In 2013, Naughty Dog crafted its magnum opus with The Last of Us – a triumph in storytelling that was duly decorated with scores of awards. Held up as the Citizen Kane of gaming, the studio’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece is undoubtedly one of the greats, and its impact is still resounding around the industry even to this day, particularly in development circles.
At least, that’s according to Final Fantasy XV Game Director Hajime Tabata, who pointed to the ways in which Naughty Dog rolled out the story for The Last of Us as inspiration for Square’s long-gestating JRPG.
In an interview with Examiner, Tabata noted that the team at Square is treating gameplay and storytelling as one, thereby allowing them to doll out XV‘s narrative in a way that feels organic.
“We are really trying to aim for something where the gameplay and storytelling are really one in the same,” Tabata told the Examiner. “It’s important that the story progresses through the gameplay in a very unforced way, in a similar way that it was done with The Last of Us, for example.”
It’s unclear what exactly the developer means when referring to Naughty Dog’s PlayStation exclusive – non-linear narrative, perhaps? Or splitting the story into definitive chapter? – though we’ll surely find out much more when Final Fantasy XV is presented to the public in March.
Square Enix also plans to finally nail down a firm release date for the JRPG sequel, with all signs pointing to a late 2016 bow.