Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix’s ambitious MMO, had a 2010 launch that was, ahem, rocky. It was very poorly received by fans and critics alike, so the developer took it back to the drawing board. The revised version, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, was shown here at E3.
The first part of our time with this game was being shown a trailer, mostly consisting of CG footage. It outlines a bit of the story, which seemed to me to be pretty standard fare for Final Fantasy (sample quote: “I would feast upon your aether!” – hilarious). Basically, it kind of came across like Final Fantasy fan fiction.
The gentleman who presented on the game didn’t go into any real detail about improvements to the core game, but instead focused on features such as the character customization menu. While I was more interested in what they’d learned from the experience of the failed launch a few years ago, it was somewhat of a consolation to know that you can give your female black mage a face tattoo (I can think of one staff member here who just got very interested in this game). In addition to these cosmetic features, players are also able to customize their combat style and choose companions that can sync with each others’ levels. Essentially, their stated goal is to get people into the game as quickly as possible. For players who wish to have more of a solo experience, a chocobo companion can be created to assist you.
Thus ended the presentation, but we were invited to take part in the Ifrit challenge. This consisted of our group choosing a character class and working together to take down the classic Primal (‘Primal’ being this game’s term for summon monsters). We fought bravely and actually had it down to a sliver of health, but were consumed by Hellfire and completely annihilated. To its credit, the game played pretty well and I didn’t experience any issues for the short demonstration. Perhaps this is the sign of better things to come?
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is coming to PS3 and PC on August 27, 2013. It will also be coming to PS4 in 2014.