Following a reboot and three distinctive expansions, Last Fantasy XIV’s fourth add-on, Endwalker, has loads to reside as much as, particularly because it’s billed because the conclusion to the storyline that’s been brewing for the reason that defunct 1.0 launch. I’m completely satisfied to report Endwalker masterfully delivers a dense narrative filled with thrilling twists, fantastic character moments, and well-designed battles. Its fruits presents a satisfying conclusion to the battle between deities Hydaelyn and Zodiark and different threads which have been unfolding for nicely over a decade.
Endwalker not solely reminisces on its prior expansions, however revels in nostalgia for earlier Last Fantasy video games that mildew its memorable eventualities and unimaginable soundtrack. Dungeon bosses just like the Magus sisters, and a fateful journey to the moon, harken again to Last Fantasy IV. Whereas newer additions just like the tortured FFX summon Anima get a highlight elsewhere. These with data of the Last Fantasy sequence will take pleasure in varied throwbacks, however you’ll positively wish to go into Endwalker with understanding of XIV’s story to this point. This last chapter depends closely on the machinations, tales, and characters from the expansions that got here earlier than, and in contrast to the earlier growth Shadowbringers, it doesn’t work nicely as a standalone journey.
The motion on this growth is gradual to start out, with a lot of the opening hours crammed with cutscenes as you run from quest giver to vacation spot in typical MMO trend. However as soon as the narrative setup is completed, the joy hardly ever stops till the credit roll. You’ll journey to the nation of students for a diplomatic mission in Previous Sharlayan, the colourful, Indian-inspired Radz-at-han and Thavanir, and even to the moon and past. Every setting being a key to the evolving story centered round a world-ending cataclysm.
I’m impressed by the story’s darkish tones and the way it well handles difficult themes. The preliminary go to to enemy territory in Garlemald stands out, because it offers with uncared for, malnourished, and distrusting communities wrapped in a civil conflict as you, an invading pressure, try to help them. One other questline in regards to the loyalties of troopers sworn to a nation that’s crumbling round them additionally made a big effect. Despair and hopelessness are central to a lot of the growth’s plot and manifest in stunning methods.
Some quests require you embrace varied characters in your organization, including the sense of adventuring with a celebration that’s usually lacking in MMORPGs. In these situations, I’d take the chance to hunt out specifically marked factors of curiosity that allow me communicate with my companions about their ideas and emotions on the scenario at hand. This storytelling isn’t flashy, however I admire the little methods FFXIV makes the sport extra intimate.
The 2 new Jobs accessible are fashionable and enjoyable. The Reaper, a brand new melee-DPS position, makes use of a killer scythe and void creatures in fight, counting on kinetic positional assaults to deal most injury. The Sage, however, is a brand new shield-deploying therapeutic class that makes use of laser drones that zip round in cool formations as they blast your allies with protecting spells and restore their life. Each have confirmed very helpful in teams and provide vastly completely different aesthetics and gameplay from related Job archetypes.
Endwalker pulls off a spectacular ending to a sophisticated ongoing narrative, a testomony to how far it has come since its revival in A Realm Reborn. Fortunately this isn’t the tip, however the starting of a brand new story that I can’t wait to expertise in future patches and expansions. Having spent lots of of hours with Last Fantasy XIV, it’s simply among the best MMO experiences on the market, and Endwalker has solidified it as my favourite Last Fantasy to this point.