Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn review (PC)

TuxedoMoon | 78d ago | User review
Reviewing: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
I could've sworn I played this game before...
I haven’t touched a Final Fantasy game in a little while. Well, one that isn’t a sequel based on a mistake (looking at you Final Fantasy 13 1-3). Why did I just jump into this game? To play with friend of course. Seeing my friends play it did make it look fun, but looks can be deceiving.

FF14: A Realm Reborn is a redesigned version of the original. FF14’s first release was said to be terrible. It wasn’t worth playing based on player reaction and Square quickly went back to the drawing board to redesign FF14 to make the game more fun and fixed many of the problems that plagued the game. They came up with FF14: A Realm Reborn. How does this new redesigned game fair? Let's find out!
_____________________________ _________________

When you boot up the game, you are given a very nice story cinematic that shows a dragon destroying the world and then being sealed away by a mage. Five years later, the continent of Eorzea is in peace and much of the land has been restored. Behind the scenes the evil Garlean Empire plans to reignite an ancient war. If that wasn’t problematic enough, there are monster tribes who are trying to summon their demon deities to take over the world. You as an adventurer must stop all this from escalating into a repeat of five years ago. The initial story is interesting, but your actual participation in it all is pretty dull.

After making a character (with the nice character creation offered) and choosing your class, you’ll start off in one of three cities. The initial quests are a little different, but they all converge into the main story eventually. Most quests consists of fetching items, talking to Non-Player Characters (NPCs), and dancing in front of them with emotes. Some quests do have voice acted cutscenes to explain the story, which is nice for a Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO), but most of the main characters look average and their personalities are flat. You may actually forget what's actually going on in the story. From what I’ve experienced, some of the important characters, such as royalty, are of the race of baby elf people (the Lalafell). Seeing a two foot baby in armor commanding everyone was cute at first, but when they were shown having major roles, I was unable to take the story seriously.

The beginning quests are dragged out to the point of torture. If you’re patient though, you’ll be able to go into dungeons at about level 13. Dungeons are designed with teams in mind. It’s actually fun going around with friends killing monsters. The best part being that each person must play their role. A healer and tank are both necessary for a smooth run. Dungeons can be accessed through a queuing system where players (or a team) can instantly teleport and do a dungeon quest. This alleviates the issue of finding a party to finish a dungeon quest a player can't solo. Dungeons do have mini bosses and big bosses in them, but they’re mostly just push overs in terms of challenge.

The gameplay is where I had the most issues. First of all, the interface is a complicated and tedious mess. The mini compass map is useless and the bigger map, though better, had issues as well. Teleporting crystals have different names for teleport locations, making it a very confusing and annoying method of travel. Teleport Crystals aren't tagged to let you know you either missed or got it either. You WILL find yourself editing the interface in some way to your liking. You’ll have to in order to see your screen and fix your controls! Once you’ve tackled the interface, you’re off to actually do things. I played the PC version and used a PS2 modeled controller for the PC. I found it a little more comfortable than using a keyboard, but it wasn’t an easy solution.

In order to fight, you must face the enemy, press X (or A on the Xbox controller), to select the enemy. Press X again to initiate attack mode, then hold either L2 or R2 (Triggers for 360 controller) to bring up your combat menu to attack monsters. If you want to lock on, you have to press in L3. Not holding those triggers and pressing one of the face buttons will result in your character exiting combat mode, allowing the enemy to get some free hits in.

The combat system is your typical World of Warcraft set up with cool down skills. Dodging is dependent on your status and there are attack ranges. Archers and mages can shoot from afar and some enemies can’t reach them right away. There is manual dodging, but it’s only needed when the enemy performs an area of effect attack where either a cone, rectangle, or circle appears on the ground and you must move out of that area to avoid getting hit. The combat system is nothing new and will get boring if you’re the type of gamer that prefers a more active battle system.

If you don't want to do much fighting, you can always go for creating items to either sell or use. There are several crafting classes; such as alchemists to create potions, the culinary class to make buff inducing food for players, and weaver to create cloth armor. Many players who want the best equipment for their class rely on these crafting classes for items and equipment and it isn't bad if you're looking to do something aside from fighting.

Gaining experience to become stronger is made easier through doing the many quests and instances scattered about the regions. Although fighting is mostly what you'll be doing (depending on the class you're opting for), quest give a lot of experience to help with the grind to the next level. Some of the non-fighting quests include gathering items, talking to NPCs, or using a certain emotion in front of them.

