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Final Fantasy XV isn’t a traditional open-world

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FInal Fantasy XV isn't traditional open-world

Final Fantasy XV is hogging the spotlight lately. Hot off its release date reveal last month, Game Informer is running a month of coverage for the JRPG, revealing all manners of details around the story, gameplay and characters that has previously been kept very secret. The first act, for example, is an experience that will probably feel familiar to players, but one that sets the stage for the more serious tone of the main narrative. A narrative that will shuffle you from one area to the next.

It’s been easy to assume from footage that Final Fantasy XV will be a large, open-world RPG that offers players freedom to come and go as they please. That’s true for certain areas, but game director Hajime Tabata cautions the idea of thinking of Final Fantasy XV as a traditional open-world title. Where those focus on creating a large world and then populating it with things to do, Final Fantasy XV never lets you forget where you’re currently headed.

“We always wanted to ensure that the story and the freedom are present. So the technology is built on an open-world, but the way we approach this freedom aspect is not to have the freedom come first and then us implement the quests that would support the freedom. Rather we have the story first and then create as much freedom we can give in the player in that story. In the points that connect these stories, we feel that you will be able to experience more freedom than you ever have in Final Fantasy in this world.”

Tabata also details how the idea of a budding road trip with friends is quickly turned into a more serious quest after Chapter 1, as Noct and his party learn of an impending danger threatening their home city. The light heartedness of the first Chapter should act is a pleasant and natural introduction to the party before they embark on their true mission, with the game never forgetting the little details that make the road trip setting so fun.

There’s a lot of thought going into the way Final Fantasy XV’s narrative is structured, and it seems that Tabata and his team are doing their best to ensure that players get lost in a world that also provide a fair amount of direction. It’s a fine balance that some RPGs sometime miss with an avalanche of content over true guidance, and it could end up making this latest entry into the series that much more compelling. It;s out September 30th.

Last Updated: April 7, 2016

63 Comments

  1. So it’s a “wide linear” game?

    Reply

    • Umar

      April 7, 2016 at 09:50

      LOL Dat Uncharted buzz word

      Reply

    • CypherGate

      April 7, 2016 at 10:18

      Yup that will eventually be a new genre of game.

      Reply

      • Captain JJ the Isolatid

        April 7, 2016 at 10:33

        The concept and use of “wide linear” has been around for very very long, they’ve just given it a name now.

        Reply

        • CypherGate

          April 7, 2016 at 10:35

          True, but soon when shopping for a game or looking for a review on a specific game we will have to look under Wide Linear ^_^

          Reply

          • Captain JJ the Isolatid

            April 7, 2016 at 10:37

            That’s okay with me. Bring on the game type definitions! When I feel like playing something I usually know what kind of game I feel like, so more definitions means it’ll be easier for me to find 😀

    • Strawman Jim

      April 7, 2016 at 14:09

      a linear wide game…. a widened linear game… a funnelled experience… I’ll stop now!

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        April 7, 2016 at 14:32

        HAHAHA

        Reply

  2. RinceThis

    April 7, 2016 at 09:50

    Let’s hope it isn’t like this… http://i.imgur.com/hljt3RR.gif

    Reply

    • Pariah

      April 7, 2016 at 09:59

      You know what I hate? The controller isn’t on, and the bird isn’t even touching a button. I mean, the reference is spot on, and it IS funny AF. But I can’t skip over these minor details, ever.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        April 7, 2016 at 10:03

        Of course it’s fake, no one plays JRPGs on XBOX

        Reply

        • Pariah

          April 7, 2016 at 10:05

          LOL!!!

          Reply

  3. Umar

    April 7, 2016 at 09:55

    I’ve got so much respect for Tabata. he knows the Final Fantasy brand is not what it used to be…AT ALL, and he’s trying his best to bring back that magic we felt back in the PS1 and PS2 days. I really hope it all works out.

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      April 7, 2016 at 09:57

      Oh man so do I! I’ve been burnt so badly I can’t get my hopes up though.

