The wait for this game was long and cruel. But after waiting almost a decade, we finally got our hands on the latest epic adventure. Living up to its predecessors, Final Fantasy XV has its fair share of twists, turns and an exciting original storyline. However, it has also been met with much controversy over the array of new features that bring the series in line with the modern industry.
In a nutshell, there is a war between the Empire and the kingdom of Insomnia. Insomnia gets invaded and The four protagonists set out to reclaim their home. Final Fantasy XV directly tells the story of Noctis Lucis Caelum, the prince of Insomnia, together with his best friends: Gladiolus Amicitia, Ignis Scientia and Prompto Argentum, on their journey to take back the Crown City and the throne of Insomnia. The majority of backstory for the characters, the relationships between them and the politics of the war, you’ll want to look for the extended media: The movie “Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV” and the five part series “Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV.” While you’re at it, check out “Justice Monsters V” on mobile devices and keep an eye out for “Kings Knight” coming soon.
As many returning fans will know, Final Fantasy has primarily been a turn based strategy type game, where your equipment and spells play a large role in progressing through the game. The new title saw a complete overhaul in the combat system, which is now closer to that of an action RPG, with the only tactics involved are the type of weapons you use against which enemy and by working as a team. Also, your spells are more like elemental bombs that can be equipped by any character, which are very powerful but can damage your allies as well.
Another notable feature is the vast, open world that sets the scene for the games events. Included in the huge world is one city, two settlements and many parking spots, hotels, etc. Within a map so big, its important to include a fast way to get around and plenty of other activities to do. To this effect, you will be spending a lot of time either on foot, or riding a chocobo on your way to completing hunts and the various side quests around the world. As big and interactive as the wold is, it is also the game’s major criticism, since after completing the first act of the game, you are transported to a new area, where the game becomes very linear with very few opportunities to return This sounds a lot worse than it is, since its more like an 80/20 split and the second act of the game serves only to further the plot. There is an opportunity to return to the open world wherever you can find a place to rest.
The main problem with this game is the story itself. Though very enjoyable, it can be a little confusing at first since a lot of the details were deliberately left out in favour of the extended media. Also, this marks the third time a Final Fantasy have started with an all out war theme (VI, XII and XV) so the first chapters feel a little slow and stale at first before the plot starts to build. A final point is that certain points of the story are unfinished or left out deliberately. I wont spoil, but they are blatantly obvious when you come across them. The reason for this is to allow for additional DLC chapters to fill in the blanks. All opinions on this aside ( and trust me, I have VERY strong feelings about this…) the facility to fill in those blank spots is available should it matter to you.
Overall, though, Final Fantasy XV was very much worth the wait and offers hours of enjoyment. As mentioned before, if you want to understand more about the world surrounding the game, be sure to watch Kingsglaive and Brotherhood for the full experience.