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Final Fantasy XV

is an action role-playing video game being developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The fifteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy... read more

Status: Released
Release: 30-Sep-2016

is an action role-playing video game being developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The fifteenth main installment in the Final Fantasy series, it is a heavy departure from previous games, providing a darker atmosphere that focuses on more realistic human characters than previous entries.

The game features an open-world environment and action-based battle system similar to the Kingdom Hearts series, incorporating the ability to switch weapons and take control of vehicles during battle.

The story is based on the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, but has no direct relation to the other games in this series as it features a unique world, visual design and different characters. Its main protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum is the prince of a mafia-like royal family which protects the last remaining crystal in the world and rules over a technologically advanced city-state. The plot centers on the invasion of a war nation that tries to conquer the crystal. During the course of the game, Noctis meets the aristocratic and kind Stella Nox Fleuret who shares his ability of seeing a mysterious "light" connected to a goddess of the dead.

Final Fantasy XV started production shortly before its announcement in May 2006, when it was initially unveiled under the title Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The game's long development time and absence from the public eye gave rise to several rumors concerning its possible cancellation or shift to another platform. In June 2013, it was eventually revealed to have been renamed and switched systems from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Final Fantasy XV is being developed by a team within Square Enix's 1st Production Department and was, until 2014, directed by Tetsuya Nomura, who also designed characters and conceived the concept and base story. The project is now being directed by Hajime Tabata, who had co-directed the game with Nomura since 2013.

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Concept and presentation

Final Fantasy XV is an action role-playing game with third-person shooter elements. The player character is seen from a third-person perspective that will be adjusted depending on the weapon currently equipped. The game's environments include kingdoms and villages, and allows for much freedom and interactivity: for example, objects can be destroyed and different paths may be chosen to reach a destination. The characters have the ability to traverse the environment in a free-running style, which also extends to battle with larger enemies. The world map is a wide, open field that the player can traverse on foot or by using a car, an airship or a chocobo. The car can be driven by Noctis, or one of the other characters can take control, enabling an auto-drive option. The world also features a dynamic weather system, with transient effects such as rain effecting things such as the characters' clothing. A day-and-night time system affects the appearance of monsters on the world map. One in-game day equates to thirty minutes real-time, and characters who do not sleep have decreased combat ability. Final Fantasy XV uses interactive cutscenes in the form of real-time events. The player keeps control during them as the gameplay is not interrupted, which will result in natural progressions and storytelling that is similar to that offirst-person shooters. However, the game also features uncontrollable pre-rendered full motion videos (FMVs) for scenes in which player control would have little to no effect. The ratio of real-time events to pre-rendered FMVs is 7:3.

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Battle system

The game's party-based battle system is a realistic version of the one seen in the Kingdom Hearts series. Unlike previous titles in the series, the battle scenes are seamlessly integrated into the environments with no load screens or transitions. The player selects a command such as "Attack", "Warp", "Magic", "Item" or "Link Form" and the characters will then perform the desired move. There are also other actions such as double-jumping. Similar to the Gambit system of Final Fantasy XII, characters can move and at freely while assigned pre-determined actions by the player. The party comprises a maximum of three members and control over them may be switched during battle. The team is initially assembled by the game, but players can choose their preferred party members later on. However, the main protagonist Noctis is permanently present and the only character that can equip any weapon, while others are specialized in one type of combat. Weapons for Noctis are arranged in a set deck, changing and being assigned to him depending on the combat situation. The available weapons include swords, axes, lances and guns, offer various attacks and may be customized or used as shields. The selected weapon is displayed on-screen, and can be freely swapped during battle. Helpful actions by other members of the party are triggered depending on the situation. Noctis can also give specific commands to other party members.

Magic takes on different forms depending on the party member that casts it; for example, Noctis' magic emanates from his weapons. When performing a major spell such as a fire spell, it both effects the enemy targeted and the surrounding area, meaning it is possible to harm allies. Such environmental effects can also be used to scare enemy units.

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Noctis is able to perform a warp, with the distance he can travel depending on his current level. The areas he can warp to are limited, but change depending on the combat situation. Attacks may change into chain combos by switching weapons or having several characters charge at opponents at once. In addition to the regular offensive tactics,mechas and tanks can be stolen from enemies and used against them. Summoned monsters, a staple of the series, are also featured. They are arranged by class and subdivided into a ranking system, and each must be defeated in battle before they can be used by the protagonists, such as the high-ranking summon Leviathan. Enemies have specific jobs such as dragon knight or summoner assigned to them.

