I really wish you could actually just do it anywhere. I wish that you could choose what food was being made, though it’s a nice effect. I really wish that experience was applied actively, however, so that as you were going through somewhere you actually felt like you were getting stronger. Right now it’s just like you fight for awhile, go to rest up and heal your wounded health (think Final Fantasy XIII-2), and bam you’re suddenly stronger.
So even now, after all these years and finally being able to play the demo… I’m still torn on Final Fantasy XV. A lot of stuff feels like it needs to be adjusted from how it is in the demo. Right now, I’m just really not impressed by what I saw (and heard). I’m still going to hold out my final judgment on it for when I play the full game… some century.