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(Up Next: Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - Eruyt Village)

SPOILERS: Hands-On Impressions of Final Fantasy XV

August 22nd, 2016 by Joey



Gamescom 2016 has come and gone and it’s been an eventful one for the Final Fantasy franchise. Prior to the convention doors opening in Cologne Germany, director Hajime Tabata took to YouTube to officially announce Final Fantasy XV’s delay from September 30th to November 29th 2016.

Soon after that, a 53 minute gameplay video detailing Chapters 0 – 3 of Final Fantasy XV was released online as well as episode 4 of Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV.

Gamers who endured a long line at Gamescom were given the chance to play 30 uninterrupted minutes of Final Fantasy XV, starting from Chapter 0. KHInsider forum user VoidGear attended this and wrote about her experience playing the game!

The game starts with a short scene the presenter at the XV booth called “Chapter Zero”. I can’t say if that’s actually the official name, though.

It’s mostly a cutscene, the player is only able to move forward a bit. It shows the fountain in the royal court, which is completely on fire. There’s a demon-like creature to be seen (some think it’s Ifrit) and once you move closer, you’re surrounded by flames. Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus come to your side to help you and say something about a plan B.

The screen turns black and the line “ten years earlier” appears on the screen.


Chapter 1 starts with Noctis leaving Lucis alongside Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus to marry Lunafreya. Regis, seemingly knowing something that he doesn’t tell, points out that once Noctis left, there’s no turning back, but it honestly seems like his son doesn’t care too much.

Shortly after, their car conks out, leaving them forced to shove it into the next garage. After a short talk with Cid and his granddaughter Cidney, they realize that they had to spend all their money on the repair. Cidney states that it’s typical for her grandfather to just take all their money, and tells them they should try hunting closeby for some extra money.

Depending on what you choose to say to Cidney, you get a certain amount of AP. You can use those AP to get new skills on an ability board – which, funnily, reminded me of a mixture of the Final Fantasy XIII-crystarium and the Lilian Orb in Tales of Xillia. Note though that you have to choose which character to use the AP on. If you choose the “best” answer, you get the most AP and you don’t get them for every character separately, so spend them wisely and try not to fool around with your answers (even though “Let Gladio handle it” is a hilarious answer to me).


In the menu, you can also check the characters’ talents and the talents’ levels. They gain EXP when used. Noctis’ talent is fishing, Gladio’s talent is surviving, Ignis’ talent is cooking and Prompto’s talent is photographing. They, like the characters themselves, get the EXP once you rest.

Back in Episode Duscae, after some time you sprinted, Noctis would just stop for a second. In the full game, there’s a stamina bar on the screen that shows how long you can run. And because I’m very impatient and hate to run slowly, I soon realized that if you stop sprinting very shortly before the bar runs out, it gets completely filled up again and you get a short speed boost. That’s like…heaven on earth to me, I swear.

By the way, I chose the German voice over and I have to say that Japanese, English and German all sound great. So to any German fan out there who always dreamed about a Final Fantasy main title having German voice over: You won’t be disappointed. I didn’t get to check the French voices, though.


Anyways, I headed to the first enemy and soon realized that changing gears is way smoother than back in Episode Duscae. You can switch between Noctis’ weapons in between hits and do great combos this way. I’m still a little sad about the limited magic system but it didn’t bother me that much.

What did bother me a little was the fact that the level-system of your enemies is a little weird. While you’re on like level 1, they’re already on level 9 or so but still fairly easy to beat. Maybe that’ll work out better later in the game.

During battles, there’s sometimes certain tasks at the top of the screen, like “dodge successfully three times”. They’re limited to a short time and I think doing them grants you extra-EXP.


After finding a hunter named Dave for Cidney, you head for the very first bossfight, a mutated twohorn. Here, you learn how to do combined attacks. By using regular hits, a bar on the left of the screen fills up, and you can use it to tell Prompto, Ignis or Gladio to do a powerful attack which can often be linked to another attack by Noctis afterwards. Everyone has their specialty, as Gladio’s attacks often knock the enemies flying which leaves them unable to attack, Prompto’s tend to break their armor so you deal more damage and I think Ignis’ attacks lower the enemies’ strength somehow, but I didn’t get to trigger that much.

Unfortunately, this was where I and most others hit the thirty-minute-mark and had to stop playing.

In short, I can only say that I did have a lot of fun with the game. The gameplay is still a bit weird to me and sometimes it felt like things didn’t really work (for example when I tried to use warp attacks) but that might also be due to me being thrown into it with a time limit.

Even though the Gameplay is fun and I’m okay with the characters so far, the beginning of chapter one still isn’t exciting enough to have me say “I need this on day one!” but I’m starting to like it a bit more (and I’ll never stop relating to Noctis saying “Sleeping is even better [than just sitting in a car]”).

I definitely think it’s gonna be a solid game and I hope it’s gonna be worth the wait for all of you!