Everything's connected in Final Fantasy XV .
That's not a metaphorical statement; it's a literal one: Game director Hajime Tabata clarified the map's structure in a new GameSpot interview .
Basically, it's going to be one giant land mass, so players can explore every inch of it via walking, driving, or taking the train. The goal is to make players feel as if all locations are connected, and so they are. It's a "fantasy based in reality," after all:
"The world is connected by continuous land. If those areas were disconnected, it would feel distant from reality. You’ll find that you’ll be able to walk or drive or take a train and travel through this world seamlessly. I feel you’ll be able to experience something similar to a real trip."
So, will there be an airship? Unfortunately, that's not something the developers can answer right now because in brief, they haven't decided yet. Tabata said the team "does understand that this is something everyone is looking forward to" but it's a "huge technical challenge." Well, I can do without it but then again, I don't really intend to play it, so I probably don't count.
I'm not sure how this map is any different than any other map we'd find in an open-world sandbox game. They're all "connected." I guess I'm not seeing any distinction between FFXV and GTAV, for example. I will say, however, that if they're still debating adding substantial things like an airship, I fail to see how the game will be ready to ship this year. I'm guessing that won't happen.
Related Game(s): Final Fantasy XV