      Reply

      • Umar

        April 7, 2016 at 10:01

        I feel you. Will see, I don’t think fans are gonna give this series another go if this fails 🙁

        Reply

    • Tarisma

      April 7, 2016 at 09:57

      Playing the beta showed me the combat is shit. I think I’ll give this one a skip…

      Reply

      • RinceThis

        April 7, 2016 at 09:58

        I thought the same thing However, that was more a tech demo so I expect a lot will change. (he begs the gods that this is true!)

        Reply

      • Umar

        April 7, 2016 at 10:01

        Dunno, combat is great for me. A lot of nuances to it. I’m shit at it though, this guy plays it so well

        Reply

        • RinceThis

          April 7, 2016 at 10:03

          I didn’t have these options in the Demo…

          Reply

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:05

            Lol I don’t blame you dude, I reaaaaally understand why people were frustrated. The demo didn’t explain ANY of this at all, which is Square’s fault. Really, this combat system is really deep once you get the hang of it.

          • RinceThis

            April 7, 2016 at 10:06

            Indeed. That is a bit of a fuck up on their side of things. I just button mashed, killed the end boss quicker than this dude, though in far less a spectacular fashion.

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:08

            Yeah, it’s not so easy to mash once you fight that boss on a higher level, then you need to dodge and warp to fight efficiently. I do agree, Square kind of fucked up a bit with this demo, it gives a bad impression of what is actually a good combat system

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:09

            I was almost expecting to hold X to Jason

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:11

            Lol Nope, when you fight him again at Level 15, then it’s fun coz you have to use all the tools available to you.It’s not Dark Souls level hard though lol

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:14

            It’s not hard, but everything is so secretive

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:15

            Naa, the demo just didn’t explain ANYTHING lol

          • Strawman Jim

            April 7, 2016 at 14:11

            HOLD X to PAY RESPECTS!

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:07

            He’s doing all sorts of moves and there I sat just holding O to fight
            O____O

          • RinceThis

            April 7, 2016 at 10:07

            You and me both!

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:09

            Lol yeah, like I told rince, when you fight him again on a higher level, you have to dodge and warp. Then you can see how the combat comes together.

          • RinceThis

            April 7, 2016 at 10:13

            But how do you get to a higher level?

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:15

            There’s a plate right at the back of the level that restarts the fight. Then he’s level 15. You can fight him as much times as you want.

          • RinceThis

            April 7, 2016 at 10:16

            Why don’t they bloody well guide people through that? I am not going to spend hours searching for stuff in a DEMO which is supposed to make me WANT to play the fucking game. Man that frustrates me.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:17

            Apparently that’s what Youtube is for

          • RinceThis

            April 7, 2016 at 10:19

            SO, we must investigate a DEMO of a game that people are worried about sucking because of the last few? Who came up with this marketing?

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:20

            Square, the same people who thinks cutting Hitman in pieces is a good idea as well as that Deus Ex preorder disaster they conjured up

          • RinceThis

            April 7, 2016 at 10:20

            Really not ingratiating fans here are they.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:22

            Guess we’ll see come September

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:19

            I hear ya. As much as I fanboy sometimes, that is pretty damn stupid. You’re not alone in feel that way, and it frustates me too that so many people feel this way as well. A simple tutorial or prompt would’ve gone a long way

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:05

            I did the warp strike but I didn’t have ninja stars

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:07

            The Shuriken is on top of the building. You can warp there. you get the shield as well.

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:08

            What is this? Dark Souls? What’s with all the hidden stuff? Also what use is the golden gems you collect? Is it a Sonic the Hedgehog tribute?

          • RinceThis

            April 7, 2016 at 10:09

            HAHAHAHA! YOU DIED!

          • Umar

            April 7, 2016 at 10:09

            lol naa, they’re used to unlock those round plates during the demo.

  4. Kikmi

    April 7, 2016 at 10:13

    This sounds like FF13 all over again.

