When it released in 2010, Final Fantasy XIV wasn't known for its amazing gameplay, its immersive world or reinventing the MMO genre; no, it was known for being unfinished, incredibly buggy, having a multitude of missing features and for being one of the worst high-profile MMO games to come out in years. Flash forward three years and Square Enix not only pulled Final Fantasy XIV off the market but made considerable changes, redubbing the title Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Is this game worth your time when it hits the PlayStation 4?
At its core, the premise of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, called just Final Fantasy XIV from here on out, will be very familiar to anyone who has ever played an MMO. You create a character once you begin the game, taking on quests to level up your character and reach new areas while grouping with other players. Where Final Fantasy XIV differs is its emphasis on story, living up to its Final Fantasy name, and the Armoury System.
For anyone who has ever played a previous Final Fantasy game, such as Final Fantasy V or Final Fantasy Tactics, you're already familiar with the Armoury System. Depending on the type of weapon you equip, your job and skill set will change. The more you use a job, the more skills you unlock and once you unlock a skill, you can use it with any other job. Combined with the basic class system, the ability to frequently change your skills on the fly by equipping a different weapon gives you an unparalleled amount of freedom with your character, seen only in competitor MMO Rift.
If you're interested in customization combined with familiar Final Fantasy settings, keep an eye out on Final Fantasy XIV. However, if you're a player who has already gotten burning once on the game, you may be more interested in what has changed.
While Final Fantasy XIV has undergone many changes as it transitions to A Realm Reborn, these are some of the most significant:
- The entire game world has been redesigned from the ground up
- There are more character creation options
- There are now random world events, similar to Guild Wars 2
- The graphics engine has been completely overhauled
- Likewise, the user interface has been rebuilt from the ground up
And many more. A Realm Reborn is an accurate subtitle as the Final Fantasy XIV that existed before is now nothing but a memory, reborn into something worthy of the Final Fantasy name.
With so many free-to-play multiplayer games hitting the PlayStation 4, such as PlanetSide 2 and DC Universe Online, where does Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn fit in? Unfortunately, the game is not free-to-play and instead will require a subscription: $12.99 per month at the most basic tier. Additionally, you must purchase the game before you can play. The game itself remains the same price on PS4 as it did on the PS3: $39.99 for the regular edition with a higher price for the Collector's Edition. A PlayStation Plus account is not required to play Final Fantasy XIV.
PlayStation 4 Enhancements
Square Enix has made it official that PlayStation 3 FF XIV players can transfer their account to the PS4 version for free! However, doing this will make the account unplayable on the PlayStation 3.
In addition, the game will use the DualShock 4 touch pad for menu navigation and will offer remote play functionality to the Vita.
Final Fantasy XIV will have a beta test, open to all PlayStation 4 owners, that begins on February 22nd and will be split into two phases. PS4 owners will be able to download the beta test from the PlayStation Store on the PS4.
Phase 1: Lasts from February 22nd to March 3rd, and at the end of this phase all PS4 characters will be deleted.
Phase 2: Lasts from April 4th to April 7th, and all characters created during this phase will remain when the game launches a few weeks after.
Square Enix has confirmed that Final Fantasy XIV will release on April 14th, 2014. Preordering the game at participating retailers will entitle you to early access, enabling you to being playing the game on April 11th.
PS4 Experts readers, are you interested in Final Fantasy XIV or will you wait for the more traditional Final Fantasy XV? Let us know in the comments!
Game Category: Role Playing
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 6/19/2013