With almost 6 years of waiting along with a change on the title, Square Enix a demo version of Final Fantasy XV released (previously known as Final Fantasy Versus XIII) for players to try it out as the game is still under development. We tested out the demo to see what we can expect soon from the main game.
Episode Duscae is only available as a downloadable game for those who purchased the early copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for the PlayStation 4. Some things to remember about Episode Duscae: You will be able to save your progress in the demo, but you won’t be able to carry over the level progression and items once you play the main game when it becomes available.
Now on with the demo impression, Episode Duscae does not have any spoilers for the story plot, though at the end of the demo, you’ll get some hints on what to expect in Final Fantasy XV’s main plot. Finishing the demo will take you around an hour and almost 3 hours if you try to explore the whole area and complete certain side quests. You take the control of Noctis; the prince of the Lucis nation, he was driven away from his nation when the Niflheim military nation invaded and is now on the run with his three companions. You get to explore some portions of the Duscae region as the demo’s story objective to get enough cash to repair your car, and the fastest way to get a ton of cash is to hunt down a behemoth.
The Duscae area is massive, it seems that Square Enix is now serious when they said FFXV will be an open-world oriented RPG, but it is still hard to lay down a verdict on its nature of becoming an open world game. You will be able to trigger sub quests as you roam around the area, this can be from finding a Magicite to spotting a rare Chocobo, though the demo only offered very few amounts of sub quests, this could probably improve in the final version.
There are still some random battle aspects in the demo, for instance, when exploring around the open grasslands, a Niflheim military transport will pop out of nowhere and military soldiers starts to drop and ambush you or goblins will jump out from the cave’s ceiling or large cracks, while the rest of the mobs you’ll encounter are visible in the area; which can be hostile or neutral units. As for combat, it is more focused on a real time rather than the traditional turn based mechanic, this means you can spam your attacks to quickly eradicate your enemy or perform a parry to deal a powerful counterattack, there’s a new mechanic that lets you warp to a nearby target; whether an enemy or structure, this gives you more strategies to deal with certain situations. You consume MPs for your special attacks and warp skills, however if your MP goes 0, you will be in a staggered state; aside from not able to use any skills, you also have limited mobility, making you open to attacks, taking cover from large rocks and trees helps you regenerate your MP faster, this avoid players to rely too much on spamming skills in every battle, as it can become a disadvantage like getting trampled with powerful enemies when staggered. Your HP has a unique approach in FFXV, when it reaches 0, instead of being knocked out, you will be in a critical state where you are unable to attack and move quickly, take enough damage until your red bar is completely depleted and its game over, getting Noctis killed will automatically be a game over for you. However you can be saved during a critical state if one of your party members revive you, but if you received any damage during that state, the remaining HP during that state will become your maximum HP, but you can restore it back to its original state by resting at a campsite. Another interesting battle mechanic is for the summons, later in the demo you will be able to obtain a summon that can deal devastating damage to enemies on screen, it is still hard to determine it if the summoning system is more on condition-based or can be summoned at your will.