Published on August 27th, 2013 | by pea
REVIEW: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Release date: 27th August 2013
Rating: PG 13+
Available on: PS3, PC
Played on: PS3
Summary: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is just that, a realm reborn. It is a cross-platform MMORPG (massive multiplayer online role-playing game) that takes you into the realm of Eorzea, five years after the apocalyptic events of Final Fantasy XIV. It’s up to you to stop the impeding invasion by the Garlean Empire. For the record, I played this on the PS3.
Concept: Create a character from one of five races: Hyur (humanoid people), Elezen (elven people), Roegadyn (large and muscular people), Miqo’te (cat people) and the ^squee^ worthy Lalafell (small, tiny, little people). Choose from one of eight classes then run about Eorzea grinding your way through hacking and magicking stuff until you’re strong enough to beat down Bahamut. It’s your stock standard MMORPG, nothing noticeably unusual or outstanding other than it’s set in the Final Fantasy universe.
Graphics: The graphics are decent, nothing overwhelming, but decent. By Final Fantasy standards they’re pretty average. Obviously if graphics are your thing then I would definitely recommend the PC version over the PS3. The UI is relatively clean and easy to navigate, after you conquer the initial learning curve.
Gameplay: Don’t get me started on the target cycling system. The PC version uses a pretty standard point-and-click system, however, I definitely experienced the combat limitations of the controller. Where simple one-on-one confrontations are handled with relative ease, cycling through multiple targets with the D-pad can be hair-tearingly frustrating. I was impressed otherwise with the controller layout. You will find that the hud provides quick and easy access to sixteen slots per each of the eight switchable hot-key bars. The connectivity is quite fast considering there are no Australian servers available.
Sound: The sound could be better. Apart from the standard Final Fantasy tunes (their music is always good) most of the conversations are done by lip-syncing to the mute button… that is, no voice acting for the most part. I personally would have preferred even a simple grunt of acknowledgment from the NPCs rather than silence and a lot of mouth movement. It just seems a little odd and sometimes frustrating as it delays the cut-scene.
Multiplayer: Typical MMO multiplayer features are present: join parties, save friends to friends lists, chat publicly and privately, fight together and against each other (PVP) and the oh-so-important ‘/dance’ emote are some of the notables. I had no problems using any of these features, finding it easy to search and find friends, invite them to parties, emote etc. You can also join in on ‘Fates’ (live challenges where you can be rewarded with cool gear, experience and gil) without being a member of a party.
Awesomeness: It’s hard to believe we finally have a full scale MMO on console. With that in mind, this game is pretty awesome. One of the best features that I have to make note of is the cross-platform play, where PC players can connect with PS3 players and vice versa. And, as it is tied to your account, you can equally carry your characters across platforms. The down side is, I feel that this game has been an unfortunate victim to the lack of originality that’s starting to plague the genre. Also, I was a bit disappointed when it came to the leveling, as I felt like I couldn’t quite progress the character the way I wanted.
Final Word: Overall, it’s a solid MMO. Other than the targeting system, I was impressed with the transition to console. I would, however, recommend the PC version if you’re tossing up between the two, unless trophy hunting is your thing. In short I can happily say that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a solid prelude to what we can expect in the next-gen of online console gaming.
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing