Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

Remember the exciting battles faught in the second coming of Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae? They have got nothing on the awesome Niflheim base battle footage show during the final Active Time Report. Check out new combos, warp kills, magical explosions and more.

I’ll walk through some of the cool new features quickly for those of you video impaired. For one, the UI has changed considerable. Weapons are mapped to the directional pad, and developers have been able to implement Noctis’ visual weapon selection effect, which is very cool.

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

The early moments in the video demonstrate some of the game’s stealth mechanics, though stealth isn’t the object of the mission. Noctis and friends are infiltrating one of many bases located throughout the game in what sounds like a Far Cry-esque capture or destroy meta game.

Here we see Noctis setting up for a series of stealthy warp kills. Three teleportation-aided murders in quick succession.

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

Once the battle begins in earnest we see all sorts of cool mechanics, like combo skills (there’s always an X-Strike).

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

We also get a look at a new type of combo. As Noctis’ allies level up they will unlock joint abilities via a sort of skill tree system. The player will activate these abilities, the action will shift to the teammate to perform their task, and then back to Noctis to follow up should they choose.

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

This mission’s goal is destruction, and what better way to blow shit up than with some heavy artillery?

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

Then it’s time for Noctis versus the enormous Magitek walker. We get a look at aerial combat, with our hero warping from point to point all over the menacing machine.

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

He severs a propellant line and then falls back to demonstrate the magic system. Elemental magic in Final Fantasy XV has been refined to a few simple spells (fire, blizzard, thunder) with wide-ranging effects. Cast blizzard near water and it will temporarily freeze. Cast a fire spell near grass and it will burn and spread to other flammable objects. Cast it near say, a hose leaking propellant . . .

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

. . . and boom!

The video ends with a brief glimpse of a confrontation with the “Dragoon” of Niflheim, Aranea Highwind (probably no relation).

Final Fantasy XV’s Combat Kicks Much More Arse Now

Well, what the video really ends with is building anticipation for what’s shaping up to be one of the most action-packed Final Fantasy game’s yet. All this stuff in the clip? We’ll be doing it sometime this year. I’m so ready.


    • One of my first thoughts was “Metal Gear?” (in Hayter’s Snake voice)

      Either way, solid!

    • Yeah I had mid to low excitement levels for this game, didn’t play the demo, didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything, but this looks rad.

      After years of being burned by these bastards I think they finally worked out that players like games that are fun, and its impossible to make an ATB / real-time battle system fusion that doesn’t suck. Either go Final Fantasy VII or Kingdom Hearts. Anywhere in between is not as good as either.

  • I really resent the people that complained at random encounters. Ever since FF12 the game is slowly turning into devil may cry.

    Can anyone recommend any good purely turn based RPGs for new gen? The only ones I’ve enjoyed recently are child of light and bravely default.

    • Nothing wrong with random encounters but why are you saying the game is coming devil may cry from FF12. FF13 was completely turn based, but you control only one character because the game is too fast paced and you won’t be able to control each character individually. FF13-2 was the same and the only one that changed was Lightning Returns.

      The upcoming Legend of Legacy is turn based as well but not much of random encounter as enemies goes around chasing you if you are in proximity and battle starts.

      There are also the Legend of Heroes series, Trails in the sky had good battle. Trails in cold steel is not that bad I guess?

  • It looks really good, but how does it actually play? Have they fixed the utterly dire camera, for example? Or the awful companion AI? Do you actually feel like you’re in control of the characters now, rather than sort of pointing in a direction and letting them figure it out?

    • This is what’s putting me off right now. I played the demo, I didn’t enjoy the demo. There was no easy way of tracking enemies in combat without dealing with a god awful camera and I found myself going back to the XIII system of spamming X. Ever since XII as well the ai has been terrible in moving your party for you as well but at least that still felt like FF combat. Action RPG is something that doesn’t fit for me in a party orientated game like this. I’m really worried that the FFVII remake will have something similar. All I want is to be able to control all my characters easily. There’s a reason people love the older games that don’t force you to deal with a confusing mess of pretty graphics while you’re trying to work around a rubbish menu system.

      Thinking on it, I think something like VATS would work out better by switching characters when they’re ready to attack and when you’re in their battle menu screen time slows right down so you’re not feeling pressured by enemies so much and it could actually allow for some form of tactics being used.

      • One of the easiest improvements they could have made to what I played of the demo would be slowing the game down a bit when I’m trying to aim the warp.

        I hope they make a new demo once they’re close to done. The first one did the opposite of selling me – big ugly world with nothing interesting in it, boring cast, no plot and a combat system that felt like an unholy union of FF Type-0 and Too Human.

        • In March there suppose to be a update in the demo along with the announcement when the game will be release

          • That’s cool, but I was really hoping for a new demo that actually has some content in it, because of the whole game is as lifeless and empty as that demo I’d skip it regardless of whether they fixed the camera.

  • The more I look at this ( FF XV ) the more I say to myself ” This has nothing to do with final fantasy anymore”

    XIII was the turning point going downhill now they will continue in this direction….. This game looks like an action-RPG-beat them all-brawler, with a bit of magic to make it more like FF I guess. Can’t even put down the controller during a fight now.

    Teleportation, stealth, kill, assasination what the hell is this… and those character design ho my god it’s even worse than XIII.

    Hoo damn I guess FF is really dead for me, I’ll look into other jrpg or western rpg for my turn based combat need.

