Final Fantasy XV introduces a new system called the Active Cross Battle system. Instead of using a menu system the player employs certain actions by hitting specifically mapped buttons, and hotkeys four weapons to the directional pad. Noctis is the only controllable character in battle and can do the following:
- Standard attacks/ magic
- Warp attacks
- Defending/ Parrying
Combat in Final Fantasy takes the form of an intense and complicated dance that gets as wild as you want. Different weapons have different attack and reaction times. Warp striking across the battlefield looks amazing and does extra damage. Blocking triggers counterattack opportunities that take a surprising amount of skill to do. Wait Mode is a customisable option that, if player input stops, greyscales the game and allows you to Libra information from your enemies to tailor your approach.
In addition to normal attacks, there are attacks that deal more damage based on Noctis’ position called sidestrikes or blindsides. Ignis, Prompto and Gladiolus can also get in on these strikes to deal even more damage again. Noctis’ companions are controlled exclusively by AI, and believe me, it could do with an evasion algorithm.
Battles continue to take place in the immediate environment rather than transitioning to a separate arena. When approaching enemies, a threat meter appears that grows in intensity the closer the party gets to enemy mobs. The battlefield is outlined in red, and if at any point things get too much for you, simply step outside of them and the battle is over.
On top of the traditional HP/ MP mechanics, if a character loses all of their HP they enter Danger Mode, a period of time where they must either be rescued or a restorative item used. On top of this, in some situations the damage you take comes off of your max HP and won’t regenerate naturally without use of an item/ resting, meaning you need to take care you don’t get beat up too badly.