The mist rolls in hiding Deadeye from my view. As I crouch and move slowly following him as he walks to his base I see a huge figure through the mist. I walk into an open space where a building has been destroyed. As the mist clears A Behemoth charges towards us and leaps over to me.
You play the game as Prince Noctis who is on the run from the Empire soldiers that have just overthrown the king and taken over the city Insomnia. There are 14 story chapters and a 15th that just allows you to do side quests you may have skipped when doing the main story. I thoroughly enjoyed the story but the chapters were really short with the average of three missions per chapter.
There is a movie, Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (2016), that you should watch before playing the game because it shows the events prior to the start of the game. It gives you some background information and some of the characters. There is also a 5 episode miniseries, Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV (2016), that shows the origins of the main game characters of the game.
As Noctis you are the only member of the group that can wield a sword and all other weapons. Your allies also consist of Gladious, his primary weapon is a greatsword and his secondary is a shield, Ignis, his primary weapon is daggers and his secondary is a polearm, and Prompto, his primary weapon is firearms and his secondary is Machinery. Each type of weapon has a good range of weapons with different stats that you can switch between to tailor to your play style. I made Gladious a heavy tank type so that I could focus on elemancy and keep distance between me and the enemy.
Elemancy is made up of fire, ice and lightning and you can collect up to 99 pieces and as you input them into the elemancy each piece gives one point. You collect treasure, food and items that you can add to the spell to give a secondary feature such as poison damage. Adding this also allows you to level up your spell. Elemancy really opened up how efficient I became in a fight as I was able to identify the weaknesses of enemies through wait time and use what they are vulnerable to.
There are some features that are not automatically selected but you can change in the options menu such as a stamina bar and wait time. Wait time is a really useful feature because it gives you a chance to check out how many enemies you’re facing and what they are weak to. This becomes very useful in hunts and missions that are higher risk.
The hunts are given by chefs that are at outposts scattered throughout the map. I found this very strange at first. However, there is one main chef, Takka Bradham, that gives you quests to hunt down creatures for their meat so he can make better food. Some hunts also allow you to get rarer items early game that allow you to upgrade your weapons and some can give you a good amount of xp and items.
As you gain xp it is not applied to your character straight away to level up. You have to sleep for the xp to used. As you level up you get Ability Points (AP) that you can use in the ascension menu to add new features and upgrade your character’s stats. I thought the ascension feature was a really nice way to tailor your characters to your play style. My only issue is that I wish they would have been more stat options.
Overall, I really enjoyed playing Final Fantasy XV. Even though the main story was relatively short there are enough side quests and the huge map to explore to keep you busy. My biggest disappointment with the game was the Regalia, Noctis’ car. You can’t manually drive the car until chapter 3 and even when you can you don’t really have much control. However, I thuroughly enjoyed the boss battles and dungeon bosses because they were challenging and with a few of them you couldn’t scan their weaknesses with the wait time and I actually liked that because it didn’t make the boss battles easier.