Anti Final Fantasy 14
One of the biggest problems with Final Fantasy 13, one of the biggest reasons that it was maligned to the extent that it was, was its linearity- it was basically like a modern corridor shooter, pushing players down a linear path with no deviations, fighting one wave of enemy after another between story cutscenes. After the proud tradition of exploration in earlier Final Fantasy games, this was a major let down.
For Final Fantasy 15, Square Enix have gone in the other direction, with a fully open world for the player to explore. However, in a recent interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu (via NeoGAF), the game’s director Hajime Tabata revealed that the second half of the game does develop a tighter narrative focus than the first, leading to a more linear structure for the story.
“The entire game structure for Final Fantasy 15 consists of both open-world and linear parts,” said Tabata. “The first half keeps going as an open-world, but the story in the second half’s is led by a linear path. That way, you won’t get bored of an open-world as the rest of the game gets tightened up, so we made it in a way that you’ll also get to advance through it as you have in conventional Final Fantasy games. If you play through the first half and only the main route of the second half, I believe the estimated play-time sits at around 40 to 50 hours.”
From the sounds of it, this doesn’t sound like anything to mind too much- basically from the way I am understanding what he is saying, the game develops a tighter narrative focus- which the player is still free to ignore, judging by his remarks stating ‘if the player chooses to play through only the main route in the second half’. So in other words, this should also help allay the doubts of those players who were afraid that the open world structure of the game would be at odds with Final Fantasy‘s traditional penchant for narrative focus.
Final Fantasy 15 will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 29.