New Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Details, Screenshots and Art Feature the PS3 Version, Summons and Chocobos

People have been waiting to see how Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn will look on the PS3, and today their question has finally received a partial (as the assets are still not final) answer. Square Enix sent us a few screenshots of the PS3 version of the upcoming MMORPG and a few details on how it will work.

According to the publisher the PS3 user interface has been designed to provide intuitive gamepad control without sacrificing the depth of a MMORPG. The screenshots (that you can see in the gallery below) feature an action bar with 16 slots. The eight on the left can be accessed by holding L2, while the eight on the right by holding R2. Each of those eight slots is mapped to one direction in directional pad and to circle, square, circle and triangle. They’re also visually arranged in the same position as the buttons for easy reference.

This means that each action in the bar is accessible simply by pressing a single combination of shoulder and face buttons once. This is extremely innovative and basically as fast as using a keyboard, as opposed to the rather slow and clunky controller selection we have in the current version of Final Fantasy XIV.

Players can set up to eight different action bars and cycle through them by pressing both L2 and R2 at the same time. Of course the screenshots also feature the visuals of the PS3 version, that definitely look rather fantastic for a console version.

On the side of the new screenshots Square Enix also released a few new pieces of artwork featuring Amon (from Final Fantasy III), Odin, Leviathan, the sketch of a level 40 dungeon and “skilled” Chocobos. Players will be able to raise their Chocobos focusing on different skills like healing, attacking and using magic, and they will change appearance accordingly as shown by the artwork.

I don’t know about you, but I’m quite excited, especially for the controller layout, that seems to really hit the nail in the head for controlling a MMORPG with a joyoad. We’ll have to see how it’ll work in game, but I can’t say that I don’t feel optimistic.

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  • And of course, they had to send out ultra compressed Jpgs
    (Seriously, what professional trying to advertise the quality of their product uses a compressed JPG?)
    Aside from all the compression artifacts and lower resolution resulting in blur. It looks pretty on par with the PC version they’ve shown with a lot of lower res textures here and there.

    However i’m inclined to say because of the low quality JPGs I can’t accurately judge the quality and feel like 1.0 looks better. (I wish for once they would send out Lossless BMPs or PNGs…)

    The interface looks better in a lot of ways too. But I liked the current one as well.(In looking and feeling like FF with the blue and whatnot)

    Still, it looks no where near as bad as FFXI did on the PS2 compared to the PC/360.

    • Actually they sent out PNGs, I turned them into JPGs (with quality set at 8, which is the standard) because I doubt most of our readers care to have to download pics that weigh around 6 megs each.

      • Well, honestly to me. The Size/quality tradeoff is worth it.
        It’s just irritating to try and appreciate the quality of something when it’s so hampered by being a JPG.

        Because a lossless PNG screenshot is about as close to how something will actually look on your screen when you play it yourself as possible. And I believe that screenshots should represent that. Not be a rough representation.

        And anyways, THANK YOU for putting up the PNGs. The quality is SO MUCH BETTER. And it makes the game look much better than previously.

        And I can tell you now that it is a pretty big drop down from what they’ve shown of 2.0 on PC so far. The resolution (720p, which it does seem to be 720p Native and not upscaled)alone takes a 2.2X hit in the available space to display detail. So that results in more aliasing and more apparent shader/specular aliasing.

        You are right too in that it’s not necessarily right to compare it to 1.0 on PC. But in another sense it is, because it’s the predecessor to the current game. And wasn’t without it’s flaws, but still looked very amazing in a lot of ways.
        At least some things that were bad that seem to have gone by the wayside in both forms of 2.0 is texture/map(Normal map/etc) compression artifacts.

        The texturing and mapping was very good in 1.0, though a lot of it (Mostly ground textures and other things) there were discernible compression artifacts at times.

        Crazy aliasing:EVERYWHERE, even with AA enabled. (Such as this shot in 720p, which has worse aliasing than the 2.0 PS3 shots: ;old shot, in game screenshot is only jpg. sorry)

        Buggy and bad self shadowing. Resulted in strange striped often bizarre patterns of shadowing on characters in many lighting conditions

        Terrible Water. Almost want to say worst water ever.
        However, I don’t remember seeing water in recent 2.0 stuff. But they’d have to try pretty hard to top the 1.0 terribad water.

        Interface can be a bit convoluted at times despite my affection for it’s aesthetic and setup.

        Poor real time shadows (Many environment shadows seemed like they were done in the mapping, so it looks a bit more natural higher quality) The things that did have real time shadows, they looked somewhat poor at times. And great at others.

        I’m sure people can think of more.
        The one thing that definitely stands out though it seems isCharacter model complexity looks somewhat worse for some reason though to my eyes. Especially in the face area.(In both versions)
        In 1.0, you could zoom all the way in to your character’s face and it looks brilliantly beautiful. Very lively , well animated and full of detail.

        THOUGH, this might actually be fine in 2.0 seeing as it’s not out and there hasn’t been many shots of very up close characters in gameplay.

        • 1.0 actually didn’t have any environmental dynamic shadows. Only things that casted an actual shadow were characters and a few props (mostly from seasonal events), ARR has fully dynamic shadows and lighting.

          I actually never encountered aliasing problems in 1.0.My edges have always been perfectly smooth.

          The complexity of characters is a bit worse because SE retooled the engine in order to visualize many characters at the same time (which is impossible in 1.0). But they said that what’s visible in the current assets is still not final and is going to be improved.

          • Well, Self shadows =still kind of dymanic(Which is basically what I meant. It’s been over a year since I last played so my memory was foggy. Even without environment Dynamic shadows it still looked amazing)

            The game whether you see it or recognize it or not actually DID have a lot of aliasing. Pretty much most shrubbery (as you see in my shot) is aliased. Most characters had a lot of specular aliasing as well.

            Though, the way the game world was designed it really didn’t feel or look much like aliasing/shimmering. It just felt like extra detail. Which is a first for me, no other game has featured a ton of aliasing but didn’t feel like it did.

            Which I think is why i’ve initially be resistant to 2.0 when it was first showed. It looked a lot “softer” because of the lack of aliasing/detail in all the textures/mapping.