Matching the end of the active Time Report livestream broadcasted today by Square Enix, the publisher released four new images of Final Fantasy XV, including three screenshots and a piece of artwork.
The screenshots show combat, and the dragoon from Niflheim Aranea Highwind. The artwork represents the might of the Imperial army. You can check them out below.
Who said that Final Fantasy XV doesn’t have badass female characters?
On top of the screenshoys, Director Hajime Tabata shared more information about several elements of the game, including how magic will work, the organization of the Niflheim empire, its main characters, and combat.
Below you can read a summary of all the relevant information shared during the livestream.
- The build shown today from the Progress Report video is actually pretty old. The footage is dated between August and September.
- The frog at the end is the effect of the Toad spell that can be cast on the player by an enemy.
- Fire set to the environment will hurt both friends and foes.
- The Fire spell isn’t like the classic fireball that affects a single enemy like in previous Final Fantasy games, but it affects an area from the beginning.
- Flames will spread naturally and ignite flammable items, like grass and wooden buildings. The game actually distinguishes between flammable items and those that can’t catch fire.
- If it’s raining, flames will not spread and the fire will be doused quickly.
- After a while, the signs of scorching are removed by a “strange force.” In Final Fantasy XV magic derives from the elements, and after a while that power returns to the planet.
- There are other magic elements besides fire, but it isn’t a huge amount, to give each its own specific identity. There will also be Blizzard and Lightning. Blizzard will be showcased first.
- Thunder will be more powerful when it rains due to the interaction between electricity and water. Blizzard will freeze water and slow down enemies.
- Elemental magic is present in various locations around the world. It’s a kind of energy that the player gathers and is stored like an item in inventory. You can equip it instead of a weapon in battle.
- There’s another kind of magic on top of elemental magic, and that’s ring magic, that can be used only by the bearer of the royal ring of Lucis. While elemental magic will be available from the beginning, ring magic will be available only after reaching a certain point in the story.
- The Kingdom of Lucis and the Niflheim Empire have different sources of military might. Lucis draws power from the magic of the Crystal. For instance, they can use it to create barriers to block invasions. Niflheim bases its power on technology and mechanical weapons.
- Niflheim has a large number of mechanized troops and magitek weaponry.
- Car culture and mechanization spread from Niflheim to Lucis, but the people from Lucis then further developed in their own way according to their culture.
- In the gallery below we can see the government structure of Niflheim.
- At the top of Niflheim is the ruthless supremacist Emperor Iedolas. At the beginning of the game he’s actually semi-retired from politics, and the empire is run by the Chancellor, Adryn.
- Adryn is a slightly “humorous” character who is at the center of the power of the empire. He’s very shrewd and plays an important part in the story.
- Verstael is the man who developed the technology behind the Magitek infantry.
- General Glauca leads the army, which includes the magitek infantry, which in turn is formed by former models and combat prototypes. The officers are all human, while all the simple troops are magitek. The older models are normally used outside of actual battle.
- The female character introduced today is named Aranea Highwind and she’s in command of Niflheim’s 87th Airborne Unit, which is “kind of a mercenary unit.” She’s human and due to her ability in aerial combat, the army started to refer to her as “the Dragoon.”
- The camera has been improved a lot since Episode Duscae. It’s better at anticipating the movement of the player. It’s automated as much as possible so that the player won’t need to move it manually as much as it was necessary before.
- The UI is still being worked on, but many changes have been done following feedback from Episode Duscae.
- Now the system allows for better control, and the buttom configuration has also been changed from the demo.
- In the demo many features were unlocked by default, but in the actual game, they will be unlocked gradually.
- The “fourth combo” system has been introduced. The player gives an order to one of Noctis’ buddies, the camera zooms on him, as he executes his action, then it zooms back to Noctis. Those moves are tied to the growth system of the characters.
- Ignis can create warp points that Noctis can use, including on enemies. Prompto can use flares, and those will influence enemies afraid of light. Gladio can use powerful area attacks.
- Magic has large effects on the environment. You can also cause explosions if you set fire to the right items, like oil.
- Luminous isn’t very different from other engines like Unreal Engine 4 in lighting. What makes Final Fantasy XV look different is lighting design and post-process effects.
- Now the team is using LOD on shadows, so now they’re much better implemented, and more can be displayed. Since there are multiple lights in the environment, multiple shadows have to be cast by each object. That’s what makes the game look so realistic.
- Fog looks different depending on brightness, atmosphere and environment.
- What we saw today is very close to complete. The assets are being transfered and optimized from PC to console, so things are a bit unstable now.
- Basically everything can be reproduced on console, but some element requires further optimization to improve performance, and that’s a challenging task.
- The team is well into the process of transferring the game on consoles now. The process has started a while back, when the game was in pre-beta.
- Tabata-san thinks that we’re not too far from when the game will be printed on masters.
- There will be plenty of infiltration missions, but they won’t be based completely on stealth. You’ll be able to take over enemy artillery and cause a lot of explosions. There will be elements of the environment that will be will be destructible.
- The player will be able to actually capture Niflheim bases during the game, and that’s a different activity to enjoy the game on top of the main story.
- Tabata-san thinks that the team finally managed to create the battle system they originally envisioned.
- The tech demo coming before the game’s release is not focused on combat, but it will be dedicated to let players get acquainted with the world. Combat will still be included.
Below you can see few bonus screen captures from the livestream, including characters from the empire and its organizational structure.