Square Enix has released a trailer for the new DLC: FFXV Prompto Episode and the least I can say is that it looks, well, nothing like the FFXV I came to know and love, or at least, thoroughly enjoy.
Final Fantasy XV was definitely one of my gaming highlights of 2016. After the complete and utter disappointment of FFXIII, I had come to terms with the idea that Final Fantasy was no longer worth my attention. But Final Fantasy XV managed to pique my interest in the series once more. I mean, the game is completely bonkers. If in 1997, after completing FFVII, I had been told that one day I would play a Final Fantasy game that would involve driving around an Americana inspired desert in a convertible, with four glossy haired fashion victims, fighting monsters, exploring dungeons, camping, cooking and generally having a Jack Kerouac style road trip, I would’ve probably freaked out because a madman was in my room claiming he knows the future… wait, where was I going with this? Basically, in the end, FFXV came together and much to my surprise provided me with a very unique, enjoyable gaming experience. You would think the release of new DLC would be an exciting event. But so far, the FFXV DLC has completely failed to grab my interest and Prompto’s episode looks set to keeping it that way.
I’m not going to go into too much detail on why the first DLC didn’t grab my attention. Too sum it up, it just looked like a series of corridors with a bunch of less dynamic fights. I didn’t really care what Gladio got up too after he spontaneously shrugged his shoulders and walked off in the middle FFXV. “Whatever Gladio, we’ll be fine without you!!” was my response.
The problem with having DLC that concentrates on Prompto, is that Prompto’s main weapon is a gun. Beforehand, Prompto was relegated to side character and did most of the fighting by himself, which was fine. But as a main character, well, you’re going to have to use guns, a lot. This significantly changes the game play. Although there’s nothing wrong with trying out something different, FFXV wasn’t built to be a third person shooter, so what we now have is basically a bit of a wonky looking shooter that doesn’t look or, I can imagine, feel anything like the main game. Seeing the trailer I couldn’t help but think of another mediocre FF third person shooter, the FFVII spin off PS2 game, Dirge of the Cerebrus: Final Fantasy VII. Which was hugely disappointing, to say the least.
Of course, it’s clear that the FFXV DLC is used as a means to fill in certain story elements and delve deeper into the characters themselves. There are two things wrong with this, however. Firstly, from the moment FFXV took on an open world format, the story was clearly going to suffer and lets be frank, it did. It wasn’t a bad story, it just wasn’t told very well. Not to mention there’s the anime, Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV, that already does a good job of filling in the backstory of the three main side characters. Secondly, all it does is draw attention to how much they rushed to release FFXV in the first place. I know, it’s crazy to think that a game that went through ten years of development could be considered rushed, but they clearly needed more time to refine it a little. They could have featured these backstory bits in the main game as side quests, where you play as the whole team with Noctis at the healm and therefore not having to reinvent the already fun game play.
I wish Square Enix would really take a look at what people enjoyed in FFXV and expand on that for their DLC. I think many people would agree, it was never about the story, it was more about exploring dungeons with your buddies at your back, zipping around the place as Noctis, armed with lots of cool melee weapons and not firearms. Wouldn’t it be cool to get a DLC that lets you explore more of the dark, demon infested world of the future, with the slightly older and grizzled cast of characters? Or maybe a handful of new and exciting monsters to hunt! How about the possibility of fighting and obtaining more summons! They have a long list of unused summons they could use from the huge catalogue of FF lore at their disposal. So much potential Square Enix, use it!
Until then, I guess I’ll look forward to playing cooking mini games that’ll probably replace all the fights in the Ignis DLC. That, or a recreation of what’s going on in Ignis’s head, as he stumbles through his own mind, desperately trying to come up with “a new recipaaaay.”