Final Fantasy fans are decrying the complete death of the franchise and the last vestiges of Square with it, after Nomura’s reassurances that “it may be an action game, but you mustn’t forget it is Final Fantasy!” provide unambiguous confirmation of it not even being an action RPG.
Nomura had this to say in a recent interview:
It is being presented as “a Final Fantasy action game,” but I wasn’t thinking of it like that.
True, we did want to get rid of the UI, remove hit counters, restrict the playable character to Noct and so on. But if we did all it that it would become just another action game like all the others.
The team is saying, “don’t forget this is Final Fantasy before it is an action game.”
In response to the question “so what is Final Fantasy?” he also manages to avoid mentioning RPGs at all:
I think it is thinking about the numbers while fighting in a party. “FF” is different to existing action games and FPSes, you can see the quantity of damage you’re taking and inflicting, and how much you are healing. Managing those numbers is the “thinking about the numbers” part.
And in FFXV you can switch freely between 3 characters, so it is also about party combat. There are lots of combos and you need to be aware of characters outside the party.
Few will be in danger of forgetting what it is in any case, as the game’s content and character designs are also attracting criticism – with the all-male and exceedingly “Nomurish” cast in particular being dismissed as “another one of Nomura’s host gangs” and “completely lacking any female presence” (which he concedes himself, saying “yes, it’s nothing but guys, although there is one new girl”):