Final Fantasy XV

A Final Fantasy for fans and first-timers. Another epic adventure from Square Enix

Yet again a new Final Fantasy. All the familiar enemies, quests, characters ( Cid ) and gameplay elements are there, in a new open world setting free to explore and make discoveries.  . The level of detail in Eos is a sight to behold, and the story has enough of twists and turns as in the previous iterations to keep things interesting. The story is told over the course of 15 chapters, some lasting under one hour, some several. The infamous Chapter 13 does quite dramatically change the games pace and feel, but the freedom in other Chapters makes up for it. Once the story mode has been finished, the “real” game starts. All past locations can be reached and items and quests missed during the first playthrough can be found. Many secrets and new dungeons await the player who thought the story mode was all there is. Might there even exist a monster the size of a mountain..?

FFXV gameplay
Final Fantasy XV, Gladio showing his moves

The player controls Noctis, a prince set to marry Lady Lunafreya from another kingdom. The focus of the story shifts quickly from romance to friendship. By Noctis’ side are 3 friends, Ignis, Prompto and Gladiolus. The groups dynamics and dialogue is quite well crafted, and the relationships develop throughout the game. The three can be given commands in battle. The fights happen in the open world, where most enemies can be found roaming around. Sometimes imperial soldiers are dropped from airships to engage Noctis’ crew in battle, and sometimes, especially during the nights enemies can arise from the ground. In battles Noctis can move freely, as can enemies. His special ability, and the main attack in the game is ‘phasing’. Noctis can warp-attack enemies from a distance for increased damage. For a less hectic experience, I recommend enabling ‘Wait Mode’ from the options. Once enabled, if Noctis stays still, all the action stops and the player has more time to plan the next move, much in the style of the older FF-games’ turn-based combat.

The storyline can be finished in about 25 hours. But to experience FF XV in its full beauty, finishing quests and maximizing characters will take a good 100+ hours. For fans the game is truly worth the price, and for a returning fan like myself the game was hard to put down once started. Most of the dull moments have been the long drives in the elegant car of the heroes, Regalia.  Noctis’ friend Ignis can be made to take the wheel so the player can just enjoy the ride, fast-travel to the destination is also possible, and the drives can be made more enjoyable by listening to different FF games music from the radio.

A game full of wonders, if not a 100% perfect ( Chapter 13 ) but still a praiseworthy addition to the never-ending Final Fantasy saga. I strongly recommend it to all who have fond experiences of some of the older FF games, and especially to the people who have never played anything in this series.

Score: 93/100

Game: Final Fantasy XV

Genre: Action RPG

Developer: Square Enix

Platforms:  PS4, XBOX ONE, PC

Release date:  November 29th, 2016

Language: English