Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy XIV is a 3D fantasy-themed MMORPG from Square Enix. The game is a re-launched version of original Final Fantasy XIV, the second MMORPG in the franchise, and features an updated game engine, revamped gameplay, and a new storyline.
|Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: August 27, 2013 (NA/EU)
PvP: Duels / Arenas
Pros: +Great character customization. +Excellent soundtrack. +Good variety of classes and professions. +Player housing. +Dynamic class and skill systems.
Cons: -Generic fantasy setting.
Final Fantasy XIV Overview
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is yet another addition to the highly-acclaimed Final Fantasy franchise from the game giant, Square Enix. Enter the fantasy realm of Eorzea, a land embraced by the gods and forged by heroes. Play as one of five races, each with their own unique features and take your pick from eight combat classes and over 10 professions. Specialize in one class or mix them up to fit your own playing style. Follow a deep and engaging storyline while exploring a massive fantasy world chock-full of content that you’ve come to expect from a Final Fantasy game.
Final Fantasy XIV Key Features:
- Story Driven Gameplay – with high production value (Graphics, Music, Cinematics, etc).
- Character Customization – 5 playable races and 9+ playable classes to start. The equipped weapon determines a character's class and players can switch weapons at will.
- Cross-Platform Play – between PC and Playstation 4.
- Player Housing – through Free Companies (guilds) and private housing.
- High Level of Content – an incredible amount of content. Players can easily spend thousands of hours in the game without running out of content to explore.
- Small Features – lots of smaller features make the game feel complete (marriage, Golden Saucer mini games, tons of side quests, etc).
Final Fantasy XIV Screenshots
Final Fantasy XIV Featured Video
Final Fantasy XIV Classes & Races
Disciples of War:
- Gladiator – specializes in handling all types of one-handed blades from daggers to longswords. They can also equip shields in their offhand. The added defense shields provide make them suitable tanks. Gladiators can specialize as Paladins.
- Lancer – adept at keeping enemies at bay with their long, two-handed polearms. They are versatile combatants that can pepper their opponents with a barrage of attacks. Lancers can specialize as Dragoons.
- Marauder – a class whose weapon of choice is the great axe. They rely on strength and brute force to crush their enemies. Marauders make good tanks and can specialize as Warriors.
- Pugilist – masters of hand-to-hand combat and fighting at close quarters. They maximize their destructive potential through the use of knuckles made from metal, leather, or bones. They forgo the protection of plate and chain for lighter gear which allows for maximum mobility. Pugilists can specialize as Monks.
- Archer – can take out enemies with deadly precision from great distances. The bow is their weapon of choice and can equip arrows best suited to their enemy. Archers can specialize as Bards.
- Samurai - A high damage 2 handed weapon wielding class that was added to the game after the Stormblood expansion.
Disciples of Magic:
- Conjurer – controls elemental forces present in nature. They use wands or canes to focus their power and make great healers. Conjurers can specialize as White Mages.
- Thaumaturge – calls forth aether from within themselves to unleash destructive forces. They use scepters or staffs as mediums to mold aether into sorcery. Thaumaturges can specialize as Black Mages.
- Arcanist – can produce a myriad of powerful spells using symbols of power held within grimoires. They are able to summon Carbuncle as their companion. Arcanists can specialize as Summoners (DPS) and Scholars (Healer).
- Red Mage - Red Mages use both melee weapons and magic and can even heal themselves. They're a quick and deadly hybrid class.
- Hyur – the most populous of all the races and are known for their peculiarly short and rounded ears. They have modest heights and builds.
- Elezen – once the sole inhabitants of Eorzea, they believed that the realm was theirs by divine right. They have a long history of conflict with the Hyurs and are recognizable by their tall and slender physiques as well as their long and pointy ears.
- Miqo’te – a feline-like race with a keen sense of smell, powerful legs, and a tail which gives them exceptional balance. They are territorial and solitary individuals.
- Lalafell – short in stature, they appear as no more than children to the eyes of other citizens of the realm. They are nimble little folk that can be found in great numbers in nearly every city.
- Roeadyn – known for their large and brawny builds, they are the largest of all the races. Most of them earn their keep on or by the sea but a few can be found working as smithies or bodyguards.
Final Fantasy XIV Review
By Marc Marasigan
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, or FFXIV ARR, is a subscription-based pay-to-play 3D fantasy-themed MMORPG from gaming giant, Square Enix. The game was released for Windows, PS3, and PS4 on August 27, 2013 and is a re-launch of the original Final Fantasy XIV which was shut down in November 11, 2012 due to largely negative reviews. The aptly named re-launched version featured a different game engine, revamped gameplay, improved user interface, and a brand new story.
