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Friday, February 20, 2015

Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae Gets 40-minute Gameplay Video

Is there anything we haven’t seen of Episode Duscae at this point? After repeated exposure to clips from the upcoming demo, it’s beginning to feel like we’ve already played it, and there’s still a month left until its public release! And as that day draws nearer and nearer you know the folks at Square Enix are drawing ever closer to hitting that ‘gold master’ state where all assets are locked and the final product is shipped out to consumers (or in this case, to Sony and Microsoft’s PSN and Xbox Live servers). And this being the internet, that means the chances of seeing large portions of the product leak in some capacity grow exponentially by the hour. And now we have the mother of all Final Fantasy XV info blowouts at our disposal, courtesy of dedicated fans who took it upon themselves to record a live stream of the game that took place in Japan earlier this Friday.

While the footage above was recorded from the PS4 version of the game, a few minutes of Xbox One gameplay were also shown off and can be viewed here. It looks pretty much the same on both platforms, especially when viewed through heavily compressed livestream footage that was then re-compressed as a YouTube video, but from the sound of it the actual demo won’t look as good as it can possibly be, either. While the final product is targeting a 1080p 30FPS standard, the Episode Duscae demo will run at an undisclosed lower resolution (likely 720p) due to lack of optimization, which won’t come until the final stages of Final Fantasy XV’s development. And when will that be? According to director Hajime Tabata, not for a while yet, and at the same time, maybe not as long as we think. During the livestream Tabata confirmed that Final Fantasy XV as a whole is now at 60% completion, though it won’t take much longer to make the jump to 80%, at which point he expects the rest will “fall into place in a relatively smooth and timely fashion.” He also stated that the final map for the game will fall somewhere within 10-20 times the size of the explorable areas of Episode Duscae, so it’s little wonder there’s so much work yet to be done.

Throughout the presentation a host of other details were shared as well, conveniently rounded up into a nice list by the folks at Dualshockers:

  • Having Noctis warp around, block and evade costs MP.
  • You can select weapon abilities with the D-pad.
  • The title screen changes according to real world time between day and night.
  • Noctis can’t go very far into the water in the demo, but he will be able to go further in the final game.
  • The AI reacts according to Noctis’ movements. When he changes speed, his party will too. They also react automatically to the situation.
  • A red “Encounter Gauge” appears when enemies are close, and battle starts. At that point the marker disappears.
  • Not all monsters are hostile, but they will defend themselves if attacked.
  • Depleting MP when Noctis dodges is shown by a blue effect.
  • Enemies will come in a wide variety of sizes.
  • When you camp your party grows closer, making new party attacks available.
  • “Rush” weapons can unleash continuous attacks.
  • You can change weapons while in battle via the menu.
  • Yellow markers indicate a quest’s destination.
  • One of the big bosses in the demo is “Behemoth Smoke Eye.” You can find his footprints, giving clues to his location.
  • The demo’s main goal is to gather money to get Noctis’ car fixed. Killing Behemoth gives a large monetary reward.
  • Companions will call Noctis over when they see an interesting spot.
  • It’s more dangerous at night than during the day.
  • Poison is indicated by a red effect.
  • Food cooked by Ignis at camping spots gives beneficial effects. They include focus and speed bonuses.
  • After you receive your buffs, you can level up if you earned enough experience.
  • You can fast travel between camping spots.
  • If you move to higher ground, you can be safer from enemies without ranged attacks and earn yourself some time to regain MP.
  • When your HP reaches zero, you don’t die immediately. You can be healed by your partners before the red gauge runs out. If it does run out, Noctis dies.
  • The demo won’t run at full 1080p/30FPS, but that remains the target for the full game.
  • The map of the full game is 10-20 times bigger than that of the demo.
  • The demo will not have the weather system implemented. That’s because weather effects won’t be completed in time. Those effects will include wet grass that will dry up when the rain stops.
  • Noctis has his phantom sword in the demo. The number of swords will vary, and they will surround the character. There will also be normal weapons. You have to actually find the phantom swords during gameplay.
  • Party attacks are really powerful, but there aren’t many in the demo, as they’re based on party progression.
  • When you finish the main story of the demo, that’s not the end. There are more tasks unlocked afterwards, and you can continue looking for phantom swords.
  • Data won’t transfer to the final version, but your save data might have an effect in the complete game.
  • Adamantoise won’t appear in the demo. It will be in the full game.
  • The ending of the demo will include story elements.
  • The game itself is 60% complete now. Some elements are further along than others.
  • Next week there will be another presentation from London.

So…is there anything left for anyone to discover on March 17th? Hopefully with all the effort Square Enix has been pouring into this one segment of the game behind them they will be able to focus on getting the real thing out as soon as possible. We know it’s going to be huge and exciting, but it can be a bit difficult to keep that in perspective when one isolated, feature-restricted section of the game is getting all the attention. Whether there’s anything new left for us to find or not, at least we know for sure the demo will be in our hands in just one short month. If you haven’t placed your preorder of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD yet, you might want to get on that asap if Episode Duscae still tickles your fancy!