After being in development for almost ten years, Final Fantasy XV will finally see the light of day sometime this year. With the launch drawing ever closer, more information about the game is slowly being revealed. In an exclusive interview with Examiner, Final Fantasy XV Director Hajime Tabata has revealed several new details about the game.
Tabata has admitted that the way the story unrolls, the characters and relationships between them have been shaped and influenced by blockbusters like the The Last of Us. The story will put a lot of focus on Noctis and his journey, one in which he will "grow and develop as person", allowing players to experience that "emotinal journey with him". Due to this, Tabata wanted Final Fantasy XV's story to unroll in an "unforced" way, similar to how it was done in The Last of Us.
"One of the important threads of the story in Final Fantasy XV is that tale of how Noctis goes from being a young prince in waiting to becoming the king of the country," said Tabata. "That tale is a really big part of the game."
"We are really trying to aim for something where the gameplay and storytelling are really one in the same. It's important that the story progresses through the gameplay in a very unforced way, in a similar way that it was done with The Last of Us, for example."
Love has been a central theme in many Final Fantasy titles, and although Tabata admits that there's elements of love in Final Fantasy XV's story, others bonds like friendship will be the main focus.
"Another big relationship is the bond of friendship and then of course, the bonds of love are the third element we are going to cover. It's not going to be a love story, that's not the main focus of the game, but it's has those elements of love and romance within the broader story of Noctis's growth as a person."
Tabata went on to talk about the game's main characters and how the four party characters will differ from each other. "Noctis, who is the King obviously, has a number of very special powers and abilities granted to him by his status as part of the royal family so he has a lot of unique abilities," said Tabata.
"Ignis is the next character, he's a strategist and very much supports the party and facilitates them to do even more powerful things. He's very much the King's aid as it were, he supports the King.
"Then you've got the big, massive guy Gladiolus and he's very much the body guard type of character. He would be like a tank class in an MMO and has the most powerful physical attack. Prompto is a bit of a sniper or trickster in some ways. He moves around the various edges of the battle to confound the enemy and then he snipes at them with his range weapons."
Each character has its own past, each with its own growth and education in society. This will have an influence through different combat styles and how they interact with each other.
"Ignis and Gladiolus both were raised in aristocratic families who had a mission to support the royal family. They are the royal aid and received a special education to fulfill those duties to the King. Compared to them, Prompto is actually is a simple friend of Noctis. He has no great societal status, he's just a guy who gets along well with him.
"We really wanted to make realistic relationships between the characters and how they fit into the storyline and how they interact with each other and behave," Tabata added.
Final Fantasy XV releases this year on PS4 and Xbox One.