Jesse Woo
New Screenshots Complete the Picture of FFXV's Open World Exploration
Final Fantasy: The Elder Scrolls?
07.01.16 - 9:57 PM

As Final Fantasy: XV debuts as the first modern, open world Final Fantasy, fans are eager to see how Hajime Tabata is revamping the storied series. Now they can bear witness themselves with new screenshots and explanations of the open world game flow.

The overall gameplay loop should be familiar to fans of Western open world RPGs; Noctis travels on the map to a quest giver, accepts the quest, and completes it to advance the story. Along the way, Noctis will meet fantastical beings called Astrals who will him their power, provided he proves his strength. The Titan is one such Astral, though the party's encounter with him is complicated by the presence of the Niflheim army.

final fantasy xv titan

Players will have a number of options to move around the map, including foot, chocobo, and boat, but the main mode of transportation is Noctis' car. As players move around, day-night cycles and weather will occur in real time. Once the sun goes down, the party can set up camp to level-up, bond, and cook and consume meals. Meals grant different bonuses based on their ingredients.

final fantasy xv camping final fantasy xv cooking

Combat also occurs in real time and centers around Noctis' "shift" magic, his ability to summon weapons and warp. Shift lets Noctis throw his weapon and warp to its location, allowing for quick movement and attacks but at the cost of MP. Pressing and holding the attack button will cause Noctis to auto-attack; it is then up to the player to shift between weapons as necessary using the pre-mapped d-pad.

final fantasy xv combat

Noctis is quite versatile; available weapons include swords, spears, daggers, shields, and even a large shuriken. Magic functions similarly to physical weapons in that it must be mapped to the d-pad to use. Casting a spell involves throwing a magical sphere that will trigger the effect where ever it lands. Being an action-oriented RPG, guarding and dodging are naturally vital in Final Fantasy XV. Holding the guard button causes Noctis to enter a defensive stance that reduces incoming damaging. Once he acquires the Evade skill he will automatically dodge while in guard mode, though again as the cost of MP. But proper timing will execute a "Just Guard," which dodges with no cost. Noctis can also evade attacks by rolling or counter attack after a well-timed guard.

final fantasy xv evade final fantasy xv dodge

Parrying into a counter attack is also one of the ways to trigger a cooperative link attack with another party member. Though there are multiple ways to trigger a link attack, they all allow party members to perform powerful attacks with Noctis. Triggering one from behind an enemy will be even more effective with a 1.5 damage multiplier.

final fantasy xv link attack

Final Fantasy: XV clearly has a lot going on, particularly with the combat. Though our impressions from the E3 floor were less than favorable, it will be interesting to see the game in context, in its full glory. That day will come world wide on Sept. 30, on PS4, and Xbox One.