The best attributes of this game are its graphics and art style, along with its soundtrack. The graphics are superb and the characters look nice and pretty. The monsters look vicious and distinct. The cities and landscapes are very nice too. The character animations are pretty cool too. The game soundtrack consists of amazing orchestrated tunes along with some throw back remixed songs that were influenced from past FF games. Also for an MMORPG, I haven’t run into any glitches either, which is good.

There are a few things that grind my gears about this game. The battle system is the main thing that made my experience with FF14 a drag to play. I’ve played a ton of World of Warcraft clones and to be thrown into another game with the same type of battle system gives me a sense of déjà vu ( that been there, done that feeling). I’ve gotten used to games like Phantasy Star Online/Universe, Mabinogi, Vindictus, Tera: Rising, and Dark Souls. Those games have an active battle system where players use their reflexes to manually dodge and attack. I feel more engaged in the game when fighting monsters in those games because I actually have to put effort into dodging and attacking. FF14’s battle system is very stats based. Thankfully, there is a level sync system that downgrades characters to a certain level so they don't completely over power enemies and quests. The real challenge of the game doesn't actually come about until you're near the level cap, around level 45 to 50.

“Play it like a Final Fantasy game! Don’t expect an action combat system in a Final Fantasy Game!”

Final Fantasy’s combat system has always changed from game to game, getting closer to being an action RPG rather than sticking to a turn based one. FF13’s combat system, particularly 13-2, had a unique fast paced combat system that kept battles interesting. Even FF15 is opting for an action combat system this time around. FF14 on the other hand borrows heavily from World of Warcraft. It may look like Final Fantasy, but plays a lot like World of Warcraft. If you’ve played several PC MMOs over the years, such as World of Warcraft and Perfect World, you too may get bored of this game fairly quickly.

Another thing that bugs me is that it’s a pay to play game. It’s $30 for the PC version of the game and about $13 to $15 a month (you do get the first month free). The only reason I see this game being a slightly reasonable purchase is to play with friends that don’t have a good PC, but have either a PS3 or PS4. The biggest selling point of this game is probably because it’s one of the few cross-play MMOs on the PS3 and PS4. That means that people on the PS3 and PS4 can play with people on PC. This is an amazing feat for Square-Enix to do and I applaud their decision to make the game this way (although they've done this before with FF11). Playing with friends did make the game a little more fun.

Other than that, this game is definitely not worth your money or time (in my opinion). If you have a good PC, stick to playing the many free to play games available out there. Many modern free to play games offer much better battle systems and game play experiences than FF14. Just do a little research before downloading the game.

FF14 isn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just boring and average at best. Aside from its graphics and soundtrack, FF14 offers nothing amazing to push this genre forward. If you have a good PC, you can get a far better experience from one of the many free to play online games out there.
Ups
PS3/PS4/PC Cross-play!
Great Soundtrack and visuals
Downs
The quests are boring
Offers nothing new and fresh
annoying interface
Score
8.0
Graphics The visuals for the game are nice and clean. Depending on your graphics settings, the game can look extremely amazing, or just good. Even on the lower setting, the game still looks pretty. The characters, monsters, and landscapes all gave off a nostalgic Final Fantasy feel.
8.0
Sound Final Fantasy games have always had amazing tunes and this game is no exception. Some of the songs harken back to older games in the series, incorporating some 8-bit chip tunes to it.
5.0
Gameplay The interface is complicated and the World of Warcraft style battle system is boring. The quests offered can become a chore. The crafting classes are good for those who don't want to fight all the time, though you still may have to fight to get the materials you need.
5.0
Fun factor With the story being lightly sprinkled about as you go through your quests, it's all up to the gameplay to make the game fun. If you can handle the cool down battle system, then you might not get bored of the game. Playing with friends is the best way to experience how fun FF14 can be.
6.0
Online I didn't run into any glitches and the community was pretty nice. Thanks to the dungeon queuing system, it made partying with other people easier. The only issue is the monthly fee.
5.0
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
Man_Marmalade  +   75d ago
Starting quests are "boring" to introduce new players of the final fantasy games to the game and to show you the basics of the game itself, including combat, talking, guilds, etc.

You can adjust the interface and HUD displays in the menu. Simple as that. You're just nitpicking now.

I have been playing this game for quite a while and it does have it's slow moments, but the overall fun factor is good. Dungeons are always rewarding, and having multiple classes on the same character is always nice.

