Last night I attended the IGN Premiere of Final Fantasy XV in London! A slightly unorganised night with full marks for effort, it was interesting to see the enthusiasm from others for a game 10 years in the making.
A Chocobo road-sign outside told us we were in the right place, and on entry we were greeted by Cindy from the game being portrayed by a live actor, which was admittedly a cringey yet very nice touch. After checking in we walked around to a campfire set piece surrounded by television screens letting us play the game – which featured, as far as I could tell, an English version of the Japan-Exclusive Judgement Disc demo.
Gameplay felt fun and polished with flashy link attacks being easy to pull off, and overall it looks like a visually stunning experience. Staff were on hand to move people on if they’d been playing for a long time, meaning everyone who wanted to seemed to get a go.
Another room was kitted out to look like the cafe from the game, and featured a working machine of the fictional game Justice Monsters V. I must admit the most interesting part of this cafe was seeing a group of four people dressed up as Noctis & co sit down in a booth and act like their in-game counterparts.
The event was filled with little references to Final Fantasy, from Wanted Posters for monsters to a burger van outside with Final Fantasy themed snacks:
Further through was a Chocobo stable with another actor, and after an hour-long mysterious queue, we arrived at a market stall where we had a ‘potion’ made which was essentially a little bottle with glitter in…. yeah, awkward role-play aplenty and not worth it at all, but at least they were trying. A final area featured people on hand to train guests on using swords, which was all a bit of (rather embarassing) fun.
The whole thing was very crowded, as is to be expected considering IGN wanted the live stream to look busy. The atmosphere during the stream itself was great, with plenty of cheers and applause particularly after exclusive footage of the Leviathan boss battle, which looks fantastically epic. We also saw interviews with Jon Campling, the motion capture actor for King Regis, and game director Hajime Tabata, at the end of which he gave an unfortunately necessary speech about the leaked game copies sold in Peru and how important it is to try to avoid spoilers and experience the game properly upon its worldwide release next Tuesday.
The event felt slightly unorganised but was, regardless, nice to be around so many Final Fantasy fans celebrating the release of one of the most anticipated video games ever. The live actors made for plenty of awkward laughter, but the effort they put in to staying in character was impressive and the costumes for core characters like Cindy, Gladiolus, and Prompto were spot on.
A huge thanks to IGN for putting the effort in for a Premiere event like this (and for the Moogle Munch popcorn – chilli and lemon flavour is an… Interesting combination). Less than one week to go now until FF XV is released, and this event certainly added to an already huge sense of hype around the game! I hope to post a review of my thoughts on XV when I’ve finished it, but just so my theories are down on paper, I’m going to guess:
- – Prompto will be my favourite of the four party members
- – Ardyn will be the main villain
- – Luna will die
- – Cor will die OR be a traitor
- – I’ll guess there will be six summons?
- – Fishing will be awful
- – I’ll hate Ignis
NO SPOILERS for me please – The wait is almost over!