Final Fantasy 15 Impressions: Story
So when coming back to the game blog my first intention was to talk about all sorts of aspects of Final Fantasy 15, and now could not be a better time to dive into the story for me. I just spent the past weekend plowing through a good chunk of the latter half of the story. *Minor Spoilers* I guess... If you were unaware FF15 is divided into two parts, you start in an open world where half the story takes place, but 99% of the game play is, and then the second half of the story is delivered in a very linear fashion, with very little freeroam available.
Now I have to say I'm not completely through to story yet, so I'm sure my opinions are going to change slightly, or at least I hope they do, but I have truly no clue what is going on in the story. I was following along for awhile, Prince Noctis was having a grand ol' time with his buddies. But once the real conflict started things started to get lost really quickly. The motivations of the characters outside the party and the tasks the party takes on themselves really bewilder me. Everything just seems really unfounded, and that I'm just along for the ride.
One thing that muddles the water on this one was how much prelaunch content was made available, the two biggies being the anime Brotherhood and the cg movie Kingsglaive. I only watched Brotherhood (mostly because it was free and on Youtube). When I started playing FF15 I was really glad I had watched it because the game didn't really do a good job introducing the connection Noctis had with his friends, and their road trip together was really the only thing holding the game together at the beginning. Knowing that Ignis has been cooking for Noctis since he was a kid has it make sense that he cooks every night when they camp out, or that Gladiolus was the one to train Noctis in combat, that's why he is your sparing partner at the campsite.
These behind the scene details made the beginning of the game go much more smoother. Now that I'm on to the second half of the game I'm regretting not having watched the Kingsglaive movie. I feel like there are motivations and details missing from the story of the game, and that they were shown in the movie. Like I said I hope in the end they explain themselves, but it's a drag going through the game confused to all hell what is unfolding and where my characters are going.
With some of the folks I've talked to they've told me that it takes getting to the end to fully understand whats going on, or even beating it twice to get a good grasp on all the details. From someone who did catch the Kingsglaive movie, they told me that it does show behind the scenes on whats happening with a lot of the characters who are not featured consistently in the game.
I think this relates to a bigger trend in the game industry about turning their games into extended universes and all sorts of extra curricular pieces that come with that, but Final Fantasy 15 has by far been the biggest offender of that. They had a downloadable game featuring a young Noctis and his father King Regis that you could only get by Pre-ordering at GameStop. Now this side game was not crucial to playing the rest of Final Fantasy 15, but the argument can be made that Brotherhood and Kingsglaive are integral to enjoying Final Fantasy 15 as a whole.
I hope the end of this game can turn things around, and the creator of the game has already stated that they want to patch the game to clear up some story plots, but it's a little bit too little too late. I've been pushing through with the game, but I'm not getting rewarded, I'm just left with more questions, less answers, and scratching my head. This game was a long time in development, and just seems to have not come 100% together in the end. I hope the team has learned a lot from this one, and can get the next one a bit more right, and in a bit less time.
If you have been playing FF15 let me know how you feel about the story, and remember try not to be too spoilery. There will be plenty more FF15 updates to come, especially when it comes to combat, the open world, side quests, and mini games.