Square-Enix's Final Fantasy tech demo looks incredible.
We now know that the earlier rumor that Final Fantasy Versus XIII would be rebranded Final Fantasy XV was false. So what will the actual FF15 look like? This real-time tech demo from Square-Enix, called "Agni's Philosophy," goes a long way towards answering that question.
Once again, this tech demo is real-time. It isn't pre-rendered. This must be emphasized, because good lord it's beautiful. You can see individual strands of wispy white hair in an old man's beard as they blow in the wind, and those environments are absolutely stunning. The real-time in-engine graphics seen here are heads and shoulders above Square-Enix's legendary pre-rendered cutscenes we've seen in previous Final Fantasies - even the ones in this generation's FF13!
In the video, our heroine, Agni, gets herself involved in some serious trouble when a group of terrorists (?) storms some kind of summoning ritual (?) and just starts blasting away. I don't really know what's going on, but there are hellhounds and solar eclipses and crystals and dragons, and it all looks stunning.
It may only be a tech demo, but I'd love to see "Agni's Philosophy" turned into a real game, whether Final Fantasy or not. The world has a unique and palpable aesthetic that feels very south-Asian - kind of like a city in a fantastic, futuristic version of India. Which would make sense, given that Agni is a Hindu deity. If this tech demo ended up forming the foundation for FF15, I'd be psyched for a new Final Fantasy for the first time in years.
Then again, perhaps it's best to not get our hopes up. It wouldn't be the first time Sony has teased a Final Fantasy tech demo and not delivered, after all.