I completed my first run through of Final Fantasy XV two weeks ago now, after 82 hours of gameplay. Let me say that again: Eighty. Two. HOURS. That is over three days of my life, so I think that I'm now in a pretty safe place to write a fairer and fuller review than my previous post, which you can read here if you missed it.
As seems to be the case with Final Fantasy games since the 10th instalment - this is a game that has fans incredibly divided - some love it and some hate it, and I can definitely understand both sides, there is so much to love about this game, for example:
- The open worldness (I personally detested the linearity of XIII)
- The sheer amount of sidequests and hunts
- The battle system - although it took a little getting used to - was pretty slick
- The graphics - albeit at times a little glitchy - were beautiful
The second half feels like the developers realised that they were half way through the game and had barely scratched the surface with any plot. I can seriously imagine the panicked screams of "shit! How are we going to cram everything we need into the second half!" and the crazy response being "it's okay, we'll cram it into seven ridiculously linear chapters, throwing the players completely off their game, and you know what, let's make chapter 13 into a freak-fest a la Resident Evil, including freakish zombies jumping up at you at random intervals."
Needless to say, I hated Chapter 13 - I understand the purpose of its existence, and I get that it was intended as a way of getting us to feel exactly what Noctis was going through - but as someone who isn't a fan of films or games that are intended to make you jump, it was an incredibly unnerving chapter that seemed to go on forever.
My only other gripe is a big one - there seemed to be a lot of plot missing, and I can only hope that future downloadable content is going to give answers to many burning questions that I have:
1. Where did Gladiolus go when he abandoned us?
2. How did Ignis lose his eyesight?
3. What happened to Cor?
4. What happened to Aranea?
5. Who are Prompto's parents?
6. What happened to Noctis' mother?
7. Where did Ignis come from? How did he become Noctis' advisor?
It might sound like I disliked the game, but there is definitely a lot to love about it. Although unpopular with many, I actually adored the friendship between the four male leads and found them quite endearing. In fact, I became so invested in the characters that I had to stop playing when Ignis lost his eye sight because I couldn't handle it - it just made me feel so sad. It made me realise how much emotion we put into characters, and how attached we become.
I'm finding it incredibly hard to actually rate this game, because to rate it low seems unfair to everything that I love about it, however, there are so many things wrong with it, that I just can't justify giving it a high rating either.
Despite that, as I stated at the beginning, I have dedicated over 80 hours of my life to the game, and I think that speaks louder than all the issues I have.