Final Fantasy XV is actually out! After ten years in the making, Square Enix has finally released the game and we are certain many of our readers will be picking it up today. If it wasn’t clear already, there’s a lot to cover with this game when it comes to world building, plot, and mechanics, but here are 5 tips to help you through Final Fantasy XV.
Read Up on Lore
More like watch up. The CGI movie Kingsglaive and short online anime Brotherhood give a good introduction to the world of Final Fantasy XV as well as its characters. These titles and the game itself take place in the land of Eos, which is slowly being taken over by the Niflheim Empire. The last nation to hold out is Lucis, ruled by King Regis from the capital city Insomnia. They are able to hold back the forces of Niflheim with the new and old wall. The new wall is a literal magical barrier protecting Insomnia from those that would see its destruction. The old wall is a backup in case that barrier is ever broken.
With the Ring of the Lucii, King Regis is able to call upon the spirits of prior throne rulers to defend the city. In order to bring about peace, the Emperor of Niflheim promises to stand down as long as Regis hands over all regions of Lucis aside from Insomnia which will remain sovereign. In addition, Regis’ son Prince Noctis must wed Lunafraye of Tenebrae, another nation that fell to the power of Niflheim. Things don’t go according to plan, and Kingsglaive follows the action happening in Insomnia whilst Noctis and his crew are away from the city. Speaking of the prince and his gang, Brotherhood is an online anime that follows the main characters from the game prior to the events of Final Fantasy XV, with each episode focusing on a different one. Both the film and the anime series are well made, and will significantly help with understanding the game itself.
Play through the Tutorial
I’m sure a lot of you will be chomping at the bit to start playing Final Fantasy XV, but I urge new and old players alike to take the time to play through the tutorial. It is extensive yes, but the game is extensive and if you want to master the mechanics you should play the tutorial. Sure, you can go through the game hacking, slashing and going through potion after potion, but there are so many more ways to play. Understanding the skill tree, using your teammate attacks, crafting spells, warp striking effectively, being able to understand an opponent's weakness. These are all covered in the tutorial and will help you from not feeling overwhelmed when you start the first chapter. If you don’t heed my advice and skip the tutorial, once you learn the error of your ways you can always revisit it from the main menu.
Try out Wait Mode
Final Fantasy XV casts aside its turn-based combat for a hack and slash western RPG system. However, there is another way to play the game, one which combines aspects from both styles. You can turn on wait mode from the options menu so whenever Noctis remains still in combat, the game pauses with a timer counting down until it unfreezes. This offers two advantages. In combat, there is a ton happening on screen. On top of what is usually a horde of enemies, you have Noctis’ friends battling alongside you. There are multiple points that Noctis can warp to, as well as notifications on when to block and parry. Wait Mode allows you to see everything that’s going on in a battle without the pressure of having to fight it. In addition, you can also scan enemies to find their weaknesses, allowing you to significantly shorten the length of a battle. It might not be everyone’s bag, but we implore you to at least try it to get a feel for the combat style.
Explore the open world
This may go without saying, but we want to impress upon you the importance of this. From a distance, the world of Final Fantasy XV is a beautiful mix of science fiction and fantasy. But on closer inspection, one might initially find that it’s rather empty. That player would be wrong. There are plenty of side quests to take on, creatures to find, and loot to pick up. We urge you to find as many monsters to hunt as possible, as it's one of the quickest ways to level up. Try and stick to playing during the day at first, as a lot of high-level monsters appear at night and trust me: they’ll kick your arse. The map is marked with locations of ingredients for recipes, minerals for upgrades and treasure locations. But some items are not marked, so thoroughly investigate an area before leaving it no matter how empty it may seem. This will all add to a much more interesting experience.
Work as a Team
As I’ve mentioned before, Noctis is accompanied on his journey by his three best friends. Whilst they’re all slightly nuanced, they each fit a stereotype. Gladiolus is the muscle of the group and wields a broadsword. Ignis is the smart one of the group and uses a set of daggers. Prompto is the wisecracker armed with guns. Learn how best to use each character, as you can command them to perform an attack with you. If you’re fighting enemies that can fly, take them out with Prompto’s guns. Use Gladiolus and his broadsword to knock down enemies that are clustered together. And if your assailants are spread out, use Ignis and his warp blades to send you bouncing from enemy to enemy. In order to survive you need to be able to quickly discern how best to enter combat as a group. Each character and their abilities are upgradeable, so this process will evolve as you progress through the game.
We are loving Final Fantasy XV so far and will have a full review by the end of the week once we complete the campaign. In the meantime, we hope these tips will help you on your own adventure in the land of Eos.