Square Enix demonstrates new Final Fantasy tech
by Andrew Testerman at 10:46 pm on Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Last night, Square Enix showed off a video demo of a new engine designed for the next generation of gaming systems.

Called "Agni's Philosophy," the video is a real-time demonstration of the tech available at Square's disposal, and looks remarkably close to high-gloss, pre-rendered products like Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.

The demo starts off as a truck drives across a bridge through a sprawling favela-like shanty town. The camera follows the truck for a short while, settling on a homeless man who squints up at the sun as the truck rolls over a bridge. The view pans up to rock outcropping, from which a strong, authoratative voice is coming. Inside the rock outcropping is a temple, lit by hundreds of small candles, and we see five hooded figures surrounding the altar as a sixth figure calls an incantation, appearing to summon something with a large crystal.

Several assault rifle-wielding assailants break down the door to the temple and open fire on the hooded masses. One of them counter-attacks with electricity, though the figure's unsure hand sends the bolt into the ceiling, only distracting the assailants before they resume their attack. The figure peels back its hood to reveal a woman, who fires a second salvo. Her aim is true this time, taking out several at once. Unfortunately, one enemy shoots the rest of the priests before perishing, including the leader. He gives her the summoning crystal and she flees with it.

We see the woman escaping over the shanty rooftops, leaping between buildings and nearly falling through a ledge. Dusting herself off, she evades the bullets of her pursuers, running through a marketplace. One of the enemies radios back to the truck, causing the soldier to pull out a large syringe and inject it into something caged up inside the back. The thing, some sort of hyena creature with an extra set of teeth, breaks part of the truck flatbed before taking off after our heroine.

The woman takes shelter behind a shop fixture and grabs what looks like an half-full bottle of water. She concentrates on the liquid, which starts to froth and glow, then dumps it on her arm before taking a large swig of it. She recoils in pain, but as her arm steams and makes a sizzling sound, several bullets are pushed out of a wound on her shoulder.

Just then, the creature from earlier finds her and pounces on her, lunging for her throat. The woman barely holds it back, shouting an incantation while holding the crystal the leader gave her. A loud roar echoes across the town and the monster looks to see where it came from. A large dragon-looking creature plummets out of the outcropping before making a beeline for the creature, teeth gnashing.

The screen cuts to black.

When the lights come up, the woman is standing on top of a shack rooftop, then climbs onto the back of her summoned familiar. They both take flight, and the camera pulls back to reveal a large, opulent-looking tower along with several rivers, mountain, and smaller villages. The demo ends as they fly off into the distance.

According to Game Informer's Kyle Hilliard, Yoshihisa Hashimoto of Square Enix demonstrated the demo's lack of pre-rendered assets by changing the color of the leader's hair and giving a set of dreadlocks to the homeless man at the beginning of the demo, after which he ran the demo again.

Judging from Agni's Philosophy, the future at Square Enix looks right pretty, though hopefully the tech is friendly enough for developers to use in an expedient manner. There was a four-year gap between the last two single-player Final Fantasy games, and with the gaming landscape changing every day, Square Enix can't afford to sit out between numbered entries the way they have, even if it does mean prettier graphics.

Link: Game Informer - Square Enix Shows Off Next Gen Final Fantasy Tech Demo

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- Andrew Testerman

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