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Final Fantasy 15's character-driven story defines it as a series title, says Nomura

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Final Fantasy 15 may be the first entry in the long-running role-playing franchise's numbered series to have action-oriented combat, but its relationship-driven storyline is what defines it as a Final Fantasy title, Tetsuya Nomura told Famitsu.

In previous Final Fantasy titles, the games' plot-heavy cutscenes were pre-rendered; but with the upcoming next-generation hardware, Square Enix has been able to render these complex scenes in real time. The power of the PlayStation 4 has also allowed the developer to create a "seamless" battle system, letting players bring protagonist Noctis and his friends in and out of conflict without loading screens breaking up the scene — hence the heightened focus on being action-oriented.

"The concept of Final Fantasy 15's battle system is to make fights as seamless as possible and to change characters from situation to situation," Nomura said.

Like in previous Final Fantasy games, enemies will show numeric values in the space around them when players attack them. This series staple allows players to better plan their strategies, Nomura said.

"If [the numeric values] disappeared, I don't think it would be very Final Fantasy," he said. "You fight with your action technique while thinking about the numeric values. These two types probably don't co-exist in other action-type battles."

But it's the game's character-driven, emotion-laden storyline that defines Final Fantasy 15 as a Final Fantasy game. The base plot is simple: an enemy nation steals a crystal from Noctis's country, and he and his companions must recover it. From there, Noctis's interaction with other characters and how his relationships with them change will define the story.

"Amidst that, human relations intersect, expanding into a Final Fantasy-style tale," Nomura said.

Nomura also added that the development team is "thinking about" a way to extend the Final Fantasy 15 experience beyond the console to smartphones and possibly PlayStation Vita.