    • I think it really probably started with FF12. The game basically plays itself – set up your preferred AI preferences, then let it go to work. 13 was just an extension of the basic principles trialed in 12.

      • I think it probably started with FFX. It always struck me as bizarre that people were complaining about the linearity of FFXIII but didn’t say a word about FFX. That game was linear as hell and really dull now that I think about it. The only amazing thing about it was Blitzball.

        And the protagonists went from cool (Cloud) to fairly cool (Squall) to sort of wacky but still at least capable (Zidane) to… . Don’t even get me started on Vaan (had to look him up because I had effectively scrubbed him from my mind).

        Kingdom Hearts has been the only thing SE have done in recent times that has seemed vital and inspired.

          • Zidane’s my favourite protagonist of any FF game. He’s not a teenage boy with an identity crisis (to begin with anyway) and that’s a big plus in my book. Squall was interesting to begin with until he got forced into ‘falling in love’ with Rinoa.

            I’d take emo Squall over the new sterotyping guys with no charisma any day though

          • Yeah maybe I under-sold how much I liked Zidane. What I mean is he was lighthearted a lot of the time but there was never doubt that he was very much an expert at what he did. He never felt out of place in the world and in need of babysitting like Titus was (which i know was sort of the point of the story but they overdid it).

  • Looks impressive, but how much can you change a thing (even if it’s improvements) before it stops being the original thing anymore? It could be argued that if a formula wasn’t working it’s better to adapt and evolve than to perish altogether, but games like Bravely Default show that the formula can still be used to great success.

  • Considering Final Fantasy has been mostly turn-based, will this new gameplay put off veterans?

    • FF hasn’t been strictly turn-based since FF4 when they introduced the Active Time Battle system. and the games after X are basically real-time with a turn-based veneer over the top.

      Unpopular opinion: I wish they’d just pick one or the other and go all the way. Want it real-time? Make it a proper action game. Seems like that’s the direction they want to go anyway.

      • I think that was the purpose of the Fabula Nova Crystallis (or whatever they coined it) to begin with. FF XIII – turn based, Versus XIII (now FF XV) – real time, Agito XIII (now type-0) – real time one psp.
        It didnt really work out that way considering these were announced at E3 2006 I believe…I’ll just waut and see. I like turn based. Come to think of it where is a Next Gen FFT?

        • Agito XIII was going to be a phone game when they first announced that grand project. I think they were expecting to make something like the Crisis Core phone game prequel we also never got but it snowballed.

  • A surprisingly large number of clear improvements over what was in Episode Duscae, a lot of little niggles I had with that seem to have been iterated and improved upon in this.

    Also interesting that there are stealth mechanics, perhaps more gameplay variations to come, actually gotten me more pumped for this!

  • Hands down if you miss old school JRPG’s, and have a PS#, and haven’t played Ni No Kuni…Do yourself a favour. Brilliant game through and through. Reminded me of the old FF and dragonquest games (world map, random encounters, turn based fighting).

    • I think playing Ni No Kuni made me realise how much grinding has no place in modern gaming (for better or worse). Searching for hours for a particular monster annoyed the hell out of me in that game. Even going back and playing Dark Chronicle was jarring in that i have to backtrack and grind for cash and exp.

      It’s like looking at old adventure games; yes, new adventure games have glossed over a great deal of the difficulty of the old stuff, but that difficulty really game from poor game design and technical limitations more than anything else. I still love the turn based battles of FFVII, but some things might be better left in the past.

  • I am hyped but a little less so after seeing that I can’t test how this plays in a new demo.

    Overall I like a lot of the changes made to FFXV, but it would be nice to see another title like Dimensions where they go back to their roots

  • Yeah, as much as I love the Final Fantasy series, FF13 and it’s follow ups just turned me right off. Completely.
    Then there was FFXIV 1.0 which was *horrendous.* Thank god YoshiP salvaged it with FFXIV:ARR which I played for a while. Unfortunately the net code/game design made it a pain to to play from Australia due to latency – but I enjoyed about a year of it.
    I played the FFXV trial and while I enjoyed the massively open feeling of the world, I hated the combat. I hope they’ve improved it significantly because it just felt too frantic and difficult to keep track of enemies. The warp ability seems to be showcased a lot which makes it seem like a key aspect of combat but I feel it will get gimmicky very quickly (and I personally wasn’t a fan of it anyway). Honestly, I’d rather they made a God of War style combat system instead. The FFXV demo just made combat cumbersome.
    Ah well, I’ll still buy it because I enjoy the long stories but I think it’ll be a sale purchase rather than a day 1 pick up (unless reviews are outstanding).

    As an aside, I think I was one of the very few who really enjoyed FFXII. I liked that the storyline wasn’t exactly centered on one whiny clichéd character and overall it flowed really well from start to end. I still occasionally replay it on PC via emulator with the graphics settings tweaked. (It’s gorgeous).

    Reserving judgement for FFXV – but cautiously optimistic.

    • I also loved XII although having Vaan as main protagonist is my pet peeve. Balthier and Bosch both had much more character and besides the tutorial brother dying part; connection to the story.

      • He feels tacked on because he was. Matsuno originally wrote the game with Basch as the lead character but he didn’t focus test well and so you get Vaan and Penelo shoehorned in and Matsuno spitting the dummy and quitting.

        I think Squenix would be in a much different position with FF had they not forced out people like Matsuno and Sakaguchi.

  • This shouldn’t be a main numbered title. It should be a spinoff since it deviates so much from the core mechanics of a true FF game.

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