Earlier today, Square-Enix released the latest trailer for their long awaited Final Fantasy XV. Although rather than rejoicing for the new footage, many seem to be upset about it. Yes the game – despite being in production since 2006 – still doesn’t have a release date. Additionally, the new trailer didn’t show off any gameplay; but none of those are necessarily bad things if you take a moment to actually think about it!
First let’s deal with the trailer/gameplay aspect. Over the past few months, many people have been able to test out an actual portion of the game with the Duscae Episode, which now has a 2.0 Update. With this ‘Demo’ out there receiving updates to better the gameplay experience, there was no real need to show more hack-and-slash battle moments. We’ve had enough of those in the past trailers and besides, Final Fantasy games have never been “hack-and-slash”. It’s always about the beautifully deep stories, and that is exactly what this “Dawn” Trailer gives us.
The Emotional Connection – A Tale Of Family, Growth & Redemption:
The trailer takes us 15 years into the past where we find kingdoms in lockdown and armed militia setting up military checkpoints. Whether these soldiers are from Lucis (Noctis’ kingdom) or the rival land of Niflheim remains to be seen; but these scenes are merely meant to foreshadow the ‘hunt’ aspect of this game which I’ll get to in a moment. The real focus on the trailer is Noctis’ father holding a young Noctis. As we pair this with the text, we find an emotional king and father who wishes to protect his son from what’s to come – and a son who doesn’t understand it yet.
This isn’t just a trailer-long hug because there’s so much that happens during that hug. We see the father crying, knowing full well what burdon is about to be placed on his son. He can’t help but hold on and try to protect him. Meanwhile, the sleeping child pushes the father away. He doesn’t understand why his father is so sad. He probably doesn’t even realize it. He just wants to sleep, which – if you remember the 2014 Tokyo Game Show trailer – ties in perfectly to how we first see Noctis in the car, sleeping. From the get go, he’s called the prince who isn’t loosing any sleep over the problems of the kingdom.
Square-Enix also released a story summary of the game, which gives us more insights into this trailer.
“In a matter of days, the Kingdom of Lucis is to sign an armistice, ending a long and bitter conflict with Niflheim. Ahead of the ceremony, Prince Noctis, heir to the Lucian throne, sets forth from his homeland to formalize the union of states through his marriage to the Lady Lunafreya of the imperial province of Tenebrae.
The offer of peace, however, is no more than a ruse to lower the Lucian shield, and the imperial army takes the crown city and its sacred crystal in one fell swoop. En route to his destination, Noctis is shocked to learn that he, his father the king, and his betrothed are believed dead.
Overnight, the dream of peace has faded into a distant memory. His world crumbling around him, Noctis has naught but his resolve and his loyal companions to see him through the trials to come.”
Final Fantasy XV will detail Noctis going from ‘sleeping child’ to someone on a mission to set things right. He’s slept through things for far too long and now his dreams have turned into nightmare. This trailer did a beautiful job of setting up the father-son relationship for the game. We see how much the father cares for the son, and the game will show what lengths the son will go to in order to save his father and everything that was entrusted to him. Although that’s not all this trailer might foreshadow.
The Dancing Clouds – Summons, Guardians Or Something Else?
As the trailer concludes, we see the clouds dancing outside the gates of Lucis. What are these? Could these be part of the “Lucian Shield” or could they be eventual Summons for the game? The first hint at a summon we got was years ago when we saw Leviathan as one of Lucis’s guardians. Also, thanks to the Duscae Demo we’ve additionally seen a Ramu Summon in action as well as a hint at Titan. So what else could be waiting in the winds?
The Waiting Game – WHEN Will It Be Released:
As far as the age old question “WHEN” will this game be released, it certainly seem like we’ll get that soon since this trailer was all about story – and how a Pre-Order option is already set up. Although if you’re still wondering about why this game has yet to announce an official release date, remember this: This is Square-Enix’s masterpiece.
With the reveal that a Final Fantasy VII Remake is in the works, this fulfills a former promise the company made about how they wouldn’t remake that game until they made a better game. This timing all shows that they intend Final Fantasy XV to be that ‘better game’. So the lack of solid release date doesn’t show more faltering, but rather that they want to get everything right on every level. No release glitches or buds to patch later. They want that all taken care of before release and that’s the true purpose of the Duscae Episode Demo, to give Square-Enix proper feedback of how the game is progressing.
So if you didn’t understand this trailer at first, ask yourself: Do I want another hack-and-slash game? Do I want a game that’s ambitious but filled with bugs? Square-Enix knows what they’re doing, and in the end this will all pay off. Remember what Final Fantasy series is. Remember what made you fall in love with it in the first place. If you can remember those, then you’ll realize why this ‘Dawn’ Trailer was exactly what we needed to see.