The pairing of the Final Fantasy franchise with the Sony PlayStation brand has always been an amicable one. Over the years they’ve artfully supported one another in various ways, perhaps even pushing the both the game series and platform to new heights which neither might reach alone. In recent years, however, FF has taken just a bit of a nose-dive thanks in part to the terrible showing given by Final Fantasy XIV Online, the predecessor to “A Realm Reborn”. Luckily, this new iteration heroically picks up the bar and raises it high into the air, once again reasserting the legitimacy of FF as a major force to be reckoned with in the world of massively multiplayer online role-playing games.
Specifically speaking, this PS4 version of the game looks fantastic (as expected) and runs very smoothly as well. Graphically, A Ream Reborn isn’t pulling any punches, it’s packed full of detail, color, vivid environments and strange enemies to keep you pushing onward. Throughout it all there’s a sense of both wonder and discovery which permeates what you do within the context of the story, which itself is the same kind of dense and convoluted plot structure we’ve come to expect from the series.
Unlike a lot of other fantasy-themed MMO’s, FFXIV: A Realm Reborn simply thrusts you into one of three different locales without a whole lot of tutorial messiness. In other words, for the first bit of the game you’re basically exploring in a somewhat haphazard way, which is also kind of refreshing. This sink-or-swim mechanic is offset by the sheer amount of content that’s bundled inside the game itself, which is to be expected for any decent MMORPG worth its salt.
Offsetting the outward environmental aspect of the title, there’s the amazing depth in class / character creation to consider. Truly, this is one of A Realm Reborn’s strongest points as it allows you to essentially build whatever type of protagonist that you want, right down to the details. At the same, you’re not stuck with one set of possibilities to accompany whichever class you choose; in effect you are free to mix and match, which radically improves the game’s overall flexibility. Add to this all the token MMO aspects you’d expect to find inside and you have what is really probably one of the best examples currently available in its genre.
For the more social gamers, teamwork is richly rewarded and forward progress all the more easy to come by. There are even special inclusions added to the game for group encounters which greatly expand both the difficulty as well as diversity of challenges. FF fans will most certainly dig how the developers added “summons” which will bring enemies from previous titles in the series to do battle with.
Simply put, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn contains so many truly awesome points of sale that it’s tough to narrow down what makes it a worthwhile game. In short, the whole package is basically pure MMO bliss and will keep enthralled for perhaps hundreds of hours.