Square Enix has shared to the gaming press the latest build to the upcoming Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae demo during PAX East’s festivities. We compiled everything the gaming press would be saying about the demo. Here’s what they think.
|IGN||Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae gives us a brief glimpse of the possibility in Square Enix’s eventual open world role-playing game, but the demo isn’t just a simple sample of what’s to come. Duscae is a deep, rewarding exploration of a gorgeous world, a group of friends, and Final Fantasy XV’s complex and challenging combat.|
|IGN UK||I came away from my first experience with Final Fantasy XV feeling hopeful. Square Enix has given us something tangible, finally, and it’s looking promising. I may have entered that room not knowing what was coming, but I left with a solid idea of what to expect in future. Combat is nothing like we’ve seen in the franchise before but, thanks in part to a magnificent open world just brimming with curiosities begging to be uncovered, it doesn’t matter. It just feels like Final Fantasy through and through. Unfortunately, Square Enix may have inadvertently shot itself in the foot; while the studio was undoubtedly hoping this teaser would tide us over until the full release, it’s done the exact opposite. So get cracking, Square. After all, I’m not getting any younger.|
|Kotaku||I have a lot of thoughts. The short version: Final Fantasy XV is full of smart ideas, and although the tropes are all there—phoenix downs, gysahl greens, peppy victory music—it feels totally different than any Final Fantasy before it, more akin to Skyrim or Far Cry than any JRPG we’ve seen to date. But can Square Enix’s tech live up to their vision? The demo I played was janky, peppered with distracting jaggies, and full of framerate drops that made exploring FFXV’s open world feel like more of a chore than it ever should have been.At least they have time to fix it.|
|Eurogamer||It feels like a very long while since a Final Fantasy universe has felt like one I’d want to spend time in. I’m still not entirely convinced by the characters or that their chatter won’t begin to grate after a few hours, but the juxtaposition of traditional Final Fantasy tropes and aesthetics with more modernised, realistic elements like the party’s car and costumes didn’t trouble me nearly as much as I thought it would. Where a few of the past series entries felt like you were being harried down a long corridor, funnelled from one fight to another, Final Fantasy 15 seems to appreciate the quieter moments as much as the whirl of battle or the excitement of exploring: cooking, wandering, telling stories, standing still and looking.|
|USGamer||I enjoyed my time with Episode Duscae and I’m waiting for Type-0’s launch so I can see more of it. Square Enix representatives told me Episode Duscae is 3-4 hours of gameplay if you only focus on the story, but the demo should have more content that that if you get out and explore the Duscae countryside.|
|Gamespot||I love the idea of four guys on a road trip to save the world. It’s refreshing to see a small group that emotionally trusts each other; they’re relationships are pre-established before the demo, and the level to which they connect with each other is evident on the surface. This is a positive representation of male camaraderie without machismo, a rare representation of “bromance” that is infrequently used in video games.|
|VG24/7||In many ways, Final Fantasy XV seems to be living up to its original name. ‘Versus’ has its origin in Latin, where it means to turn or to change direction – and that’s what this feels like. It’s a new action-based twist for Final Fantasy that still just about manages to feel reverent to the series’ expansive past. Episode Duscae proves a strong starting point to such a different vision – and now it’s up to Square to double down and expand on it significantly for the final game.|
|Destructoid||During a meeting with Square Enix today in Boston, the publisher gave me over an hour to delve into Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, but it just wasn’t enough time. I want to spend more time in this world, leaving no stone unturned, and now I find myself eagerly awaiting the opportunity to do just that when the demo launches alongside Final Fantasy Type-0 HD later this month.|
Famitsu also shared footage from the demo that featured the battle system, camping, and a bi-ass Behemoth. You can view said video here.
Personally, I can’t wait to try it out. The battle system seems inspired by Kingdom Hearts (another popular Square Enix property) yet given a Final Fantasy touch. I also see shades of Final Fantasy XII in what I’ve seen, and the seemingly major dependence on MP adds an interesting dynamic. The camping bit reminds me so much of Breath of Fire’s and the Tales series versions and can be seen as a welcome addition. And given that this is still a demo, technical bugs are to be expected (case in point: Final Fantasy XIII’s demo). And I still can’t believe that after 9 years, we fans would finally get to play Final Fantasy Versus XIII (which is the original name of Final Fantasy XV).
And as we mentioned before, Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae will be included in first-print copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, which will be released on March 17th.