How do you approach capitalising on 10 solid years of hype?
It's an almost unsurmountable task, yet somehow Square Enix have pulled together a ton of visionary ideas, designed a world loaded with mysticism and political conflict, and continued the legacy of the Final Fantasy name in style.
First up, this is the first major story-driven franchise to reach its 15th instalment, yet thanks to Final Fantasy's framework being that each game features a completely different cast of characters, world and story overall, it benefits new and old players alike. Regardless of whether you know your Red Mages from your Cat Siths, your Vivis from your Kages or just want to defeat towering monsters with oversized weapons, Final Fantasy XV is aiming to provide a level playing field for all.
Over the years, you may have picked up on how Final Fantasy's core gameplay has changed and evolved in multiple directions. Going from turn-based combat to live-action, an MMO and back again, with the advent of FF XV, it's a unique take on live-action battling, letting you wield a variety of weapons with just one button press, as well as combining attacks with teammates to bring down hugely intimidating foes.
The Final Fantasy games have always had suitably massive worlds to get lost in, but FF XV marks the first time we're seeing a truly traversable open-world, complete with vehicular transport, enemy encampment spots to take out, bosses to hunt and stats to grind. At the end of a long day you'll be able to set up camp and level up your party accordingly, providing a fresh take on the standard RPG progression of old.
From its East-meets-West design philosophy that mixes gas-guzzling machinery and industrialisation with Kaiju beasts and magical powers, to its loveable troupe of heroes and a heart-rending tale of politics and friendship, Final Fantasy XV is the culmination of everything Square Enix have been working on for decades, further cementing their place as one of the industry's finest developers.
Are you planning on picking up Final Fantasy XV? Let us know in the comments!