A few days ago during an Active Time Report event, Final Fantasy XV Director Hajime Tabata revealed that the first half of the game will be open world, while the second half will be more linear and story-focused. Speaking with IGN at PAX 2016, Tabata explained why the game is structured this way and promised that players will be able to go back to open world environments anytime they want.
"Rather than it being the latter half, it's actually very close to the end of the game," Tabata told IGN.
"I didn't want to end the game in an open world type of environment. At the very end, when the main character and the enemy are going against one another, there's a build up in the story. I wanted to ensure that that last part was a little bit different from the open world environment and more of a packed, condensed type of game experience."
According to Tabata, the game starts to become more linear and story-focused when players get to the train sequence. But even after reaching point, players can go back to open world adventure and exploration.
"Once the train sequence starts, the whole structure of the game changes drastically, where it's really focused on the story developments, and developing in a fast-paced kind of fashion thereafter. So you won't be able to physically go back and forth between those two areas.
"That said, you will be able to go back to that open world environment through the menu, so you will still be able to experience the adventure that awaits you over there, which amounts to over 200 hours of gameplay. So that is still available to the player. After the whole train sequence, it kind of episodically goes through the story and takes it up to the end."
Final Fantasy XV releases on the 29th of November on PS4 and Xbox One.