For a series that was once created in order to save of a game studio, Final Fantasy has become one of the defining RPG series in video games. With twelve traditional releases, one MMO, and over a dozen spinoff titles, Square Enix is readying itself for a fourteenth Final Fantasy, again jumping back towards the MMO routes of Final Fantasy XI.
Since its announcement at 2009’s E3, only a small sampling of information has been released about the game, mostly to not get in the way of the hype of Final Fantasy XIII, released earlier this year. The game will follow a skill progression system, mostly resembling the structure of Final Fantasy II. Developers have taken what they have learned from Final Fantasy XI and admit to also borrowing inspiration from other titles such as World of Warcraft (the MMO industry leader), Diablo and Warhammer Online.
Coming to both the PC and PlayStation 3, Final Fantasy XIV already looks to surpass Final Fantasy XI. With a console generation to build upon and not being hampered by PlayStation 2’s internet limitations, Final Fantasy XIV may have a shot at becoming the dominant console MMO.
Below, take a peek at a side by side comparison of footage from the Alpha build of Final Fantasy XIV compared to the Beta build. For those who don’t understand that difference, Alpha code is an earlier version in the game’s creation life cycle. This is where more of the bare bones of the game is laid out. In Beta, more testing occurs and polish has been put over details in both gameplay and graphics.
Still set for an unannounced 2010 release date, be sure to check back right here for more news on Final Fantasy XIV. In the meantime, check out the video and some pics from the game after the jump.