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Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo Impressions

by Dean James


Final Fantasy XV has been one of the most awaited games for many gamers for years, evolving from the initial reveal as Final Fantasy Versus XIII so long ago. Square Enix finally revealed that the game is coming on September 30, and alongside that reveal came the release of the completely free Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo on both PS4 and Xbox One.

This is actually the second demo to come out for Final Fantasy XV, with the first being Episode Duscae that came as an exclusive for those that bought Final Fantasy Type-0 HD last year. The Platinum demo is free to download right now for anybody, so those that may have passed on Type-0 HD can get their first hands on experience with the game engine and atmosphere for Final Fantasy XV.

Episode Duscae was definitely a more expansive demo, which even got a series of updates itself over time. That clocked in at close to two hours in length, but the new Platinum Demo is much shorter at only 20-30 minutes, which is very understandable as a free demo.

In the Platinum Demo, you take control of a young version of the lead Noctis in his own dream world. Within this dream world, you are being guided by a Carbuncle that has you go through a few different areas. You start off in a forest that looks great with the design of the greenery all around you.

This is followed by having you in a big toy room, with you being very small in it instead of life size. This felt very reminiscent of the Wonderland stage in Kingdom Hearts when you are much smaller than the rest of the objects in the room. The demo then ends with you in a city area with a boss battle that isn’t too hard where you will fight something known as an Iron Giant.

This Kingdom Hearts influence extends beyond just the toy room setup, as you can definitely tell there is a lot of inspiration from that series in the overall atmosphere and gameplay, while still feeling exactly how you would expect a Final Fantasy game to be.

As you start off, you will be given a Toy Sword weapon by the Carbuncle that you can use to fight the few enemies you come across. While this is given to you, you will also have a Squeaky Hammer that you can use as well, with you obtaining a magical spell of Fireworks a little later. These can all be mapped to one of the directions on the d-pad, with you able to switch between them very easily while moving around. There are even some hidden weapons that you can find and use in the demo as well.

The combat has definitely evolved a lot since Episode Duscae, with it feeling more refined and less clunky here. The stamina meter that was present in that is gone here, but now we have the addition of the very helpful roll-dodge technique that improves the gameplay a lot.

While the previous demo had Noctis and his teammates playable, Platinum Demo is exclusively a short story with Noctis only. This means we can’t really see what improvements the character AI has undergone since last year. Hopefully that will be even better in the final game, which I have little doubt will be the case.

Overall, the Final Fantasy XV Platinum Demo is a short but sweet look into what we can expect from Final Fantasy XV when it releases later this year. Regardless of whether you have played the Episode Duscae demo or not, definitely download this free one and give it a try. It is separate from the main game itself, so you don’t have to worry about spoilers or anything and can just enjoy this early Final Fantasy XV experience.

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