Square’s Latest Final Fantasy Tech Demo Shows the Future of Gaming
It’s a good thing Matt packed an extra pair of underwear for last week’s E3 because I needed a fresh pair after watching Square’s latest Final Fantasy tech demo.
I know we spent a good amount of time talking about Square-Enix’ latest Final Fantasy tech demo during our E3 ‘Moonshine Cast’ but have since realized that due to technological hiccups and whatnot, that fabled podcast has been eternally lost to ages, taking with it our profound thoughts on Square’s next big endeavor. As such, I am going to try and rehash as best I can those fabled thoughts. Actually, come to think of it, those thoughts may not have been as coherent as once thought, so this is probably for the best.
While meandering about the E3 show floor last week we hardly paid any attention to the massive Square-Enix booth spewing forth continuous Ave Maria music and Tomb Raider trailers. That is until we saw this Final Fantasy tech demo. (Make sure you watch it in 1080p!)
I’ll give you a few minute to you collect yourself and swap out your britches. That, my friends, was impressive. I know Square-Enix likes to toot their horn from time to time, but if any company has the right to do so, it’s those guys. The people behind the Final Fantasy series have been known to remain on the cutting edge of CG cutscenes, but this is just downright insane.
We reported awhile back that the Unreal Engine 4 was alive and kicking, but also assumed that any sort of real-world application was still well down the road. Well, it seems that Square-Enix shot that notion out of the water with this Final Fantasy tech demo. Although we don’t know exactly what kind of hardware is behind this demo, it certainly isn’t any current generation tech.
I’ve come to expect nothing less than the best from Square in the graphics department, but the mind-blowing graphics aren’t what have me excited here. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy a good eye orgy of visuals from time to time, but the simple fact that this Final Fantasy seems to be more grounded in reality than ever before has me giddier than a school girl at recess.
For those unfamiliar with the Final Fantasy series, the long and short of it is that every game has taken place in a world quite different from our own where magic and mystical creatures run rampant as some sort of evil super-villain looms down from above, threatening human existence. Everyone has perfect hair and disturbingly androgynous features to boot.
This tech demo, dubbed Agni’s Philosophy, may very well have been pulled from an in-progress title, and if so, points to an entry that may actually steer the series towards a world a bit more like our own. It’s pretty common knowledge that magic doesn’t exist in our world, but for thousands of years people believed much of what we are capable of today to be magic, because at its core, magic is just science we don’t understand.
I would love for a Final Fantasy to tackle that concept and from the looks of it, this demo may touch on that exact concept with the circle of mages struggling to fire off a few lightning spells before succumbing to the more tried and true gunfire of their enemies. The possibilities are endless and I can only hope that Square-Enix isn’t pulling a Quantic Dream here and using this tech demo to try out new story telling and game design mechanics, because I want to play this game.