During a livestream mainly focused on Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata explained that combat in the game is more complex compared to previous descriptions that caused intense controversy between fans, concerned that it could be taking an excessively casual turn.
First of all, the defense button can be held down to dodge or guard automatically, but will consume MP, so you can’t just hold the button all the time. You need to carefully consider whether to attack or to defend. In addition to that, it’s not full invincibility: some attacks cannot be avoided automatically, and require special countermeasures.
Holding down the attack button will launch a basic combo, but the attack changes in combination with the directional input. Actions are also situational, and change if you’re defending, depending on timing and on the position of your allies.
A separate jump command has also been added, since the DualShock 4 has enough buttons. The free running shown during the E3 demo is still in the game, while the ability to switch characters won’t be implemented in order to create an interesting and innovative battle system that makes full use of attack, defense and collaboration between characters.
You can also select one of the weapons equipped by Noctis as his main weapon, making its special abilities available at any time during battle. In addition to the attack button you can use those abilities with the skill button.
Tabata-san clarified that in order to broaden the target the team developed a battle system that anyone can play immediately, but Final Fantasy XV won’t be a casual game. Precisely because it’s a core game, basic controls have been made casual-friendly. If you find good enough weapons and your level is high enough, merely clearing the main story is possible, but that’s it.
Another livestream will come on November 1st, delivering more information, and Tabata-san promised that while some elements of Final Fantasy Versus XIII have been changed, those variations have the goal to make the game more interesting, and he wants fans to look forward to it.
A video demonstration of the combat system was also showcased during the livestream, and you can check it out below.