At long last, we finally have a release date and another demo for Final Fantasy XV, and now, it’s clear that the game is nearing completion.
The demo allows players to take up the role of a young Noctis, the protagonist of the game proper. Noctis wakes in a dream and is met with the demo exclusive summon Carbuncle who guides you through Noctis’ dreamscape. Along the way, you get little insight into who Noctis is as a character, and his relationship with those important to him, including Carbuncle, and implications about his relationship with his father and immediate family.
The vast majority of the demo involves moving through and exploring fantastical dream locations. There is some combat: three weapon types, a fast sword and a hammer are given to the player. Later in the demo, the player also recieves fireworks (think grenade) and in the final fight of the demo, you recieve a heavy, buster-like sword and a fire spell.
The combat feels solid enough. The players goes through combat largely by holding circle to attack, or square, to defend. To me, it felt like the game was almost playing itself during the easy fights. This concern alleviated itself when fighting the demo’s boss, however. There, the combat feels tight, even if it is a little two deep for a thirty minute demo.
The world of Final Fantasy XV looks gorgeous, though. The environments, especially indoor environments, are impressive to view. The environments are also extremely varied. Players visit a wilderness location, what appears to be a side street in a small town, and the center of a large city. On several occasions, large monsters appear, but offer no threat. These are the pieces that make me look forward to the full release.
One of the main mechanics that baffled me in the short demo, but will likely make sense upon release, is the presence of “plates.” At the beginning of the demo,
players unlock the ability to step on unlocked plates to make something happen in the world. These vary from manipulating time or weather, to outright transforming Noctis. At one point he was a toy truck, and at two others he became a dragon alligator(???) and a Mamoswine(the Pokemon). These transformations offered some fun deviation from the standard formula I was expecting from the demo, and altered combat just enough to be interesting. The lasting factor of these mechanics can’t be known until the game launches, however.
The demo offers a variety of dialogue options upon starting the program up. Players can choose a number of written languages to display in, as well as between English and Japanese for the spoken language segment. I went with spoken English on my first play through, and honestly did not have any problems with goofy dialogue or poor voice acting.
If players want to use the summon Carbuncle (which can be named whatever you like at the end of the demo), they must complete the Platinum demo before undertaking the full game.
Overall, I really appreciated and enjoyed my time with the platinum demo for Final Fantasy XV. I was intrigued and interested through my entire play through, and I can say with certainty that I will be playing it again (and possible again) before Final Fantasy XV drops on September 30. Before the demo, I was reasonably excited for the game’s full launch, being a reserved, yet longtime fan of the series. Now, September can’t come quick enough.
The demo is available for download on the PS4 and Xbox One right now.