When Final Fantasy XV makes its long-awaited debut later this year, it won’t have traditional difficulty modes. Instead, Hajime Tabata and his team are taking a different approach toward accessibility.
Rather than typical Easy, Medium, and Hard modes, the Final Fantasy XV team is creating two different combat modes. One will be similar to what is present in the Episode Duscae demo. Another will have a more “relaxed pace.”
“The equivalent to difficulty level settings in FFXV is a system where you can switch between different battle modes,” writes lead game designer Takizawa Masashi on the game’s official forums. “By having this ability to switch modes, we want to make it so that both players who like action oriented, technical gameplay and also those who want to fight at a slower, more relaxed pace can all enjoy the combat in their own style. This switching system is a key part of the gameplay that we decided to introduce based on the feedback we received from the Episode Duscae demo. We will go into more detail about the system closer to the game’s launch so stay tuned for more information.”
This won’t be the first Final Fantasy game to include multiple combat settings. Final Fantasy IV introduced the recurring Active Time Battle (ATB) system, putting more pressure on players to act quickly and monitor the flow of combat.
The alternative in games that offer ATB is a “wait” system. This is in line with traditional roleplaying games, giving players as much time as needed to make choices.
The result is something akin to what Masashi describes with two different pacing choices. How that will be expressed in Final Fantasy XV, which features direct control of characters in an open battlefield is as yet unclear.
We’ve reached out to Square Enix to find out if the publisher will share any additional details about what sets the two systems apart. We’ll update should we receive a response.
[Source: Final Fantasy XV Forums]
I’m in favor of any inclusion that can allow more people to experience and enjoy a game. Especially when those options have no material impact on how “core” gamers want to play, it’s impossible to see casting a wider net as a bad thing.