The second half, says FFXV director Hajime Tabata, goes linear.
But here’s where things get interesting.
“As for Final Fantasy XV’s structure, it has both an open world part and a linear part. The open world [element] continues throughout the first half, and because of the story, the second half progresses linearly.”
Huh. Sounds like Final Fantasy XIII in reverse.
Continuing, he adds, “If you do it like that, then you won’t get tired of the open world, and as the whole game becomes more focused, you can enjoy a traditionally Final Fantasy style progression.”
Tabata added that playing through the game’s main route takes between 40 and 50 hours, so players should have the opportunity to savour both styles of gameplay.
That is, if Final Fantasy XV is any good. We’ll find out this November when the title is finally released.