Review of the game Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn - a truly reborn MMO

Author: Hed
Date: 2013-10-16 07:00:00
The review was based on the PS3 version.

The fourteenth installment of the Final Fantasy series is one of the most spectacular failures on the MMO market in history . The game was released at the end of 2010 on the PC and was extremely critically received by fans. It was sterile, hermetic, strange, defective and empty, and as if all of this was not enough, the community had virtually no contact with the creators. Square Enix tried to save itself by changing the developer, but it was far too late for such moves. In the end, the publisher decided to take a desperate step - withdrew Final Fantasy XIV from circulation to calmly refine and remodel the product.

The basic version of "fourteen" turned out to be so weak that hardly anyone believed in the success of the Japanese plan. This decision, however, turned out to be good for everyone, because Final Fantasy XIV was quite successful. It is nice because it is one of the few items of this type available on consoles, namely on PlayStation 3.

The action of " fourteen" takes place in the world of Hydaelyn, on the continent of Eorzea, which survived a major cataclysm . Of course, this is known for the great trailer "extermination" thanks to Bahamut, indirectly symbolizing the fate of the first, unlucky version of Final Fantasy XIV . In the game we play the characters who participated in these events, but do not remember anything of their past. In this way Square Enix explains the development of the universe and the fact that now it meets veterans from the first part of the title and completely new people. The characters share one overarching goal - to help rebuild the world and defeat the forces that threaten it. We are also constantly experiencing reminiscences about the great battle and visions related to the mysterious crystal.

As is usually the case in this type of games, the story is conveyed in the descriptions of tasks, slightly too elaborate statements of characters and cut scenes. Only some of them have good voices, so be prepared for a lot of reading if you intend to follow the developments closely. It may not be a thrilling story, but I must admit that it serves interesting threads and has nice associations. The more that it is associated with a good gameplay mechanics - for example, service to one of the three factions, local city-states. Final Fantasy XIV also uses the typical style of the series - absolutely serious issues are intertwined with completely absurd trivia . So expect a mix of pathos and unsophisticated humor, stylized characters and fights with both powerful beasts and furious pudding. Final Fantasy full mouth and good, because - to be honest - thanks to this the game is a bit more expressive than the average fantasy production.

The refreshed "fourteen" impressed me with the gameplay mechanics, which looks thoughtful. Let's start with the fact that in the game we create a hero representing, among others, one of eight classes, fulfilling the classic roles in MMO, i.e. tank, healer, support and DPS - the first of them is to focus the enemy's attention, the second to heal, the third support and fourth deal damage. An interesting fact is that from a certain point the classes can be freely changed and raised at the same time, thus acquiring additional skills, and even unlocking new directions of development . Not all abilities of another class can be applied to the main one, but there is plenty to choose from. As a result, the system is initially easy, but over time it allows you to create various combinations and creates a lot of scope to show off. One option is to unlock a special profession that combines the features of several others - my archer can, for example, turn into a bard. Good idea, because to some extent it eliminates the need to create several heroes to learn all the options.

Similarly, professional - let's say - classes that allow you to collect raw materials or produce items. Each of them is developed separately and as long as I'm not mistaken, there are no restrictions here. In addition, even a miner or alchemist has their skills - some of them allow you to trace minerals to collect, others facilitate mining itself or increase the chance of what we do.

Over time, we get access to more opportunities, often in places that have already been visited. An example is a very nice system of three associations, in which we make special levequests, deliver the indicated raw materials or products and earn seals. They can be exchanged for promotion or rewards, including for chocobo, which acts as a mount. There are also dynamically appearing events called Fate, most often involving a fight with a group of enemies or a boss. These tasks, which are particularly generous in terms of experience points, are very popular. In addition, there are instances of various types - full-fledged undergrounds, smaller group challenges and so-called "trials". You can start them with a team prepared in advance or rely on the companion search engine. This one can be slow, but it works well and works in the background, so we are not stuck in a place like a peg.

It's great that you can enjoy almost any form of spending time from an early level. Thanks to this, there is a lot to do in the refreshed "fourteen" and we always have plenty of opportunities to gain experience on every map. The multitude and variety are the qualities of "fourteen" - and for that glory Square Enix, because there was a fear that the company would not cope with the time filling players.

And Realm Reborn is by no means revolutionary in terms of combat mechanics, but offers solid solutions . The system was based on the skills of characters requiring time needed for their regeneration (cooldown) and a number of tactical or magical points. An interesting fact is that the game displays the area of operation of some attacks, so in many battles you have to constantly move. In general, however, it is quite typical MMO, with all the advantages and disadvantages of this type of production. So I will say this: there are many clashes, but we have fun because the title offers different experiences . There will be something for people who want to relax. There are also many places and more difficult situations. The dungeons and boss battles that have been designed in an interesting way pose a special challenge. They often summon midfielders and use unconventional plays - the lack of reaction from the team ends in a quick death.

I spent a lot of time with Final Fantasy XIV - all the time sitting on the sofa watching TV. It will not be unusual for fans of Final Fantasy XI , a game available on three platforms, including two consoles. I guess, however, that PC MMO enthusiasts may not believe that it is possible to tame such complex systems with a pad. I confirm that it is possible because Square Enix has put a lot of work into improving the interface. Of course, at first it seems incredibly complex, chaotic and bizarre (especially finding the camera aiming / blocking the enemy). After getting to know him better, however, I must say that it would be difficult to come up with something else. The console controller does not guarantee such precision as the keyboard and mouse, but it works well enough. Another thing is writing in chat - here it is worth equipping yourself with additional accessories, which is not a problem, just any USB keyboard, the game recognizes it without trouble. You can even connect a wireless mouse to PlayStation 3 and play on the same principles as on a PC .

The console version of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn "runs well" but turns out to be far from perfect. It's probably not Square Enix's fault, it's just equipment and the need to squeeze out seventh sweats. In short, PlayStation 3 is clearly not making, which is why "fourteen" looks and works very unevenly on it . In some locations, you play literally 15 animation frames per second, others are fine. Such drops occur despite a clear deterioration of the visual setting - it can be seen in low resolution, poor quality textures, pixels and sometimes terribly stop-motion animation of characters and objects. The game loses readability, and on a smaller screen it can even give you a headache (especially around the city of Gridania). If you expect graphic fireworks, reach for the PC edition, which looks lovely .

In both editions, you'll get music that is just as pleasant to the ear. It's so atmospheric that it has survived until now, and usually in MMO I give up the soundtrack after 2-3 days of intense playing. I will only add that the voices of the characters were not everywhere - basically only in the most important cutscenes of the main story line. And that's good, because in my opinion it's lost money, which is worth spending on other aspects of the game.