Final Fantasy XIV (14) is the next mmorpg in the acclaimed and widely popular Final Fantasy series. Many people who played their first popular mmorpg, Final Fantasy XI (11), have already heard about this upcoming release and are likely drooling over it. However if you are looking for a new game based on the gameplay itself, not just the name, Final Fantasy XIV may not be for you. From my experiences with the Beta, I will go over the pros and cons of this upcoming release.
As you start up the game, you will quickly be thrust into a familiar Final Fantasy staple. Character creation. The character creation is decent, better than games like the popular World of Warcraft yet not quite as good as others that allow you to change every detail, such as less popular Perfect World. There are multiple races to choose from, yet to my disappointment they were the exact same as Final Fantasy 11’s options, but with different names. You can be a human archetype, elf, strong looking mountain species, cat human hybrid, or a little midget dude. What bothered me was that the mountaineer and the cat person both were restricted by gender. You could not play a male cat person or be a female mountain dweller. It bothered me, as it seemed sexist and restricting. As for classes, the great thing about this game is that it doesn’t matter what you pick. You get class skills by using equipment of that class. So no pressure when choosing really. Now you’re ready to start. You will then have a tutorial based experience filled with cinematics with small actions you must perform in order to learn the basics of the game. In this case, killing weird squids that decide they don’t like you on their ocean.
After the tutorial, you are thrust into the world. In the Beta, there is only one city. Now, this is where the negative comes in. If you have an ATI card, as a large portion of players do, you will experience lag. In fact, if you have a card not made this year, you will experience lag. The game is extremely hardware intensive and optimized horribly so far. So if you happen to have a 2,000 + dollar gaming computer, at this point you will be playing without any choppiness. The next thing that bothered me may seem small to some. The city itself has many ledges and small roads. However, the game has no jumping whatsoever. You cannot go down the small ledges, you must take minutes out of your playtime in order to have tedious walks around. It feels like you are superglued to the ground. The game doesn’t feel modern in this aspect at all. Ok, so back to the important stuff. The quest system is interesting, splitting them into levequests, main quests, ect. The levequests can be done multiple times while the main quests or story quests can be done once to advance the story. However the quests are the standard and dull “kill 10 rabbits” ect. The combat system is slow and not fluid. You cannot move while using a skill. You must wait for the animation to finish, even if the enemy is moving.
Skills are limited. If you want to try something else besides fighting, there are classes you can choose to do other things like creating items and other trader type professions. This isn’t my thing though. I wanted to find some pvp (player vs player) action. Then I found out, there wasn’t any. If you like pvp, this game is not for you. If you like games that have fun fluid combat, this game is not for you. If you like a pretty game with little actual substance, this game might be for you.