It’s been a long time since Final Fantasy XV was first announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, but the wait for the game is almost over, with a release planned later this year. However, Square Enix has finally let us know when exactly the game’s release date will be announced, as well as some new information on the game’s story and magic system.
On March 30 at 7:00 PM PST (10:00 PM EST), Square Enix will host the Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event in Los Angeles, CA. While not many details of the event have been announced as of yet, Square Enix has confirmed that the event will be streamed online worldwide and uncover a variety of information on the game, including its exact release date. On top of the release date, Square Enix will release more details on an upcoming tech demo for the game that will be made available for free to the public: what is currently known about the demo is that it will focus on introducing players to XV‘s world, and will contain a glimpse of the game’s combat system, which has been refined and expanded upon since last year’s Episode Duscae. Fans who would like to attend the event can obtain tickets through its official website (linked at the end of this post), while those at home will be able to watch it streamed with hosts Greg Miller and Tim Gettys.
In terms of new information until then, game director Hajime Tabata has unveiled new footage and information centered around the game’s combat system, as well as the game’s enemy group, the Niflheim Empire. Despite being missing from the Episode Duscae demo last year, Square Enix has implemented the ability to use magic during XV‘s combat. Throughout the game’s world, players will discover elemental materials that can be crafted into items– these items are then equipped to a weapon slot, which can then be used accordingly during combat. One example shown was the standard Fire spell: when the item for Fire is used, it will cause the area around the enemy to become engulfed in flames. Depending on the environment the spell is cast in – on grass or in oil pools, for example – the fire may spread and cover a larger area, potentially causing a problem for allies and foes alike. In addition to fire-based spells, Tabata confirmed that there will also be ice- and electric-based spells, as well as other types that only Noctis, the main character, will be able to utilize.
On the topic of Niflheim, new information was released that details its role in the story, the major characters in the nation, and more. At the beginning of XV‘s story, Niflheim has taken over the majority of the world’s nations with the use of its mechanized armies; Lucis, Prince Noctis’ kingdom, is one of the few remaining locations that has maintained its independence. Niflheim’s ruler is named Iedolas Aldercapt, though he is somewhat retired– in his place, Ardyn Izunia – the pink-haired man seen in early Versus XIII trailers – rules the empire. The head of Niflheim’s military is known as Glauca, and under him is Aranea Highwind, the female dragoon general who was also seen in Versus XIII footage. To showcase one of Niflheim’s many bases, Square Enix has released gameplay footage of Noctis and company infiltrating a base: at first, stealth is implemented, with full-on combat soon coming into play. Demonstrating some of the magic mentioned earlier, Noctis punctures the oil tank on a large enemy mech, causing large amounts of oil to spill to the ground; Fire is then cast on the oil, engulfing the area in flames.
Final Fantasy XV is in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and will be released later this year.