Final Fantasy XV Window Edition Review (PC) : Noobreview :: A 4K Fantasy

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Final Fantasy XV is the latest and fifteenth instalment in the long running JRPG series. Developed and published by Square Enix, it released in 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can check out our PS4 review here. There was doubt in the air as to whether the title will grace PCs all over the world. But all these came to an end in March 6, 2018, when Square Enix released the pc port built using an enhanced graphics engine and containing all sorts of tweaks and DLCs.

Final Fantasy XV- Window Editon is easily the improved version of its console counterparts in terms of graphics and framerate. While the console versions performed reasonably well, it’s always up in the air whether a PC port is going to come out well or not. But fortunately enough, FF XV is a solid pc port. It’s a story-driven, open-world RPG that sees you step into the shoes of protagonist Noctis Lucis Caelum, a prince in the Kingdom of Lucis, as he travels through the war-torn planet of Eos.

FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION

DETAILED REVIEW


Story & Narrative

The story of Final Fantasy XV follows Prince Noctis and his three friends as he embarks on a journey to reclaim his kingdom that has been invaded by the empire of Niflheim. He discovers he is on a quest to combat the powers of darkness with the powers of light only the Lucian lineage of kings can wield. The prologue to the game is told in Final Fantasy XV Prologue ‘Parting Ways’. The movie Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and the anime series Brotherhood- Final Fantasy XV happen concurrently with the events of Final Fantasy XV.

Noctis and his three friends begin their journey to Altissia, the capital of Accordo, where Noctis’ wedding to Lunafreya will take place. Finding the local boat services stopped, they receive news of Niflheim’s attack on the city of Insomnia and theft of the Crystal; King Regis has been assassinated, and both Noctis and Lunafreya are declared dead. From this point, the adventures start you will be travelling various vistas fighting various monsters big or small.

The main quest is not the most memorable part of FFXV, which is bad news for any RPG, but what it excels in is the side quests and the bond of friendship between all 4 characters. Whether they are going fishing, cooking or fighting, the banter between them isfun,, true friendship without any shackles, that’s the most memorable part.

Gameplay & Mechanics

Final Fantasy XV is open world JRPG, where the player plays as Noctis and has his friends as constant companions. Noctis is the only character you control unless you are playing the DLC. The movement system is fluid and smooth. Other than basic movements, he can perform jumps and take cover for health regeneration. Just like its predecessor, you can pause the battle in between and devise new plans or refill potions or change equipment. Noctis time to time can combine abilities with his companions.

Now let’s talk about our beloved Regalia and how it runs. No matter how beautiful it is, driving is the worst part. You will leave it to your friend Ignis most of the time since driving controls are clunky and feel weird. Other than driving, you can heavily customize the Regalia. It also needs to be refuelled periodically. If you are not using the car to explore, what other fun way is there besides our beloved chocobos. These fun little ostrich looking birds can also be customizable by the player. Unlike ragelia, chocobos are fully manually controlled.

Now for what to expect day to day in FFXV; you need to eat and rest, so it’s up to you how you spend your gils (in-game currency) whether they are eating in a fancy hotel or camp out taking ingredients from wild and eating the food made by Ignis. Different recipes give different stat boosts. So it is advised not to fight on an empty stomach.

The game uses an action-based real-time battle system, called the ‘Active Cross Battle system’. Instead of using a menu interface, the player selects commands directly mapped to buttons on the controller, such as “Attack”, “Defend”, and “Item”. Noctis can attack, defend, parry and warp. Depending on the position some attacks deal heavy damage. Then there is the special attack called royal arms once the meter fills up. These are powerful attacks that consume HP. Later in the game, he can summon many powerful creatures to aid against huge enemies

Since we are talking about window edition, How can we overlook keyboard and mouse controls? Keyboard controls are good but little bit clunky. The best way to play FFXV is to with a controller. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s far better than the many previous pc ports. If you are playing with keyboard and mouse, there is no mouse pointer in menus and you have to navigate using the keyboard.

Visuals, Performance & Sound

The world of Eos is a beautiful & dangerous place. The PC version takes it to a whole different level  compared to the console counterparts. If your pc can handle it, crank up the settings in 4k and you will be in awe for couple of minutes just staring at the screen, praising the beautiful world of Eos. Particle effects are of the next level. During explosion and freezing effects, you can see even the minute details. You can change many graphical settings according to pc specs. Even in 1080p the game looks stunning. The game is capped at 120 fps and those who have a 144Hz monitor they can find something to complain, but others who own a  60Hz or 120Hz monitor, the game runs smooth and without any fps drops. More the fps, the merrier.

In sound department FFXV excels. With superb music and sound quality you will get immersed in the world of Eos. The soundtrack while driving regalia or during combat are just plain amazing. Regalia comes with a pre-installed soundtrack. You can change it and can find new soundtracks while exploring. While You standing on the beach or fighting a monster, the amazing work done by the developers shows up in spades.

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VERDICT

Final Fantasy XV- Windows Edition is easily the best version among the three, as well as being a well-made port. It’s a solid entry to the pc costing only USD $40 or INR 2899, Whereas most of the AAA titles costs no less then $60.

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