Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition Preview: New York Comic Con Demo
Square Enix unveiled Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition for PC earlier this year, and from the start, the game's visuals amazed fans worldwide. The reveal trailer showed off polished textures that improved everything from skin blemishes to grassy plains. And a recent demo at New York Comic Con suggests that the original trailer's graphics hold up in-game.
Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition follows Prince Noctis as he goes on a road trip with his bodyguard Gladiolus, adviser Ignis, and friend Prompto back to his native land Lucis after the kingdom's magic Crystal is captured by the imperial Niflheims. The New York Comic Con demo featured the Friends of a Feather side quest, in which Noctis and friends visit a Chocobo Farm and end up hunting an enormous half-blind creature named Deadeye.
And when it comes to gameplay, Final Fantasy 15 handles well with the new platform, playing similarly to the original console version when a controller is plugged in. As Square Enix didn't provide any mouse or keyboard options during play, it's hard to say how the game handles without a controller. But Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition seems like the kind of game best enjoyed with one, anyway, so it's safe to say most PC fans should look into grabbing one if they haven't already.
After all, it's the PC version's graphic enhancements that really make Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition stand out. And if beautiful graphics are what you want, Final Fantasy 15 is best enjoyed on PC. The skin and hair textures on Noctis, Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto were incredible during the demo. All four boys' skin and hair looked realistic, down to the individual details on their faces, muscles, and necks. This was a real treat in cutscenes, and it made those dramatic close-ups all the more intense.
It's not just the characters' facial details that are worth pointing out. Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition's landscapes look picturesque while on the road. Driving around with the Regalia Type-D was incredible, and it was easy to lose sight of the road while checking out the horizon. Everything from mountains in the distance to cars ahead looked highly detailed, making the game incredibly beautiful to explore.
The NYCC PC demo didn't struggle with any awkward scenery pop-ups while on the road, either, and objects in the horizon rendered quite well without any hiccups. Graphical glitches, like awkward anti-aliasing or pixelated grass, were rare. Even during intensive moments, such as tracking the monstrous Deadeye through a foggy path, the game's framerate rarely dipped. With decent hardware, PC fans can crank up the settings on Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition and enjoy the atmosphere without having their immersion broken by rendering glitches.
Well, for the most part, anyway. There's still a few kinks to work out. Screen tearing was pretty common in the demo, and it happened multiple times during cutscenes. For hardcore PC fans, that's pretty jarring. It's unclear how vertical sync will work with Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition, but it was badly needed during the game's more intense moments, like rapid camera shots and chaotic battles.
Not every texture inside the game looked realistic, either. While rare, some clothes were noticeably blurry or pixelated during cutscenes, breaking immersion. There's clearly some corners cut here and there that are apparent on closer inspection. And while framerate was consistent during play, it did seem as if the game was playing slightly under 60 frames per second. Don't expect to breeze by loading screens on PC, either. They're still there, and even on the NYCC demo's hardware, it took some time to load.
All that said, though, Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition is shaping up to be a solid PC port. It's a highly detailed recreation of the original console experience, and the care put into the game's PC debut was pretty evident during the New York Comic Con showing. There's still some issues to work out, sure. But for PC fans wondering if Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition is worth grabbing next year, all signs point to yes.
Disclosure: Reporter attended New York Comic Con via press badge.