Earlier today Square Enix went live with a batch of new screenshots for Final Fantasy XV along with new information on the game’s cycle and battle systems.
If you recall the Titan and Niflheim Army battle from E3 – we were introduced to the Astral Titan, who carries a large rock on his back and lives quietly in the world. The Niflheim Army is out to kill Titan with its mighty military forces. It’s up to Noctis and friends to intervene and convince Titan of their strength in order to gain his cooperation.
Final Fantasy XV’s game cycle involves several components including obtaining quests, doing quests, taking a detour, camping and leveling up, making meals to gain buffs for battle and traveling using a variety of transportation. Questing is fairly straight forward – you go to a specific area pointed out on the map and by carrying out a quest you can advance the main story. During that time, you can also check out sub-quests and monster hunting missions all over the place. It’s completely up to the freedom of the player.
Because the weather and time of day change in Final Fantasy XV in real time, it becomes dangerous at night and a good time for camping. By using the camp, you can check out your gained experience points from the day time and level up. There, Ignis can cook meals with various dishes offering different status buffs depending on the food.
The large world can be traveled through by several means including on foot, car, chocobo, boat and more.
Moving on to the game’s battle system, the Lucis royal family has the ability to use Shift, or warping. You can freely use this ability during battle, although it does consume MP. Simply throw your weapon and instantly Shift to where it lands. The areas you can Shift to are lit up by a special icon, with the action itself mapped to a single button. Using Shift, Noctis can take cover in high places to quickly regain HP and MP – an effective tactic when you’re outnumbered. You can also Shift to an enemy and perform a Shift Break, causing damage.
Battles themselves require the player to use several actions, as Final Fantasy XV is an action-based game. Enemies can be attacked with a single press and hold of a button and battles will quickly unfold as you switch between various weapons in real time. The individual components are as follows:
Press the attack button and hold it down to continue attacking.
Various weapons can be set in the main menu that you can switch in and out while in battle.
D-Pad Weapon Switching
Using the d-pad on the controller, you can instantly switch between different weapons depending on the situation. There are also mysterious weapons that have yet to be revealed.
There are dozens of weapons to be found in Final Fantasy XV – each with their own attributes and abilities. One-handed swords, for example, allow you to continuously attack enemies. It’s the perfect weapon for moving around. Great Swords, however, are extremely heavy. Though their movement is slow, they can take down multiple enemies in a single strike while dealing a large amount of damage. Noctis can also use daggers and spears. The former does less damage than other weapons but allows for quicker movement on the field.
You can also pick up shields and equip them with a one-handed sword. By guarding against an enemy attack, you have the chance the break the enemy’s stance. Magic abilities such as Fire also come in handy as weapons. Trigger a magic attack by throwing magic spheres toward an enemy for its full effect. Noctis can also use a large, two-handed shuriken to attack enemies far away. These Phantom Sword abilities consume MP.
Another aspect of Final Fantasy XV‘s action battle system is the ability to guard and dodge roll. By holding down the guard button, you enter Guard Mode – though it’s still possible to be damaged when defending a powerful attack. By acquiring the Evade ability, Noctis will automatically evade attacks when using Guard Mode by consuming MP. If you happen to evade an enemy attack with the right timing, however, you can avoid the attack without using MP and evoke Just Guard. Attacks can also be avoided using the dodge roll. Just press the guard button quickly and Noctis can dash away to avoid damage.
If you successfully guard against an attack, a button will appear telling you to parry. Should you parry with just the right timing, you can execute a powerful counterattack dealing massive damage. Depending on the situation, you can also perform co-op Link abilities with Noctis’ friends. Link Attacks are triggered when you successfully parry and counter an enemy attack, along with other various conditions. By striking an enemy from behind, you can perform a Back Link Attack to do even more damage to your opponent. Striking an enemy from behind also nets 1.5 times the normal damage.