Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition Review – A Whole Lotta Final Fantasy Goodness

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition
Square Enix

The fifteenth installment of the long-running fantasy/science fiction crossover series, Final Fantasy, has been out since November of 2016. However, Final Fantasy XV was previously only available on consoles, which made many PC gamers who are ardent Final Fantasy fans almost come to tears. So was it worth the long wait and has Square Enix proven that they can finally make good PC ports from console-first games?

Well, if it’s any indicator I’ve been glued to my computer since the PC version, titled: Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition, recently debuted. Strait off the bat, there is a ton of content packed into this game. The PC version comes with all of the content from the season pass along with lots of free updates, all combined into one gigantic package.

This is the first Final Fantasy title I’ve ever played but not my first Square Enix port. Not only was I blown away by how great this game is as a newcomer to the series but Square finally nailed it on producing a rock-solid console-to-port product. And others echo my sentiments. In fact, many veterans of the series say that this is the best game of the entire, hallowed franchise.

Right away I noticed how superb the graphics were. This game is absolutely stunning when compared to games of any genre, let alone RPG ones which can sometimes have rather lackluster visuals. There is also a 4k option for all of the gamers who want an even higher-end experience. Surprisingly, FFXV’s performance is handled well and I can tell that Square spent a lot of time optimizing the game.

As far as the storyline is concerned I had to go back and read up about FF games of the past in order to get up to speed. In this game, the main hero, Noctis (the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Insomnia) rounds up three of his best friends and sets out on a futuristic version of a road trip.

Their main mission is to deliver his fiancé Luna, the Oracle of Tenebrae to The Empire in order to try and negotiate a ceasefire between his faction and theirs. The Empire, by the way, is a gigantic superpower who is hell-bent on securing the Kingdom’s magical crystal for its own murky purposes.

So what happens? Well, (spoiler alert) the purported ceasefire negotiations were just a ploy by the Empire in order for them to attack and totally decimate the Noctis’ kingdom. After learning of this betrayal, Noctis and his friends set out with a new goal.

And what exactly is their goal? To seek out the reinforcements of Lucis’ former kings so that they may exact revenge upon the Empire as well as destroy the Daemon faction once and for all. The Daemons, by the way, are evil entities from another dimension which terrorize the world of FF by night.

As with many Japanese anime-infused media, FFXV’s storyline can be pretty convoluted and seemingly contradictory. At several junctures I found myself scratching my head as some plot elements were completely baffling. But I chalked a lot of it up to not being a veteran of the long-standing series. I did like the anime-inspired visuals, however, and the character and creature designs were both unique and had super-slick production values.

The core gameplay has been completely re-worked from previous iterations. Instead of being turn-based, it is much more action-oriented like Black Desert Online or Kingdom Hearts. But instead of being relegated to lots of button-mashing as with those titles, FFXV is much more tactical—you have to actually think before engaging in your mashing.

In an apparent ode to the Dark Souls series, in combat, positioning is everything. In order to have the best chance at defeating the game’s various enemies, you have to time their attacks and then leap in at their rear areas and attack their weak points.

The combat itself looks spectacular, with flashy combinations spraying forth rays of radiance and arcs of flame and pure energy. Both the game’s characters and creatures can also perform special, super-powered attacks which will really light up your screen—your entire screen. Both action and anime fans will be right at home here.

There is a ton of content to enjoy in Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition. It’s so good that I’m actually inspired to go back and play previous entries. Okay, at least maybe just the last two games.

SCORE: 87%

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition features outstanding graphics that make its action/RPG gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

Visit CyberpowerPC’s website to check out all of the other great deals as well!

 

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