Games like Final Fantasy prove time and time again that evolution of the formula is integral to series success. More often than not that means adapting to the current landscape of games players have seen in recent years. Speaking exclusively with Examiner, Final Fantasy XV Game Director, Hajime Tabata, dove into how relationships and characters have been shaped and what influence recent blockbusters like The Last of Us have had on the upcoming game.
“One of the important threads of the story in Final Fantasy XV is that tale of how Noctis goes from being a young prince in waiting to becoming the king of the country,” Tabata said, “That tale is a really big part of the game.”
Tabata commented that Noctis will have a deeply personal journey throughout the narrative, stating that he is “growing and developing as a person” which, in Tabata’s words also “puts you in a place to experience that emotional journey with him.”
Tabata said that the direction of the narrative and character development in Final Fantasy XV are natural and intertwined, “We are really trying to aim for something where the gameplay and storytelling are really one in the same.”
Tabata also stated that games like The Last of Us were drawn from as example in regards to how narrative and gameplay interact with each other,
It’s important that the story progresses through the gameplay in a very unforced way, in a similar way that it was done with The Last of Us, for example.
Tabata went on to comment on the unique challenges that approach hold with the RPG genre, “The difference is Final Fantasy XV is a full RPG so you have a lot deeper, heavy and full story that shows the development of characters along a more broad angle.”
Tabata also explained that Noctis and more characters will “show a number of different human connections” throughout the tale of FFXV when asked if Noctis will experience love. Tabata hinted that the love and connections characters will experience in the game are much more than that between lovers, stating “The first of those [connections] is that bond between father and son.”
Tabata gave interesting new details on the role of the car the boys take on their journey through the story of Final Fantasy XV, stating it serves as metaphor for the very connections we’re wanting our characters to have to each other.
“The car that Noctis and his friends drive through the world is actually the car that he received from his father as a memento,” explained Tabata, “Through that you sort of see his connection with his father.”
Love is a central theme throughout many of the entries within the Final Fantasy universe, and XV will be no exception, although Tabata says it might not be as straightforward as the typical love stories we’ve come to expect.
“Another big relationship is the bond of friendship and then of course, the bonds of love are the third element we are going to cover,” said Tabata, “It’s not going to be a love story, that’s not the main focus of the game, but it’s has those elements of love and romance within the broader story of Noctis’s growth as a person.”
Final Fantasy XV lacks a concrete date for release, but Tabata has confirmed that the game will launch in 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.