Proper now Ultimate Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is so in style you’ll be able to’t purchase it anymore. To forestall overcrowding and crashing servers, Sq. Enix have needed to halt free trials and new gross sales to maintain the sport secure after an unprecedented surge in recognition this summer season. Between that and the worldwide scarcity of supplies so as to add extra servers, it might be fairly a while till new gamers are capable of expertise it. When you have an lively subscription and handle to courageous the lengthy queues nonetheless, you’re one of many fortunate few who get to expertise one thing actually particular. For everybody else: dangle in there, will probably be definitely worth the wait.
FFXIV is exclusive amongst MMOs in that its story could be very a lot the main focus over speeding to gear up for endgame raiding, although that’s nice too. After 10 years of restarts and expansions, Endwalker is the ultimate chapter within the story of opposing gods Hydaelyn and Zodiark, and after the superb Shadowbringers expectations are excessive. Horrible towers have appeared all world wide ushering in an apocalypse referred to as The Ultimate Days so that you and your fellow Scions set off to cease it.
Throughout my review-in-progress, I discussed how the story will get off to a little bit of a sluggish begin whereas setting issues up, however was simply beginning to kick off, and holy hell does it ship. All my earlier misgivings are forgiven as the sport takes you in some actually surprising instructions, delivering some superb emotional punches. It actually does all the forged proud. After coping with the difficulty in Garlemald (the supply of frequent strife and villains in earlier expansions), you’re handled to the reveal of the grander, darker plot and set forth on a journey that takes you past the moon.
There are particular story beats that had me bodily pointing and gasping due to simply how far again a number of the foreshadowing for Endwalker goes – it’s all so superbly introduced collectively.
It additionally neatly brings in quite a lot of plot factors and characters all the best way again from A Realm Reborn in order that your whole favorite forged members get their likelihood to shine with out simply being shoehorned in for fan factors. There are particular story beats that had me bodily pointing and gasping due to simply how far again a number of the foreshadowing for Endwalker goes – it’s all so superbly introduced collectively.
Nevertheless, it does additionally imply you miss out on a lot of the expertise in the event you’ve skipped any of the earlier growth – taking part in via all of them is a should and in the event you haven’t performed shortly it’s value doing just a little Google refresher to get essentially the most out of it. Particularly you actually need to play the Crystal Tower and Omega raid collection and all the story linked with them. However when all the story up up to now is so good already it’s no hardship to catch up.
Admittedly there are just a few pacing points – a handful of quests oddly overstay their welcome and the stealth sections, whereas commendable for attempting to combine issues up, may be irritating as they simply don’t work very effectively inside an MMO. Baddie Zenos’ arc can also be a little bit of a letdown – his antics really feel superfluous to all the pieces else happening. Although weirdly these minor irritants and slower bits assist give a little bit of a psychological break to course of some significantly spectacular moments. I might positively really feel the warmth of tears attempting to flee my face and the sweat on my palms as a result of sheer depth and repay of sure moments. Thavnair and the vast majority of the fifth space (no spoilers right here, you actually need to play it) had been private highlights that I’ve continued to consider lengthy after I’ve stopped taking part in.
Tying all the story collectively is the sheer genius of Soken’s musical rating. Characters from earlier expansions will seem to variations of the soundtrack from that growth blended into the present one alongside basic Ultimate Fantasy themes. Moments which have been foreshadowed beforehand and accompanied by the right timing of lyrics from earlier theme songs. Once more, I don’t need to spoil an excessive amount of however the best way each Zodiark and Hydaelyn are represented all through the rating is phenomenal. There may be simply a lot hope in his music – slight twinkles in darkish moments that basically make you’re feeling like your Warrior of Mild is rising to the event. And all of that whereas he has been privately preventing most cancers is an completely astounding accomplishment. Endwalker’s soundtrack actually is a masterpiece.
On high of all that, Endwalker additionally raises the extent cap to 90, provides two new jobs and updates all the pre-existing ones. It’s been nice enjoyable seeing my laser-crystal Nouliths zoom round me in battle as a therapeutic Sage, and regardless of beginning at degree 70 it’s comparatively straightforward to choose up in the event you’ve had any expertise therapeutic earlier than. I wasn’t fairly as taken with the scythe-wielding DPS Reaper, however that’s very a lot a private style factor because it’s at the moment sitting on the high of quite a lot of harm tables. Most different jobs have been streamlined just a little to make room for brand spanking new skills with the raised degree cap – I’ve been having quite a lot of enjoyable with the marginally simpler manoeuvring of Monk and the sudden burst of energy in Dancer’s rotation. Summoner has acquired an enormous remodeling that gamers appear proud of (mine remains to be solely degree 18!), however whereas the dimensions of the beasts introduced forth for battle is spectacular, they’ll fill a distracting quantity of the battlefield.
The belief system that permits you to run dungeons with a celebration of NPCs additionally makes a return and is effectively value doing the primary time you deal with every one. Particularly, in the event you run the extent 87, 89 and 90 story dungeons with members of the forged you’ll get much more out of the story. It actually helps make everybody really feel like they’re a better a part of your workforce for doing it, even when it takes just a little longer than doing it with different gamers.
After you’ve completed the principle story there’s nonetheless lots to maintain you occupied together with excessive variations of two trials, two different degree 90 dungeons, hunts, and a not too long ago added 8-man raid collection referred to as Pandaemonium. Presently solely the ‘regular’ model of the raid is on the market to present folks the possibility to gear up earlier than the ‘Excessive’ model drops in January, however getting just a little extra Lore in regards to the Ancients is a welcome distraction. Between that, crafting and gathering to make all the tons of of recent gadgets and upcoming seasonal occasions there’s huge quantities of content material to see you thru to the upcoming patches and the wait to see the place Sq. Enix will take FFXIV subsequent.
Endwalker isn’t fairly as tight of an expertise because the earlier growth Shadowbringers and positively suffers from just a few pacing points, but it surely’s nonetheless a should for Ultimate Fantasy followers and exceeded all of my expectations. It’s additionally displaying its age graphically now (the grapes memes attests to that), however in the event you love the principle FF video games and nonetheless haven’t tried this MMO but, then you actually need to repair that (when the sport goes again on sale once more in fact) as you’re lacking out on one of many best FF tales of all time. A real should play regardless of its flaws.