Late last night, Square-Enix surprised us (or, tried to, but it got leaked ahead of time) with a release date for the long awaited Final Fantasy XV and a new demo. The demo, titled Platinum Demo- Final Fantasy XV, features content that will not be available in the actual retail game and is intended to introduce players to game’s style. Upon completion, you unlock the Carbuncle summon in the full game, so it is encouraged that you check it out.
The demo takes place in the dreams of Notcis, Final Fantasy XV’s main character. At this point, Noctis is still a child and it seems like he has been knocked out by some kind of daemon. Noctis is greeted by Carbuncle, a small fox-like creature from the Final Fantasy series, who gives him a smart phone. Using the phone, Carbuncle is able to guide Noctis through his dream so that he can wake back up.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that Final Fantasy XV is gorgeous. You’ll start in a cave but eventually find your way to a city, and it all looks great. The art direction looks great with tons of little details everywhere. One place in particular that really stood out to me was in the city. There’s a really detailed building with a fountain in front. In the fountain is a sculpture of what appears to be the classic Final Fantasy summon, Bismarck.
From a technical standpoint, the demo is also a success. I’ve been a little worried about how well Final Fantasy XV will run ever since last year’s demo, Episode Duscae, came out. Episode Duscae played well, but suffered from an extremely poor frame rate. Thankfully, Platinum Demo runs much better. I didn’t notice any frame rate drops during the entire demo. To be fair though, the scope of the demo is much smaller than Episode Duscae, with a much more directed path and only a few enemies on screen at a time. So, my worries aren’t entirely gone, but I do feel better about the game now.
Combat is fast paced and fun, but also pretty simple. When you encounter your first enemy, Carbuncle presents you with a toy hammer and sword. You can equip them to directions on the d-pad. Then, you can swap between weapons by tapping directions on the d-pad, and attacking is as simple as hitting the B button. Holding down the X button let’s you automatically dodge attacks, although it doesn’t work for everything. The combat is very easy to pick up and learn, but I hope that the full game offers more depth.
Platinum Demo is very short. I ended up finishing it in about twenty-four minutes. But, it’s free, and gives you a good idea of what to expect from the full game. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re interested in the full game.