It works but it’s not for everybody as is the recent port of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn developed and published by Square Enix out now for the PlayStation 4. The common put-off to gamers wanting to experience the bigger MMO games is the requirement of a subscription fee which unfortunately applies here too but biting the bullet certainly has its rewards.
Realm Reborn is a re-release of Final Fantasy XIV which flopped making this transition to a smoothed out MMO game a huge apology to career Final Fantasy fans across the globe. The story remains though as your created avatar embarks to the world of Eorzea which long ago suffered devastation from the Final fantasy veteran, the mighty dragon-like, Bahamut. The power of the Mothercrystal summons you to Eorzea on a quest to regain balance to the world; you do this in the form of a series of quests given by friendly NPC’s. The main quest line however is separated by nicely designed cut scenes although only a small handful of them are voice acted so you must read a lot of the dialogue to follow the plot. Its nicely written though so it’s not boring at all but after a while, reading becomes cumbersome so skipping through a portion of it is inevitable. The gameplay takes on the World of Warcraft style, you control your created character in third person, make them perform actions and attack using the X button, circle is your cancel button and the shoulder buttons act as your hotkey toggles. R1 toggles between your attacks and your social abilities like emote actions, holding L2 or R2 whilst pressing the X, Triangle, Circle or Square buttons respectively enables your character to perform that attack or special action such as Sprint or teleport. Now the MMO part means that players from across the world will be questing just like you are and they can be seen populating your screen, you can chat to them or in PvP areas you can fight them to gain extra experience. Square Enix have simplified things from World of Warcraft though as you now gain the kill and items from dead enemies plus experience share if you inflict enough damage rather than first hit means that person gets it all which makes the levelling process and grinding much easier to endure.
Dungeons must be undertaken in a group using the Duty Finder option, this allows you to choose a dungeon and wait in a virtual queue before embarking. Players take on the roles of Tank, damage dealer and healer and must perform their roles effectively in order to succeed. Completing dungeons not only allows you to proceed with the story but also reaps some handsome rewards meaning some of the best loot in the game can be gained through these. Realm Reborn looks fantastic on the PS4, finely detailed characters and a lush world with randomised weathering effects makes for some awesome views. Beautiful sunsets, raging thunderstorms and desert sandstorms are but a few to behold making traversing the world a blast. Final Fantasy XIV is a fantastic looking game even in the harrowing dungeon environments which are rife with mean looking and weirdly designs enemy types.
A Realm Reborn is a fantastic RPG with a smooth consistent frame rate, beautiful visuals and deep combat and inventory systems. If you’re willing to pay to play then you will be blessed with a fine game, luckily though, you get 30 days free upon purchase. If you’re new to MMO’s then Final Fantasy XIV is a great place to start.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Developer: square enix
Publisher: Square enix
Release Date: 14th April 2014
Story – 4/5
Graphics – 5/5
Gameplay - 5/5
Overall – 5/5