    Reply

    • RinceThis

      April 7, 2016 at 10:15

      Le sigh. I fear that too…

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

        April 7, 2016 at 10:16

        • Umar

          April 7, 2016 at 10:17

          LOL

          Reply

        • Pariah

          April 7, 2016 at 10:18

          XD

          Reply

        • RinceThis

          April 7, 2016 at 10:22

          What they don’t show is me dragging her outside and hitting her with a big pole with an X at the end.

          Reply

          • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

            April 7, 2016 at 10:22

            LOL!

          • RinceThis

            April 7, 2016 at 10:23

            Now when I say ‘pole’… 0_O

          • Captain JJ the Isolatid

            April 7, 2016 at 10:35

            It’s not murder if they can’t find the body?

        • Strawman Jim

          April 7, 2016 at 14:12

          That poor girl

          Reply

  5. DiegoZicoB

    April 7, 2016 at 10:43

    The fact that he has to even respond to these assumptions about the game. The fans harped on about taking the series back to its roots, well it’s roots are a fairly linear experience. Yes you have a world map that you can run/fly around for hours, the odd sidequest here & there & a few minigames but overall FF has always been about telling a story and everything else 2nd. Which it seems they are trying to do for XV.

    If you go back into it’s history the idea of FF was to create a game which was as engrossing as a movie i.e. having a strong narrative, none of this open world shit where you forget what your actual purpose is. That is a western RPG thing and can stay there. JRPGs are not open world experiences by nature. I feel like people are throwing unnecessary hate at this game at this point because of ONE entry in the series (I know FF13 was split into 3 games but that world and ever-changing gameplay experience is essentially 1 entry in the series to me).

    Reply

    • Umar

      April 7, 2016 at 10:59

      This game is getting so much unnecessary hate, it’s crazy. Things are looking so good for XV and I’m just sitting here wondering why people are bringing up FF XIII :/

      Reply

      • Captain JJ the Isolatid

        April 7, 2016 at 11:02

        I’m truly excited for this myself. These people that believe they’re FF “purists” are dilusional. FF needs a change and I think this change could really be for the good. Like @DiegoZicoB:disqus says, FF has always been about telling a story first.

        Reply

        • Umar

          April 7, 2016 at 11:05

          Indeed, This is a complete reinvention for the series, and it might flop, it might not, we won’t know until it’s out, but so far things are looking really good.

          Reply

      • DiegoZicoB

        April 7, 2016 at 11:07

        One mediocre entry into the series (it’s really not as terrible as people make it out to be) and all other 13 main entries are forgotten as the amazing experiences and pillar of JRPGs that they are.

        But that’s how we are as a society nowadays I guess. Something doesn’t grab your attention immediately and it’s automatically shit and everything to do with it has to be shit as well.

        Reply

        • Captain JJ the Isolatid

          April 7, 2016 at 11:08

          That’s very true.

          Reply

        • Umar

          April 7, 2016 at 11:12

          I think it’s because XIII took up the entire generation. With PS2 we got 3 great FF games and PS1, well, we know how golden PS1 was. That said, I agree, it firstly wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be (I really enjoyed it) and it was just one entry into the franchise. It’s in the past, we should look towards what’s in front of us, and what’s in front, is looking pretty damn good.

          Reply

          • DiegoZicoB

            April 7, 2016 at 11:21

            Yea I agree. And because it was on a new console expectations were high as to what a FF game on PS3 would play and look like. Add to the fact that they extended that world that no one really cared for to begin with and it just frustrated everyone.

            Another factor is that nowadays the wait between main FF games is so long. If a Tales game is bad, another one is on the way in a year or 2. So a bad Tales game be forgotten and forgiven very quickly. With FF, the fans have years to sit with the experience of a good/bad game.

      • Strawman Jim

        April 7, 2016 at 14:13

        I enjoyed the demo, I thought what they showcased was pretty neat.

        Reply

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