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Final Fantasy XV is set in a world similar to modern-day Earth. The land is divided between various countries that had been locked in a cold war over the nations' crystals, objects of political power. The result of the war is that all but the nation of Lucis have regressed to a medieval state: Lucis has become isolated from the rest of the world and has become a technologically-advanced nation ruled by a family that operates similar to the mafia. Due to the war, all but Lucis eventually lost their crystals: they have since focused their efforts on the development of weapons rather than on the progress of their culture, which left them in their regressive state. The nation of Niflheim is the main enemy of Lucis, and the only one not to have been entrusted with a crystal. Among the other nations of the world are Tenebrae, Solheim and Accordo. In the world of XV, people who have suffered from a near-death experience are gifted with magical powers and the ability to predict the deaths of others from the realm of the dead, ruled over by the Goddess Etro. This power has both positive and negative effects on those who wield it.

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The currently known playable characters are Noctis Lucis Caelum, the game's main protagonist and prince of Lucis blessed with power from an incident in his youth; Gladiolus Amicitia, a brother-like figure to Noctis and son and heir to a family that has guarded Lucis's royalty for generations; Ignis Stupeo Scientia, a military tactician and childhood friend of Noctis; Prompto Argentum, a friend of the prince from a lower social class; and Cor Leonis, a man who accompanies the younger group and act as their guardian and Noctis loyal supporter.

Among other characters in the game are Stella Nox Fleuret, the daughter of a prestigious family from the kingdom of Tenebrae who shares Noctis' powers and is forced to fight him; and an unnamed female dragoon.

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Final Fantasy XV begins as a truce is declared between Lucis and Niflheim, ending the cold war which has raged over possession of the world's crystals. Upon the day when an official treaty is to be signed, Niflheim invades Lucis and takes the nation's crystal for its own before launching attacks on Solheim, Tenebrae and Accordo. Having escaped during the attack on Lucis, Noctis and his friends now travel to retrieve their city's crystal while trying to defeat Niflheim's forces. Because of the war, Noctis and Stella, who share some form of connection, are forced to fight each other.

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Development of Final Fantasy XV began shortly before its unveiling at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade fair in May 2006, where it was announced for the PlayStation 3 under its original title Final Fantasy Versus XIII. DirectorTetsuya Nomura conceived the game's concept and base story and collaborated with Roberto Ferrari on its character designs, as well as originally directing the title. Shinji Hashimoto is producing, Kazushige Nojima is writing the scenario and Yoko Shimomura is composing the soundtrack. The game is being developed by Square Enix's 1st Production Department, with the Kingdom Hearts II team in charge of the in-game action and the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children crew handling the pre-rendered movies. Takeshi Nozue, the co-director of Advent Children along with Nomura, is in charge of all visual aspects, such as the cutscenes. Among the original staff were Yoshinori Kitase, who was attached to the project from 2008 to 2014. Later, Yusuke Naora also joined the staff. The total staff number is between 200 and 300 people.

When Final Fantasy Agito XIII was rechristened Final Fantasy Type-0 and the next-generation consoles PlayStation 4 andXbox One were presented to Square Enix in 2011, the company decided internally to change Final Fantasy Versus XIII's title to Final Fantasy XV. For a time, the game was developed for both the PlayStation 3 and the next generation of video game platforms. However, after a public announcement of the title change had not been possible in 2012 due to unspecified reasons, the limited life cycle of the current console generation was considered a problem. After some trial and error, the PlayStation 3 was abandoned as lead platform in favor of a DirectX 11-based development method that allowed for easy porting to the next-generation systems. The game originally used the Crystal Tools engine, designed by Square Enix to develop their seventh-generation console and PC content. When the game was shifted onto next-gen, the game was built on a proprietary, action-oriented engine. It also used some middleware tools along with parts of the company's new Luminous Studio engine, such as its lighting technology. The full move onto next-gen happened during July 2012. At that time, the development team for Final Fantasy Type-0 was made part of the development team by then-Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada, with Tabata becoming co-director with Nomura. When the game was sufficiently advanced, Hajime Tabata became the game's sole director, while Tetsuya Nomura would be focusing his efforts on other products, including Kingdom Hearts III.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Final Fantasy XV, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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