One of my numerous hobbies is playing video games and as the Demo of the next instalment of the big ‘Final Fantasy’ series is available right now, I downloaded it today and played it. [Spoilers underneath the cut]
The Demo is quite big concerning the file size and took a while to download, but once it was there I grabbed my controller and started to play.
The Demo begins with voices shouting for ‘Noct’, the game’s protagonist who wakes up in a dream sequence with a little fur ball guiding him back to the real world. The first sequence takes place in a forest where you can walk around freely, collect these sparkling jewels and explore the world.
I really like how alive Noctis seems. His movements are very good and fluent. The landscape also looks good and you can easily see the different textures of plants or rocks. All over the Demo are round plates on the ground – you can step on them and change the weather, speed up time, change your appearance and other things. One option makes it rain and the rain looks reall good. I liked the look of it, although Noctis miraculously dries once the sun is out again.
The fighting system is rather easy – one the weapons are equipped you can choose one of them and simple attack with the circle button. It totally reminded me of Kingdom Hearts and this later got even stronger when I watched how Noctis jumps and when you enter the other area which seems to be a room in the castle, but you are rather small; somewhat like the Alice in Wonderland level in the Kingdom Hearts game.
In this area Noctis can also change his appearance and turn into a car with which you can drive around the area. There are also adversaries, called ‘Nightmares’ who appear once you reach a certain area and will atack you as well. They can be beaten quite easily and it’s not much of a challenge. The character still follows the lovely fur ball (which is a Carbuncle) which leads you on top of the table and trough a ‘gate’ which opens to the third area.
The third now is a city, empty apart from the ‘Nightmares’. The floor-buttons are here as well and you can again change the weather, the time or again your appearance. It seems to be random which creature you turn into as I got a different one on the first try than my flatmate who played the Demo after me so that I could take some pictures.
A hallway brings you through a bright portal onto a place, the Citadel. Here the Carbuncle is confused and soon is attacked by a monster. Now the young Noctis we played so far turns into the older version we all know from the cover and the trailers. It’s now upon you to fight and beat this monster. The player can choose between two sets of swords and magic which can be filled up through stepping on one of the floor-buttons.
Once the monster is defeated a car appears – which is the boy’s safe space – and once you decide to enter it the Demo’s complete.
All in all, if you decide to explore everything, the Demo might take up to 60 minutes. But you can also easily finish it in about 30.
I’m actually quite sad that this Demo is so short, I had hoped for more. It was fun playing it, but it didn’t invoke in me the need to continue after that.
What I really liked:
- the textures (the floor tiles, rocks, clothes, books, tables)
- so far an easy fighting system
- the ability to explore everything and interact with your surroundings that much
- weather changes
- the character’s body language and overall visuals
- dubbing actors were well chosen and fitting
What I was rather neutral about:
- The Soundtrack. It wasn’t bad, but nothing I didn’t forget about once the scene changed
What I disliked:
- length of the demo
- while the textures were great, some parts (especially on the books) were really blurry and pixelated
- I didn’t really like the look of the fur nor Noctis’ hair. I have definitely seen better already
If you want to play the Demo as well – you can download it via your console. Apart from that all we can do is wait until the complete game is out and we can fully delve into Noctis’ world and experience the full story!