Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac age is coming to PC on February 1. It has deep real time-with-pause squad combat and some of the best art direction of the entire series, which makes it a great fit for a lovely big PC monitor. We sent over a few questions to producer Hiroaki Kato to see what the team have added in the course of bringing the best Final Fantasy to PC.
PC Gamer: Do you think PC players will find different ways to enjoy Final Fantasy XII than console players? Why do you think it is a good fit for PC gamers?
Hiroaki Kato: I will cover this further in my answers to the later questions too, but we have added some additional features that work specifically for the PC platform, so we hope that PC players can enjoy FFXII in a different way to console players.
PC players can also play on high-end laptops with external GPUs, so I think that people who do so will be able to keep experiencing the deep collecting and side activities in FFXII TZA in many different places!
Will it be the same version, content-wise, as the Zodiac Age release on consoles?
The story, party members, character development system, battle design and monsters etc. are all the same as the PlayStation 4 version. We have also added several extra features such as a “New Game Plus” playable from level 90, a “New Game Minus”, in which you do not level up at all, available from the start, as well as a booster to set your gil and license boards to the maximum. We think that these will allow players to dig even deeper into the game and make new discoveries in the massive world of Ivalice.
Are there any extra features being worked on for PC, like 4K textures?
We have put in some additional features that are only possible for the PC version to enhance the experience, including wide screen display up to 48:9 in the exploration sections, 60fps support and keyboard + mouse controls. You do need a fairly high spec machine to take advantage of all of them though. To make sure the game can be played on as broad a range of PCs as possible, it also supports low resolutions such as 1280 x 720 etc, so we hope that many people will enjoy it.
Will there be mouse and keyboard support?
It is indeed supported. We have also added key assignation via the onscreen HUD, so players who are most comfortable with mouse and keyboard can play with their preferred control configuration.
Will there be support for modding?
Mods will not be supported.
How come Final Fantasy games tend to launch on PC long after their console counterparts?
I have not been involved in the development of any other numbered Final Fantasy games, so I cannot speak for them. However, for FFXII The Zodiac Age, we took on many different challenges with the project, such as not just updating the SD original FFXII to display in HD, but re-working the overall game design to make it fit with modern gameplay environments and expectations. Accordingly, we initially decided to restrict the development to just one platform with the PS4, to let us focus on improving the quality.
While we were developing the PS4 version, we felt that the game now had a robustness that would let people enjoy it as a modern game on the PC too, without feeling outdated. That was when we decided to release the PC version. One other thing is that we looked at the preferences of the PC gamers who would be playing the port and needed to spend some time in implementing the kinds of features that they wanted and needed on PC.
Can you see that changing in future as PC grows as a platform?
I am very aware of the high importance of the PC as a gaming platform. On top of that, the way a game is actually developed will change depending on the kind of experience that you want to give the player, so how you consider that is a key factor in development and can even affect the final release date.