- January 4th, 2017
- Platform: PS4 Pro
- Playtime: 49hrs
Welcome to Duscae…
You are going to love the battle system in FFXV although throughout most of the game, the battles will not be very challenging. Especially if you spend time at the beginning completing side-quests. Noctis is a great main character, and the story that follows him throughout the game is strong. You are the son of the king. You leave the kingdom with your three best friends, who are also your sworn protectors. As soon as you leave, the kingdom is invaded and your father is killed. Seems like a great set-up for an awesome story right? Well it is, except there are so many elements that make no sense. But still, overall decent story. I spent almost 15hrs doing side-quests before I got to chapter 5 (of 15). If you want to enjoy the story, maybe limit the side-quests until after you finish the story.
The highlight for me was the graphical fidelity. Oh, and the battle system. More on that later. This game looks incredible. The first 10hrs or so, I played FFXV in 1080p and the rest on a 4K TV with HDR on high. There were no framerate issues on the PS4 Pro, and it truly shined. The world is huge and driving your Regalia (a luxurious car, made exclusively for royalty in the game) can be breathtaking at times. Final Fantasy games always deliver on graphics and FFXV might be the best looking game I have ever played. Controlling Noctis feels great, the animations are top notch, cut scenes (which there are not nearly as many as you would expect in a FF game) look wonderful as well. Overall, if you are a graphic fiend, this game will please.
I mentioned the battle system. You can only technically control Noctis, but you also have limited control of Prompto, Ignis, and Gladiolus by assigning them moves and triggering them. The combat has a base layer, you assign weapons to Noctis and can hold SQUARE (or B on Xbox One) to continuously attack. But in longer and more difficult fights, you’re going to have to work a little harder. In most cases, not much harder unfortunately. There are tons of weapons. Magic spells are consumables, and they can become so powerful that you can best most foes with only a few spells. Even with how easy the combat can be, it was ALWAYS fun.
Leveling up your characters is unorthodox in true Final Fantasy fashion. You earn XP like in most RPGs and you level up when you rest with your friends. The other element, AP, is earned when you battle, drive around, ride chocobos and more. This AP is used to gain new abilities which is much more valuable than the XP leveling. One complaint I have is how fast you can level up in FFXV. I was overpowering all of the story enemies after Chapter 3. Not by a few levels. By like 15 levels. Too easy!
I had 6-8 weapons I used the whole game, and I frequently used spells. Later in the game, I learned to make my spells nearly 5x more powerful by mixing them with items. The spells get so strong it’s almost unfair.
After finishing the story, I went back into the world looking for stronger monsters and more difficult battles. There’s a lot to do in Duscae after the ending and we keep hearing there is much more to come.