Final Fantasy XV’s New Demo Is Gorgeous, But Also Skimpy
Square Enix dropped a new demo for its long-in-the-making RPG Final Fantasy XV last night. I’m pretty sure it took me longer to download than it did to play.
The gameplay segments in the Platinum Demo, as it’s called, won’t actually appear in the full game, which is set to be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One September 30. It’s a dream sequence featuring a younger version of the game’s main character Noctis. You run through three small scenes, collecting crystals that are scattered here and there, chasing an adorable magical creature (it’s Carbuncle, a classic Final Fantasy beast).
Platinum Demo seems constructed to give you a look at how pretty the graphics are going to be in Final Fantasy XV. As you collect crystals, you can unlock switches on the ground, which let you alter the time of day and the weather, changing the scenes from sunlight to darkness, or turning the rain on and off. You can encounter some enemies and get into some very basic action-oriented battles that show you the differences between weapon types (swords are fast, hammers are slow and heavy, etc.)
The battles do feel pretty good—this will be the first Final Fantasy with action-based battles rather than turn-based, so it’s important they get this right. But once you’re done gawking at the pretty lights and music, there’s not much more to the demo, and it all wraps up fairly quickly. (Then it asks you if you’d like to jump to your console’s online store and order the full game.)
This is in contrast to the last demo of Final Fantasy XV, which had you running around a fairly big chunk of the game’s world and had a wide variety of quests to try. I think this (as well as last night’s triumphant “Final Fantasy XV Uncovered” event, in general) shows a renewed feeling of confidence on the part of Square Enix as to Final Fantasy XV‘s quality—a sense that it doesn’t need to prove itself to anyone. We’ll see how that all shakes out in six months.
The multimedia blitz for Final Fantasy XV begins now. The runup to September 30 will be filled with Final Fantasy XV spinoffs, Square Enix announced last night. A streaming series of anime shorts, Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV, launched today. A direct-to-video feature-length CGI film starring the voice talents of Game of Thrones‘ Sean Bean and Lena Headey, Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XIII, will arrive prior to the game as well.