Final Fantasy XV sets its combat scenes in real time, and like Final Fantasy XII, they flow smoothly with other parts of the game. There are no transitions or loading screens. Once you’re in battle, everything in your environment will play a part in your strategy and the way you fight, including elevation, weather, obstacles, and the size, shape, and ability of both your opponents and allies. The real time command inputs give FFXV a more action oriented feel than any of its predecessors.
Commands will be executed as soon as the button is pressed, and combat will be about building different sequences of attacks using those commands while navigating the three dimensional environments. Using the “Link Form” command, players will have access to a variety of interaction with other combatants, including the ability to climb on larger enemies and a grappling attack for close range. Magic will also play a key part in combat. It will have different effects depending on the situation, and can affect the surrounding areas. For instance, fire magic has the potential to set dry foliage ablaze.
Randomly generated weather determines when certain types of monsters appear, and can bolster or hinder magic attacks as well.
Attack strikes are mainly based on three things; distance, weapons, and actions. If you are far away from an enemy, the strike you use will be different than when you are near. The strike between each weapon is also different. And when you do a special movement, such as parry, you will perform a different strike than normal.
Attack strikes are also determined by what weapon you have for each of them. And to make the combat system more complicated, each weapon also offers a different type of effects. Some negates enemy defence, some increases critical hits, some recovers MP, some recovers health, and more.
Crush is an opening attack for your ground combo. Simply press the attack button and Noctic will strike with his weapon. The strike will be different based on the chosen weapon which leading to different following combos and techniques as well.
Ravage is your combo weapon. You can both hold down your attack button on hold down continuously to string together a combo. A different weapon will make a different combo. For example, a sword is fast with moderate damage. Greatsword is slow yet deal significant damage. Picking the right weapon based on your situation and playstyle is a key to success in FFXV battle system.
Descend uses for an aerial attack. You can use it by jumping into the mid-air and strike in any designated direction. This can lead into aerial combos in the later part of the game. And again, each weapon gives different attack style. For example, spear might be difficult to land a blow. However, you should be able to do it with enough practice.
Vanquish is your combo finisher. Noctis will automatically execute it when an enemy is having critical HP to finish it off. Else, it can be triggered manually during combo strike at the right time. After striking with Ravage, wait until the weapon disappears. If you strike right then, you will attack using Vanquish. It might take some time to get used to it, but this is definitely essential. Once you get the timing right, you should be able to execute it with ease.
Counter Attack can be used in many ways. First, you can use it after you successfully dodge any incoming attack. Second, you can counter after parrying a strike. Third, using a “warp-dodge” also allows you to manually perform Counter if it’s done correctly. Simply “warp-dodge” into any direction away from your enemy and attack right after it. Lastly, Knightguard can also trigger a counter attack as well. Learn how to use a counter attack well since it deals significant damage without consuming MP.
Four weapons can be equipped at the same time. Your normal initial attack depends on the first weapon in your set follow by other weapons in the set respectively. You can freely assign which weapon you want to use for each combo and can even freely swap during combat.
You can freely swap an initial weapon by using D-Pad instantly. And it will not automatically change unless you do it yourself.
Single-Handed Sword: A one-handed sword with medium range and size. Quick, fast, deals moderate damage, and easy to use.
Great Sword: A large sword with long range and size. Slow yet deals significant damage to several enemies at once. Perfect for a counter attack.
Daggers: Dual daggers with short range and size. They are able to deal multiple attacks in quick succession with high movement speed. However, damage is quite low.
Spear: A long ranged spear mainly for thrusting an enemy. It is a good choice for an aerial attack.
Shuriken: A ninja-style weapon. Both hands are required. It deals significant damage from afar yet consumes a small amount of MP.
Shield: A shield can be wear together with a single-handed sword. It can block enemies attack as well as make them off balance by guarding right before the attack happens.
A “technique attack” from your weapons can be performed by pressing a “triangle button”. Use D-Pad to choose which technique you would like to execute. Note that the technique attack doesn’t change the regular combo attacks.
In addition, weapons have special techniques you can use no matter in which spot you put them it. Some technique is especially for a counter attack while some for an aerial attack and so on.
After you locked on an enemy by holding a button from afar, press and you will immediately perform a warp-strike. Then, holding an attack button to perform a successive combo based on the set of weapon you equip.
You can even “warp-kill” some enemy if you can attack them unnoticed from a distance. It is very useful especially for an infiltrate-style mission.
is a dodge button and you can do an automatic dodge by holding the button. Alternatively, it can parry an attack if you press it at the right time when an enemy is about to hit you. After parried, you have two choices between performing a counter attack by yourself or do a “link attack” with your partner by pressing a square button and finishing it by a follow up counter attack.
A successful counter attack deals significant damage but the strict timing is necessary. Practice makes perfect.
Combat in FFXV is not about performing a similar combo in a same fashion as Devil May Cry. It is about what property that each weapon has. For the most part, you are going to hold down the button in combat except for dodging, parrying, and healing, and using items as well as magic.
During the fight, you can take cover behind some wall, rocks, and so on to regain your MP and HP. Otherwise, warping to the high area leaving enemies in distance can also recover MP and HP as well.
The one important thing that makes each of weapon combination difference is about the effect of each weapon which is going to impact your play-style directly. If you equip several weapons with MP recovery, you will always have enough MP to perform a special technique and dodge more often.
On the other hand, if the equipped weapons are about critical hit and HP recovery, you will be sticking with a normal combo attack.
Perhaps the most innovative and exciting ability in Noctis’ skill set is the Warp ability. Glowing icons around the battlefield will denote Warp locations, and Noctis will be able to transport himself instantly by targeting and throwing his sword at those locations. The command uses MP, but when combined with Noctis’ abilities and the organic, free flowing battle system, it allows a great deal of flexibility and improvisation for creating different attack combinations.
Through the “Link Form” command, Noctis is also capable of devastating attacks that utilize his telekinetic powers to control every weapon in the group’s arsenal at once.