The events of A Realm Reborn take place in the mythical realm of Eorzea, five years after the apocalyptic events that concluded the original FFXIV. Players take on the role of Warriors of Light, heroes who have escaped the devastation by travelling through time five years into the future. They return to a realm rising from the ashes and rebuilding from the wake of destruction left behind by Bahamut’s release from his lunar prison while also dealing with the looming threat of invasion from the Garlean Empire to the north.
As a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series, I was absolutely giddy with excitement as I started up the game and waited for the opening cinematic to come on. I wasn’t the least bit disappointed. Final Fantasy games are not only known for their deep storylines but also for their awesome cinematics and cutscenes, and A Realm Reborn is no different. Everything is just so… wow, for lack of a better word. That being said, I promise you, dear readers, that I will try to be as objective as I can and will not let my utter devotion to the series cloud my judgement.
A Hero Returns
Like typical MMORPG’s, FFXIV players start off their adventures by creating characters, or avatars if you prefer. Players choose from five races with distinct features, such as cat-like appearances for the Miqo’te and pointy elf-ears for the Elezen. Players can also play as either male or female. Then, players pick from two clans which slightly changes their appearance before choosing from 8 combat classes falling under either Disciples of War or Disciples of Magic. Classes also determine which one of the three starting cities the player starts out in. For hardcore players who want the perfect builds, it’s important to note that different races and clans give different starting stats and may be better suited to some classes. Hyur Highlanders, for example, have high starting STR and would make good Lancers and Pugilists, while Elezen Duskwights have high INT needed by Thaumaturges. I, for one, am all about how my characters look so I pretty much choose characters that look good whatever their starting stats are. The developers at Square Enix have also pointed out that the stat differences will have very little effect on characters at max level. Also, the way FFXIV’s gameplay is set up, you’ll likely be using one character throughout the whole game, so make sure your characters look just right before jumping into the game.
FFXIV features character customization that comes close to games like Tera and ArcheAge but sadly, falls a little bit short. Players do get to customize a lot of things about their characters including height, build, tattoos, and face paint. Unfortunately, the customization feature doesn’t really offer too many other options apart from the hairstyle and hair color. They also lack the face sliders present in other games which, in my opinion, is the key to making truly unique-looking characters. As it is, characters basically look the same just with different hairstyles. Even the boob slider is a bit of a let-down. Nevertheless, players have plenty of options to customize their appearance through clothing and other in-game cosmetics.
A Beautiful Realm Rising From The Ashes
Final Fantasy games have been known for stunning graphics that push the boundaries of whatever machine you’re playing it on and hauntingly beautiful background music. FFXIV definitely checks out in both departments. The game’s graphics are absolutely stunning and the game world is so wonderfully made that there were times when I just wanted to stop for a while and admire the scenery. However, it does takes a decent machine to run it. The background music and sound effects also definitely live up to the Final Fantasy name, right down to the iconic level up melody that has served as ringtones of many fans of the franchise.
Signing Up For Adventure
After creating their characters, players are introduced to their starting cities through a somewhat lengthy cutscene involving a peddler who basically looks the same in all three cities but with different names, outfits, and accents. They might even be brothers. *shrug* Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, the cutscenes don’t have any voice overs. The way the dialogues were written sort of just sounded different in my head. Probably a side effect from reading too many books.
Upon reaching the city, the Active Help system, a fancy term for annoying-pop-up-boxes-explaining-stuff-you-already-know, quickly gets new players up to speed on the basics of movement and camera control. The Active Help boxes will continue to plague players every time they encounter new gameplay elements. Veterans MMORPG players can easily turn this feature off by ticking the “Don’t Show” checkbox found in the dialog boxes or from the character configuration menu. Players are also asked to choose their preferred control method at the start of the game. The game supports both the classic keyboard/mouse combo and gamepad controls. Every new adventurer starts out by visiting the local watering hole and signing up with the local adventurer’s guild. Signing-up makes you an official errand boy… err adventurer ready to deal with the town’s needs.
The Townies’ Little Errand Boy
FFXIV, like countless MMORPG’s before it, features the ever-present, time-tested, albeit monotonous, breadcrumb quest system that will, once again, have players helping out the local townsfolk with their multitude of chores and errands. These chores includes sending players on a wild goose chase killing mobs and collecting a variety of items around the realm. The game also features gameplay elements that players would normally expect from a big budget MMORPG such as professions, crafting, mounts, dungeons, raids, and a player housing system, which seems to be the current trend in MMORPG’s. Speaking of mounts, they come in the form of the iconic Chocobos which can be rented from major towns upon reaching level 10.
Aside from the normal quests, FFXIV also features FATE quests. FATE stands for Fully Active Time Event and are quests that spawn randomly throughout the game world. These are marked on the map as soon as one appears. FATE quests award Experience points, Gil, the game’s main currency, and GC seals, which players can use to redeem goods and services in their respective Grand Companies, ARR’s version of factions. Any player in the region can join the FATE quest. Rewards are awarded based on the FATE quests' difficulty and the player’s level of involvement in the quest. FATE quests, along with dungeons, are a great source of experience points when leveling up alternate classes since most of the story and town quests will have been used up by the time they start leveling their second and third classes.
