So I’m now 15 hours into the game, been playing at a slow and steady pace so far. Because I’m about this far, I figured I’d give my first impressions on the game as it stands after 15 hours of gameplay.
I’m only at Chapter 3, I haven’t gotten through much of the story as of yet. But given what I’ve played through so far, there’s not really anything that’s happened that’s turned me off of it. Granted as of right now, it’s a very basic evil invades your land, kills people, now go fight them kind of story, but in the little bits of story I’ve played so far, it’s progressed very naturally and hasn’t felt like elements and plot twists have been thrown in for the sake of throwing them in.
While I haven’t reached a major city yet, the open world so far between Chapters 1 and 3 that I’ve seen has been nothing short of absolutely breathtaking. The idea of the initial areas being more open land with a few outposts here and there, like you’re travelling in those desolate areas between major cities. There’s enough variety so far as well, a desert, a beach, a forest, a crazy meteor-destroyed land that actually may just be one of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen in terms of world design. There’s a lot to love here and I can’t wait to get into the big city landscapes.
I’ve already talked about the world design, so let’s talk about the other pretty things in the game. The character designs are top-notch, which is a shame because at times it feels like the lip-syncing is not that up to par. But every character looks fantastic, their clothes are well-detailed, especially when in the elements, seeing their clothes get drenched from the rain really brings the realism to the whole package. Another little thing I like is when you use magic spells, the land will frost up a bit, or the foliage will char and burn when a Fire or Thunder spell is cast. It’s to be expected that a Final Fantasy game is downright gorgeous, but hey, that won’t stop me from gushing about it!
I’m still not 100% sold on the system yet, a major reason being that I haven’t really had a unique battle yet and I’ve got a lot of skills left to unlock, so I’m not experiencing the game’s combat system at full capacity. I’m getting better and better as time goes on, being faster with warp strikes, getting myself into position for blindside attacks, all that jazz. However it’s very weird not having someone who can cast Cure spells during battle, your main source of healing is either warping to safety where HP heals faster or by the use of items. Also, in the early going here, it’s been way too easy for me and the party to get overwhelmed, especially when the Magitek forces come out, which I’ll get to later.
As of right now, the music is for the most part decent. It’s certainly not bad, but when you don’t really notice it some of the time, it’s hard to say whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Not to mention with the addition of various soundtracks in the Final Fantasy library added to your car’s playlist, it’s hard to really get a good sense of the new game’s music when you want to go on a nostalgia trip with the older music.
There is a ton to do outside of the game’s story, to the point that I’m pretty sure I’ve spent far more time sidequesting than working on the actual story. How do I know this? Because the current story quest is Level 10…and I’m Level 22. There’s a lot to do, sidequests, hunts, finding food ingredients, treasures, fishing, there’s so much to do that you don’t really need to grind, you’ll do it naturally if you do all the sidequests. The one thing I have an issue with is the game opening up sidequests in areas you don’t have access to. I don’t know why they don’t unlock the quest until after you’ve done a main story quest that opens up the area where the sidequest lies. It’s weird getting a Level 26 quest when you’re only Level 15 and it’s in an area you can’t reach yet.
The Voice Acting
As of this moment, I have nothing bad to say about this game’s voice acting. The four main guys are gelling very well together, which is a relief as I was worried an all-male cast would drone on, but no these four mesh together so well, a collection of unique personalities. The addition of different accents too are fantastic, notables being Cindy (aka Cidney, I don’t care what the game says her name is, it’s Cidney to me!) with her southern belle accent, Sania with her Louisiana accent and Dino with his New York/Italian accent. It’s fantastic to have that kind of diversity in a game’s voice acting when we’re so used to just plain old American voices or if you’re lucky, an English accent.
The Little Negatives
- Thankfully there’s fast travel, but it takes way too long to get to certain places by car in the game, especially when I haven’t even unlocked a good chunk of the map yet.
- I do not like how you’re fighting other enemies and the game will just drop Magitek soldiers on top of you, it becomes really unfair and overwhelming at times.
- I feel like there’s too much of an emphasis on either eating or having Ignis cook for you to increase your party members stats, whether it’s HP, attack power, resistances, experience bonus and more, especially when the best food is either really expensive or takes a lot of hard to find ingredients. I spend way too much time with low-stat bonus food in my stomach, my usual are the french fries just for the larger HP bonus.
- The sudden cutscene at the end of Chapter 1 really comes out of nowhere and without any dialogue it carries zero weight when in actuality, it should mean a lot more.
- I know they’re powerful spells, but to only craft as many as three casts per spell max is a little ridiculous.
So with all that being said, at this point in time I’ve gotta tell ya, it’s breaks my heart to say that after 15 long years of waiting for a good Final Fantasy game, I just don’t know if–
Ah, I’m just kidding, this game as of 15 hours in is fantastic and a huge relief for me given how sour I’ve been towards the series all the way from FFX to now. There’s a few rough patches in the game and I’m still not 100% sold on the combat, but this game is leaps and bounds better than FFXII and all three FFXIII games, it’s not even close. While I don’t feel the series has gone back to what made it great in the first place, it’s at least finally taking some steps to become a better game again.
First Impressions Rating: 8.5/10