Our hands are tied and the wraps tightly secured on our first-look coverage of FFXV going live (updated) later today at 4pm BST. However, there is something new that we are allowed to share.
With the release date looming for Final Fantasy XV, Gamereactor recently visited Square Enix London to experience the first five hours. Our full preview reflects on four hours of total playtime from the very top. However, before Prince Noctis and his pals get their road trip underway in Chapter 1, there is a compelling Chapter 0 that deserves its own mention.
Final Fantasy XV starts with a 'cold open', in which we see a battle worn team of familiar characters in combat with a colossal, demon-like king on a burning throne. There's Prompto, Ignis and Gladiolus glanced through the heat haze, but it's Noctis that draws the attention.
The cocky prince appears heavily fatigued and gaunt, sporting a beard and scruffy long hair. His clothing is filthy and tattered, far from the pristine image we have been used to seeing. The scene is clearly a preview of what to expect in the final stages of this future king's quest, and likely reveals how Noctis and his cohorts outwardly bear the signs of all their struggles.
One element that we especially warmed to at this first stage was the seriousness of tone among the four friends, enforced through snippets of communication while they fought to stay alive. Not even Prompto takes the situation lightly as they hunker down behind fallen masonry, arms shielding each other from a scorching blast conjured by their tormentor.
The visual quality and cinematic direction of this scenario certainly took us by surprise. Judging from Chapter 0, Final Fantasy XV is a true generational leap for the beloved series.
Unfortunately, this really is all that we are allowed to pass on. Please check back tomorrow morning at 10 for our travel notes taken right from the start of the crown prince's journey.
Final Fantasy XV will be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 29, 2016.