Yes, I took that shot. In game. ❤ And much like the featured in-game image above, this game’s world is truly, impeccably, near-overwhelmingly vast and grandiose.
I am twenty hours in and have decided it best to do my best to stick with the main story, simply that I may actually complete the main story THIS LIFETIME. I am at Chapter 6 of 13 and have become completely entrenched with the mechanics of this game and its characters and world.
Want more on the setting and other-characters? Watch the movie “Kingsglaive”–absolutely phenomenal, and it builds fantastically on what is going on around, before, and throughout the game.
So let’s do this.
COMBAT MECHANICS: 9/10 Yes, left click to run. Left click to attack. Left click and move to combo-attack. Right click to dodge. Right click to parry. Press F to dash/warp. Hold F to warp to safety/strategy points.
But by no means does that make the combat null. My goodness there is so much richness in the combat system that I will put is as simply and briefly as possible: if you like to play the game with simple control mechanics, its built in and there. Easy to learn, easy to utilize, easy to overcome. If you want to dive into combos, battlefield effects, strategies, weaknesses/strengths, weapons, magic, crafting–you can get as deep as you want (within reason). Play surface level or dive deep. Its like walking over the ocean with cool water flippers that keep you atop the water, but should you dive, act as massive propellants to whichever depths thee desires.
GAMEPLAY/INTERACTIONS: 8/10 I love the focus of the friendships and their interactions. In fact, its what keeps the almost-too-vast world still impactful as I realize I left the car a mile in one direction and my original objective a mile and a half in the other. I love the roles they play in cooking, photoing, harvesting, comboing, and strategy. Shout-out to Ignis, the coolest cook/strategist I have seen characterized in the recent history. Where some of the villains/other fill-in characters feel flat and unoriginal, the core-four hold through and add so much to this game.
They love their car. They love camping. They love chocobos. They love certain foods. They prefer certain weapons. They talk, they chat, they interact, and they support. You can even invest into particular abilities allowing you to switch specifically between them during fights (though this playthrough, I am focusing on just Noctus and his mechanics).
GRAPHICS/SCENERY: 8.25/10 This game is vast and to-life. I love the world as it blends fantasy with down-to-earth reality. It feels real, with a great blend of “woah!” moments and monuments. Like, seriously, I take a photo in Witcher 3 and am like “this is absolutely GORGEOUS”; I take a photo in Final Fantasy 15 and am like “this is so stinking VAST”. Yes, there are bland moments in the maps/rendering, but that is far from a bother simply in light of the scale to which FF15 measures. Truly spectacular. Truly and verily impressive.
STORY/ORIGINALITY: 7.5/10 I am curious about the story, though feel that it would be lacking in significance had I not watched Kingsglaive three times before playing the game. Again, the scale is tremendous. Almost too much, in fact. Moments of the story feel detached due to the scale the game is addressing it. It’s hard to feel it personally when the big picture is so big. But it’s inviting.