Square Enix has been pumping money and development time into Final Fantasy XV for a decade, and now the game is finally set to arrive on the Xbox One and PS4. The reviews from critics have popped online ahead of release and what the critics have to say might surprise you.
IGN actually pointed out the good and the bad, mentioning that the game has somewhat of a duality going on where it's battling itself: one side being an open-world adventure game and the other side being a linear, corridor, narrative drama. They rounded out the score to an 8.2 out of 10, mentioning...
When I'm riding chocobos across the beach at dusk with my three friends and hunting iconic Final Fantasy monsters in a huge, picturesque open world, Final Fantasy XV feels like nearly everything I could want from a modern Final Fantasy. But when it funnels me into linear scenarios and drab, constricted spaces that plunge the simplistic combat into chaos, my blood boils a bit.
Reviewer and games journalist Ian Miles Cheong had his hands on an early copy of Final Fantasy XV, wasting little time to take to Twitter to talk up the highlights of the game within the span of just 140 characters, writing the following.
Game Informer also crafted a lovingly positive article for Final Fantasy XV. Although, like any relationship lasting more than a single night, there were problems that were encountered along the way. In the Game informer review, there were notes about the Regalia -- the flashy, expensive looking car that the four protagonists drive throughout the game -- feeling like a stiff, on-rails experience and that it barely goes above 60mph. The review also points out the same issue that IGN had with the game going linear near the latter half of the game, stripping away a lot of the freedom that preceded it.
Overall, though, Game Informer still had praise to shower down upon Square's bombastic effort to keep Final Fantasy mainstream, in spire of the flaws, writing...
Final Fantasy XV is unlike any RPG or open-world experience I've played before. It succeeds and struggles in finding its unique stance, but a few problematic designs don't hold it back from being a hell of a journey. Just days after playing it, I find myself reflecting on it fondly. The thoughts of that damn car are recessed and blanketed by Noctis' journey and some of the stunning moments that unfolded within it. I wasn't a fan of Final Fantasy XIII's sequels, but I hope Square returns with another XV or a similarly designed sequel to iron out the rough spots.
Venturing further through the critical gauntlet, Gamespot and The Verge actually gave gamers the thumbs up for Final Fantasy XV right in the confines of their tweets.
Both articles also praise the endgame content, noting that there are additional monsters and quests to explore well after the credits roll, something that's almost akin to a New Game+.
The Verge's review focuses more on the game's step away from the traditional JRPG formula of grinding to get stronger and get better gear and money. They assuage players by letting them know that side-quests and optional missions can be undertaken to advance character growth, and it doesn't have to include spending tens of hours out in the middle of nowhere grinding on a high-level monster.