Evoking battle's true nature
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is taking Square Enix's beloved RPG series in a bold new direction. According to director Hajime Tabata, it's "much more mature in comparison with previous titles" and provides "a completely new take on the franchise" for adults.
Destructoid met up with Tabata over the weekend in Seattle to check in on how the remaster of the 2011 PSP game is coming along. Visually speaking, it looks quite good, though that's far from the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One title's most striking quality.
The original Final Fantasy Type-0 never made it out of Japan, so western audiences might not yet realize how much of a stark departure it is from the rest of the series. Unlike the numbered titles, it eschews a turn-based battle system for action-oriented combat that's a tad more graphic than to what Final Fantasy fans have become accustomed.
In a brief hands-off demonstration, Tabata walked me through just how violent the game could be, casting fire spells, which incinerated enemies and left behind blackened ashy corpses.The physical attacks were no less brutal than those of the magic variety, resulting in blood-soaked wounds and stained weaponry.
Tabata voiced a desire to steer clear of whittling away hit points so Type-0 could "evoke the true nature of battle."
The story also veers in a new direction, drawing inspiration from films and documentaries that pull the camera back a bit to tell a story about the wider world. The tale follows fourteen mages from a military academy that become caught up in a world war. Rather than focus on any single protagonist or party of characters, time is shared equally amongst the vantage points -- something Tabata likened to Game of Thrones.
"In comparison to the traditional Final Fantasy titles, [Type-0] really has more of a mature take on it," Tabata told me. "It's for adults. It's more active. And it draws upon realistic drama. Those are the three types of experiences we try to evoke through this game."
Tabata also mentioned folks who played the original game thought Type-0 was "a bit hard to play," so the new version will include four difficulty modes. Square Enix also has gone back in and tinkered with the combat system.
"Distance with the enemy plays a big role in how you perceive and play the game," Tabata said. "So, with this HD version, we were able tune the abilities, tune the magic, alter the balance, and adjust the balance of the enemy battles.
"I really fine-tuned the game to be played on the big screen," he continued. "I was glad we were able to do that."
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One within the next year.