Last night I stumbled across the release of the Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo. Apparently, Square Enix, at its “Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV” event, announced and released a new demo for both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, much to my excitement.
It’s no secret that I am a longtime fan of the Final Fantasy series, and that the development delays caused me to go into a downward spiral into oblivion, complete with dark poetry and questionable pleather clothing choices.
The FFXV Platinum Demo was, let’s say, an unusual experience. The gameplay itself doesn’t come from the main game. Rather, it’s a completely different story that introduces various elements that will be in the upcoming release on September 30, 2016.
You play Noctis as a young boy who seems to be in a dream state of sorts. Immediately, he finds himself in contact with this white little fur ball fox creature that apparently can only communicate using smartphones. That’s not a typo and a court of law hasn’t proven that I’ve completely lost my mind either. I have no idea…but it’s Final Fantasy, so I chose to accept and move on.
As you make your way through the demo with your smartphone furry fox guide, you’ll see forests, mountains, be shrunk down in a room, drive a toy car, and run around a large city, all of which look quite striking, especially when you catch a glimpse of a giant Archaean creature in the background. While all that is taking place, you’ll learn basic maneuvers like running and jumping. A Final Fantasy where someone can finally jump over a small ledge. The future is here!
The open world combat is easy to pick up and you’ll quickly find that you can use the directional pad to switch between various weapons, which happen to be a toy hammer that squeaks and a toy sword. I’m not a big fan of the cuteness overload, but it gets the job done in giving you a feel for the combat.
The character movement feels fluid and dodging enemies has a snappy look that adds some extra drama and flare to each enemy encounter. Throwing bombs and using magic seemed adequate enough as well. Personally, I’m pleased to see it get away from that Final Fantasy XIII battle system debacle and put more control back into the hands of the player. I’d liken it to an Action RPG feel.
The end of the Platinum demo is certainly where FFXV is at its strongest, as one can see with the copious amounts of badass-ery that are oozing out of the epic animated GIF above. Definitely redeemed itself from the cuteness and created a sense of me wanting more.
So should we be excited about it? I’d say with the way the combat felt, especially at the end, it’s definitely a direction I don’t mind seeing Square Enix taking the Final Fantasy series. Having more control over the combat, much like Final Fantasy XIV, or even XII, is much more engaging and exciting. Here’s hoping this time around that there is a tremendous sense of scale and that we can explore a little bit more.
I would suggest checking out the full playthrough video below if you want to go a little more in depth.
**PSA: Earlier today I read that completing the demo unlocks Carbuncle in the game, so might want to jump on this.**