Final Fantasy XV is being developed by Square-Enix as part of the company's Fabula Nova Crystallis project. Originally announced as a PlayStation 3 exclusive entitled Final Fantasy Versus XIII, it was announced during E3 2013 that the game has been renamed Final Fantasy XV, making it the next game in the core franchise. It will be released on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
A number of elements regarding the game, such as a supposedly darker tone and setting, play in opposition to those seen in Final Fantasy XIII, hence the game's original title, "Versus XIII". The main character is a prince, and the empire in which he serves is the last of its kind and the resting place of the world's sole-remaining magic crystal.
The story revolves around a prince, Noctis Lucis Caelum, who is the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Lucis. Lucis has become more modernized than other nations, to the point where it resembles a contemporary city of modern Earth. It has isolated itself from the world in the process. The game's setting involves a war between Lucis and another nation called Niflheim as they fight for control of the world's last crystal, which Lucis possesses. The game begins after the end of a long cold war between warring nations and the world's crystals are involved in these conflicts in some way.
Noctis is the last heir to the throne of a dynasty who are in charge of protecting the last crystal, and he has to protect the city from an enemy nation trying to steal the crystal. He is able to wield multiple swords, spears, and lances by materializing them out of thin air and controlling them with telekinesis. His weapons can also be used as shields. Noctis also has the ability to teleport and move at high speeds. His eyes change color from blue to red during battle, which is related to his teleportation ability.
Most of Noctis' party consists of his childhood friends: Ignis Stupeo Scientia, a strategist for the royal family who fights with a katana, Gladiolus Amicitia, a bodyguard of the royal family who fights bare-handed and with a giant greatsword, and Prompto Argentum, a foreign fugitive who wields firearms, despite their illegal status in Lucis. There is also Cor Leonis, a middle-aged military man who is sworn to serve Noctis and his father.
Noctis finds a counterpart in Stella Nox Fleuret, who is implied to be royalty like him, though from another nation. Just like Noctis, Stella is shown to be able to fight by materializing weapons out of thin air. Noctis and Stella seem reluctant to fight each other and her exact affiliation with him is unknown. The two of them talk about how they are both able to "see the light", implying that they have similar powers. Noctis is shy but hides it by acting cool, while Stella seems to have had a much better upbringing.
At its core, Final Fantasy XV is an action RPG. Its combat has structural similarities to the Kingdom Hearts series. The player has direct control over one character, Noctis, with assistance from AI companion party members. Trailer footage suggests that the player will be able to take control of other party members besides Noctis. In early iterations of the game, the game would end immediately if Noctis died in battle, though that may change for the final version.
Various vehicles will be available in the game, including a car and Magitek armor. The car will be the most frequently used mode of transportation. Information from interviews suggests that the vehicles were designed to account for all five party members traveling together, thus a solo form of transportation such as a motorcycle will not be available.
Vouchers for a Final Fantasy XV demo will be included with purchases of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD when the game is released on March 17, 2015. It is unclear as to whether the demo itself will be released on the same day.