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After the release of the Platinum Demo, things were pretty quiet on the Final Fantasy XV frontier. But since E3 has come and gone, it feels like we’re almost drowning in reveals and announcements. Don’t worry if you haven’t kept up; we’ve got you covered. Here’s what we’ve learnt – and some other stuff that we cheekily discovered – about FFXV. We’ll stick to opinion about the gameplay and the environment because, while the story is a massive part of Final Fantasy, we don’t want to spoil anything before the release of FFXV on September 30th.

Map Size

This is old news now, but we haven’t mentioned it here yet. And while it wasn’t an E3 announcement, it’s pretty important. Some super-die-hard fans have discovered, roughly, the size of FFXV’s open world. And it’s huge. After matching a segment of the mini-map with it’s corresponding point in the game diorama, the crew at DualShockers discovered that FFXV’s map is approximately 10 times larger than those of the Witcher 3 and Grand Theft Auto V. Of course, there are a few unknowns in this equation – if you’re interested the dualshocker article it can be found here – so the exact size might be slightly off. But suffice to say that the map will be massive.

Unto itself, this isn’t necessarily ‘good’ news. A map this size could easily be FFXV’s undoing. See, GTA and the Witcher’s maps were immense in verticality and depth, so much so that people are still discovering things. Exploration played a massive part in these games and these games worked because they were enticing and their worlds were diverse. On one hand, and if all goes well and FFXV’s world has the same level of verticality and density, it has the potential to redefine our idea of the ‘open world’. But on the other hand, if this space isn’t managed well – meaning that it’s full of impassable mountains or stretches of plains – this map could be reduced to nothing more than a travel-time sink. From what we’ve seen, though, the world is incredibly detailed, Altissia looks stunning and the environmental footage was breathtaking. Call me an optimist, but the evidence is suggesting positive things.

ffxv map

The Regalia Type-F Car Can Fly

 As far as I’m aware this is as close to an airship as we’ll get in FFXV. And that’s fine with me. In a recently revealed video, the developers showcased the transforming car, and the changing terrain of the world. The transition between driving and flying is seamless – elegant almost. And the premise of the vehicle fits perfectly into the themes and tone of the universe. Plus, it dismisses a few of the worries surrounding the size of the world. If the car actualy functions as the video suggests, the various cities and locations will be navigable and explore-able.

ffxv flying

Combat Features ‘Wait-Mode’

Developed to make life ‘easier’ –and probably to lessen the apprehension some fans feel about the action-based combat – ‘Wait Mode’ allows players to pause combat and assess the situation before targeting a specific enemy. Essentially, this reintroduces certain elements of the turn-based system: targeting specific enemies and thoughtfully choosing attacks.

The video-reveal displays some nuanced combat and displays depth and mechanics that we didn’t see in the platinum demo. On top of this the E3 stage demo displayed a massive range of motion in combat. The warp strike basically teleports the attacking character across the map: up buildings or onto nearby structures from which you can survey the battle. Obviously combat will play a large part in FFXV, and I, for one, am glad that we get a fresh take on things. But the addition of ‘Wait Mode’ makes this action-based route feel a little bit more like Final Fantasy.

ffxv wait

Summons are Going to be Gigantic

We saw the fight against Titan in the E3 stage demo and it was magnificent: the spell throwing, the pacing and the teamwork-heavy combat. The scary thing is that this exact model of Titan is summonable. Summons in the series have always been spectacles – I remember being totally dumbfounded when I saw anima for the first time in FFX but FFXV has stepped things up again. Ramuh is a jaw-dropping spectacle, and I’m sure that the reveal of Leviathan will follow suit.

It honestly feels like we’ve been waiting forever for FFXV with the various name changes and the almost decade-long delay. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but from what we’ve seen, it’s looking like the wait has been worthwhile.

ffxv summons

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