Final Fantasy XV director Hajime Tabata has revealed why the later parts of the game become much more linear, despite having a massive open world to explore.
In an interview at PAX, Tabata spoke on why Final Fantasy XV was structured this way, and clarified how much of the open world players will be able to go back and visit once they have reached the later parts of the game.
“Rather than it being the latter half, it’s actually very close to the end of the game,” Tabata told IGN in the interview. “I didn’t want the end game in an open world type of environment. At the very end, when the main character and the enemy are going against one another, there’s a build up in the story. I wanted to ensure that that last part was a little bit different from the open world environment and more of a packed condensed type of game experience.”
Tabata stated that a sequence involving a train is the point at which the open world gameplay begins to focus in on the story, but that players will not be entirely cut off from going back and exploring.
“Once the train sequence starts, the whole structure of the game changes drastically, where it’s really focused on the story developments, and developing in a fast-paced kind of fashion thereafter,” Tabata continued. “So you won’t be able to physically go back and forth between those two areas. That said, you will be able to go back to that open world environment through the menu, so you will still be able to experience the adventure that awaits you over there, which amounts to over 200 hours of gameplay. So that is still available to the player. After the whole train sequence, it kind of episodically goes through the story and takes it up to the end.”
Final Fantasy XV will release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 29th.