PAX West 2017: Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition

Monday, September 11th, 2017

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Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition 1

I’ve been waiting for Final Fantasy XV to come out on PC before picking it up. Now we’ve got Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition coming out on Steam and Origin next year, and I had a chance to try it out on a powerful PC at PAX West this year.

At least I assumed it was a powerful PC, but after seeing how the game ran I must say I have my doubts. It spent the whole time at 30 frames per second at best, if not less, low enough that it sometimes made it difficult to keep track of what was happening in Final Fantasy XV‘s fast-paced combat. However, even in spite of that, the visual effects in Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition are incredibly impressive on their own.

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition 3

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try out the first-person mode. However, I did take a shot at playing with the keyboard and mouse controls. The default mouse camera control seemed really overly sensitive, although that’s something that can be easily changed in the settings. The keyboard controls work well enough, but the game still feels better with a controller, at least in third-person mode.

Otherwise it’s just the same game as Final Fantasy XV on consoles. The graphical improvements are the main real change, along with the native 4K resolution and higher-quality audio. The low frame rate really drags this version down, but presumably lowering graphical settings could improve that. I certainly hope so, with Tabata having said that the game will be playable on lower-end PCs as well as the most high-end ones. Ultimately it remains to be seen how much additional optimization happens between now and the game’s release next year.

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition 4

Between the improved visual and sound quality, the different options for gameplay, and the included DLC and updates, Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition looks like it has potential to be the best version of the game, provided you have the hardware to run it. The low frame rate is the biggest thing that holds it back right now, but if the game gets properly optimized before release it may be a good option for those who haven’t played the game already on consoles.

About Chris Melchin

Chris is a computer science student who has been gaming ever since he knew what to do with a Super Nintendo controller. He's a fighting game player, with a focus on BlazBlue and Under Night In-Birth games. His favourite games include Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Persona 5, and Little Busters. He started watching anime in high school, and his favourite series is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. He also writes Vocaloid music for his personal YouTube channel, and has a (slight) obsession with Megurine Luka.