Final Fantasy 15 doesn’t just have “open world gameplay”, it has a true open world – one continuous stretch of environment.
“The world is connected by continuous land,” director Hajime Tabata told Gamespot.
“If those areas were disconnected, it would feel distant from reality. You’ll find that you’ll be able to walk or drive or take a train and travel through this world seamlessly. I feel you’ll be able to experience something similar to a real trip.”
To make the distinction clear, it’s the difference between games like Skryim and GTA 5, where you can run across the whole map, and games like Destiny or Dragon Age: Inquisition, where you travel between destinations via loading screens.
That’s not to say you’ll be able to go anywhere right off the bat; Square Enix may hem you in during early story missions, sort of like early Assassin’s Creed games did, or use high level enemies to discourage exploration till you’ve played for longer.
Still on the “fantasy based on reality” theme, Tabata said the locations featured in the game are based on real places, to get a sense of a realistic blend of cultures. Examples include Shinjuku, Havana and Venice.
But despite this insistence on realism, Final Fantasy 15 is still a classic Final Fantasy game, in that it will have proper dungeons (Tabata said he likes the “very scary” and “chaotic and uncontrollable” feel of dungeons) and possibly even airships.
“To be completely honest, that’s still to be determined,” Tabata said of airships.
“But the development team does understand that this is something everyone is looking forward to. It is a huge technical challenge; as mentioned earlier, all areas are connected. We are trying to tackle that challenge.”
Final Fantasy 15 is coming to PS4 and Xbox One, but has not been dated. It was in development hell for a very long time, having begun as a PlayStation 3 exclusive, and only recently seems to have been giving a kick up the butt thanks to Tabata’s promotion to sole director. It can’t be too far off, though; a playable demo is coming with first run copies of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.