Another feature unique to FFXIV is the Armoury Chest. This is where all weapons and equipment are stored independent from the character’s Inventory which is reserved for items, potions, and crafting materials. FFXIV’s cross-class feature requires players to have multiple sets of equipment ready to don at a moment’s notice. The Armoury Chest was put in place with this in mind. The feature prevents the Inventory from filling up with gear and lessens the grief of managing limited inventory space. The Armoury Chest can be accessed at any time by pressing Ctrl+I.
FFXIV allows players to switch classes by simply equipping a weapon unique to that class. Switching to the Lancer class, for example, requires players to equip a polearm type weapon, an axe for a Marauder, and a bow to switch to the Archer class. Players can change classes upon completing a main story quest around level 13. This also opens up crafting professions which are also considered as classes in the game. Switching to a new class brings the character back to level 1. Each new class can then be leveled up to 50, the current level cap. Specialized classes can also be unlocked by meeting the class requirements. For example, to become a Paladin, players must reach level 30 in the Gladiator class and level 15 in the Conjurer class. Class skills are also automatically unlocked upon reaching certain levels. While not every skill is usable when changing classes, players will still have access to a few “shared skills” unlocked from leveling up another class. This adds a bit of diversity to the classes and play styles. Just be sure to check the skill tool-tips to see what skills can be used with what classes.
Out For Blood?
Unlike other MMORPG’s, FFXIV players can play through the game without once engaging in PVP. Players don’t have to engage in PVP if they don’t want to which is why PVP is only available in designated areas of the game world. PVP comes in two forms: the Wolves’ Den and Frontlines. The Wolves’ Den is a more relaxed form of PVP which pits 4 players against another team of four in instanced levels containing stairs, pillars, and other obstacles that players can use to their advantage. The first team to eliminate the other wins. Access to the Wolves’ Den is granted by completing a quest together with a player’s Grand Company. Frontlines, on the other hand, involves a large-scale battle of up to 72 players divided into three teams of 24 players each. Teams work together to capture outposts, kill other players, and kill mobs to gain points. The first team to reach a certain number of points wins the battle.
Golden Saucer, Crafting, and More
Aside from the traditional PvE content, Final Fantasy XIV has a lot to keep players busy. The game's designers put meticulous detail into truly creating an immersive experience where players can do much more than just fight monsters. Players can kick back and relax while playing mini games at the Golden Saucer or just sit atop a rock and start fishing. From player housing (Free company and individual) to in-depth crafting, Final Fantasy XIV is one of the few games that truly feels like a complete package.
Final Verdict - Excellent
Square Enix has been known for successfully producing high quality big-budget games. Early failures aside, Final Fantasy XIV: A Real Reborn is definitely another addition to their growing pool of excellent games. The game features a massive world with tons of content that offers something for everybody, hardcore and casual gamers alike. The stunning visuals and cinematics alone will surely draw old fans and new players in right from the start. Couple that with a beautiful soundtrack and a deeply engaging storyline and you’ve got an excellent game that will be enjoyed by gamers for years to come. If only it wasn’t pay-to-play, but I guess that’s too much to hope for.
Final Fantasy XIV Videos
Final Fantasy XIV Links
Final Fantasy XIV System Requirements
Operating System: Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 3 GHz
Video Card: 512 MB VGA Card / Intel HD 3000 / HD 4000
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 20 GB
Operating System: Vista / 7 / 8 / 8.1 / 10
CPU: Intel Core i5 2.66 GHz
Video Card: GeForce GTX 660 / Radeon 7950 or better
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 20 GB
Final Fantasy XIV is also available on Playstation 3 and Playstation 4.
Final Fantasy XIV Music & Soundtrack
Final Fantasy XIV Additional Information
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Composer(s): Nobuo Uematsu, Roy Yamazaki, Naoshi Mizuta, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Masayshi Soken
Engine: Crystal Tools Engine
Platform(s): Playstation 3 and Playstation 4, PC
Original Release Date: September 30, 2010 (Final Fantasy XIV)
Revamp Release Date: August 27, 2013 (A Realm Reborn)
Second Expansion Release Date: June 23, 2015 (Heavensward)
Development History / Background:
Final Fantasy XIV was developed by Japanese game studio Square Enix and originally released on September 30, 2010. The game's initial launch was met with much criticism and, after 2 years of service, the original Final Fantasy 14 game was shut down and a revamped version of the game launched - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The new version was announced in October 2011 and launched on August 27, 2013. Development for Final Fantasy 14 began in early 2005 and took over 5 years to develop. Given the immense success of Final Fantasy 11, a second Final Fantasy MMORPG was a no-brainer for Square Enix.