Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review - a wonderful cross-platform MMO worthy of monthly subscription
- Posted September 7th, 2013 at 21:59 EDT by Timothy Nunes
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There are so many addictive and enjoyable gameplay elements in Final Fantasy XIV that WoW-schooled veterans and MMO rookies alike will love. It's been a long time coming, but A Realm Reborn is finally here, and Square Enix makes the most compelling case for subscription-based gaming in almost a decade.
- Vivacious, unparalleled soundtrack
- PC-grade, WoW-competitive MMO on a console
- Jobs, Materia, narrative, gameplay... Incredible
- Visual and technical compromises
- Bland voice acting taints otherwise-stellar audio
Unfortunately, the Garlean Empire has resurfaced in A Realm Reborn, and the narrative that you, the player, experience is how the Garlean Empire is dealt with again. Official Square Enix embargoes allow me to cover story-related content to a certain point, but I'd much rather leave the plot to your disgression. What I can promise you is that the story ebbs and flows with the essence of Final Fantasy, from the character designs to the plot directions and the story arcs, and the main quest chain is the same for every class. Regarding classes, each one has its own story that starts at their respective guild, and the story is told through quests that appear in the guild quarters as your character progresses.
From this point on, everything about World of Warcraft described in this review will be borne of my personal opinion. As I see it, some of the amazing aspects of Final Fantasy XIV cannot truly be conveyed without a proper source of comparison.
The original World of Warcraft release and Burning Crusade expansion were genre benchmarks and the only consistently good times in World of Warcraft. With Wrath of the Lich King and subsequent content, I was bummed by simplicity and easy access that simply fed subscribers with instant reward and no substance; the cash cow has gotten worse ever since. In contrast, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn has built upon the success of Final Fantasy XI with more accessibility while still demanding time and effort and, all the while, remaining thoroughly entertaining.
For example, A Realm Reborn features now-standard quest tracking, so you can find where your quests need you to go. Each quest has a button to track objectives, which shows you where your next task is located, but, every once in a while, your objectives lie outside the main map and you have to really dig into the quest text to figure out where you need to go.