For the longest time, it felt like Square Enix was simply drip feeding information about the next installment in their flagship series in Final Fantasy XV, but it really does feel like development has turned a corner and the company is finally willing to provide more and more details even if we are looking at a game that is still likely a couple years off from a proper release.
Last night, during their latest Active Time Report session, director Hajime Tabata took the time to discuss the latest progress with the title as well as answer a few questions from the audience, the answers to which will delight many of its fans.
Earlier that night they premiered a new trailer for Final Fantasy XV that showcased some fascinating new developments both in terms of story and gameplay. The trailer showcased the capital city of Insomnia in the Kingdom of Lucis, and had Noctis and the rest taking to the streets and seeing what is clearly an unfinished asset but still interesting to look at.
Tabata promised that there will be bigger towns to visit as well. One of the key moments was when the summon Titan appeared. He explained that summons will definitely play an integral part in the plot of the game and players will be able to call upon them themselves at some point.
Exploration without boundaries looks to be a priority here as the director also touted that the entire world found inside FFXV will be completely seamless, allowing adventurers to travel from in and out of town without a loading screen to slow them down attempting to capture that open world feel that has been so successful lately.
Towns visited in the world will be traditional in that you can shop at different stores, sleep at the inn, talk to the different people living there, and more. Traveling can either be done with the car that has been shown off plenty, or even by train which players can get up and move around in and meet the different passengers (shades of Final Fantasy VIII right there).
One of the key gameplay elements that were brought up during last time's ATR was the inclusion of stamina. If party members don't get the required sleep by camping while they are out traveling, they start to lack the ability to use certain buffs and eventually stunt their leveling progress also as a result. A full 60 minutes represents a single day in the day/night cycle, so it is important for players to keep track of the status of their group as some have different sleeping habits and energy levels as the others.
One of the important characters in the game will be Cidney, theoretically the rumored female version of Cid who is a mechanic that will help the party during their travels. It appears that she will not play a big role in the story but instead help out in the gameplay department.
Cor Leonis also made a return, though according to the director he may only play as a guest role that may leave suddenly, but there will be other characters that Noctis will be able to recruit over the course of the game.
Finally, during the Q&A session, Tabata announced that the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae demo will feature Dual Audio, giving players the chance to listen to either Japanese or English voice acting. He did mention that they are working on that as an option for the full retail release but could prove difficult due to the sheer size of the game.
While he did mention that Episode Duscae will still be exclusive to the first run of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD (so you may want to preorder today), he is trying to hash out a way to give out the Tokyo Game Show tech demo for free for those that miss out, which he wants to pad with more content later on after Episode Duscae is released.
Thank you to Nova Crystallis for the information.