I'd go on, but there are too many things that you insist are bad when almost all MMO's do it. For example: Deliver X items to this person, or Kill x amount of monsters. Or have you never played an MMO before? At least they took the time to build this game from the ground up to make it entertaining. Your review sounds like it's trying to hate the game for any reason you can think of.

In case you wanted to know my levels to know how long I've been playing:

Marauder lvl 39
Gladiator lvl 25
Conjurer lvl 17
Blacksmith lvl 26
Goldsmith lvl 25
Miner lvl 30
TuxedoMoon  +   75d ago
A review is based on an opinion and in my opinion, this game was average. I did have legitimate issues with the interface. Of all the mmos I've played, I never really had to (I mean forced to) edit the interface as much as I did with FF14. I found the it messy.

I'm glad you like the game and had fun with it. Yes, many quests in MMOS are the same fetch and kill quests. That was the problem I had though. The game felt just like any other mmo. The combat was boring and the story was decent at best. The story was what usually made grinding bearable, but the way it's presented and the quests the followed made it all a chore. It was putting me to sleep.

Aside from the mediocre gameplay, the other element that hurt the score was the price. I'm not putting FF14: A Realm Reborn against its prior version, no, I'm putting it up against other PC MMOs out there. For a game requiring a monthly fee, this game doesn't stand out enough to warrant the price. Many of the same elements can be found in several of the free mmos. Why pay a monthly fee when you can get the same experience for free?
phantomexe  +   68d ago
I get thats your opinion but just out of curious how long did you really play it. To me the game is too much like WOW and not enough ff11. I can say this because i've buried a good bit of time into the game. i95 pld i78 blm. I disagree on the controls because you can set it up the way you want. Your review seems off imo.
memots  +   65d ago
Are you getting money per click ?

This looks like thats what you were going for.
belac09  +   64d ago
agreed
TH3BR3W  +   74d ago
I was one of the original legacy players from 1.0 and I did enjoy 1.0 even with all it's flaws there was plenty to keep you occupied even with the lack of content.

With 2.0+ I say if you are a fan of the fun FFXI offered you will enjoy ARR enough to justify the money as you can do alot in this version of FFXIV in comparison to 1.0.

I think it's very conceded to just straight up tell everyone it's not worth THEIR money just because your taste is not met with ARR. You should have left it at your opinion and left out the FOX news style of telling people what they like and don't like.

I get my $10 bucks per month back as I play more than 4 hours a month which is far cheaper than going and watching two movies in a month which I do also.

I've played many free to plays and they are shadowed in comparison to the new content being put out constantly with ARR. It's worlds apart now then even when it was released (2.0 - 2.3). Hell on may 24th they are putting out what would be a WOW expansions worth with 1 new town 3 new dungeons and a new Crystal tower run and new gear with higher item levels. If you can't play more than 4 hours a month then yes this game is not going to be justifiable to your wallet but if you can it's more than worth it as the game just keeps growing month to month.

I respect your opinion and I am truly sorry that it doesn't fit your tastes as a gamer. I do not respect your choice to try to sway other's opinions about the game as they can give it a try themselves and make their own educated decisions based on their own tastes.

The more active users the better the game becomes as they will have the funding to add more and more content.
#2 (Edited 74d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
TuxedoMoon  +   74d ago
I'm sorry you took the part about price and cost the wrong way. I'll make sure to add more (in my opinion) tags to it. The cost of the game and the value a consumer gets out of it is different for everyone. MGS: Ground Zeroes is one game I'd never recommend to anyone at the initial $30-$40. A lot of people would disagree and say that the game offers enough content to warrant the price.

Even without the monthly fee in the equation, I still found the game boring and average. The score might bump up to a 6. That's still average, in my opinion.

Throughout my review, I do use a lot of "mays" and "ifs". The section about the price was in first person, that it bugged me and inferring that it might bug other people too. I'm not demanding people to think a certain way. If it's not that clear, then I'll take note for any future reviews I decide to do.

And again, reviews have opinions injected into them in some way. Without the opinion part, a ton of games would get high score just for being operational. Reviews have opinions in them and it's up to the reader to think for themselves after reading it. After any review, good or bad, the reader could go out and try the game for themselves. It's up to the reader to decide if the game is good or bad.

I'm sticking to my review and saying that it's not worth the money (in my opinion of course) as a PC mmo going against other PC mmos. I didn't find anything that set it apart from the many MMOs out there to even justify the $30 price tag. I already gave reasons why it would be a good purchase, but why pay $30 for an average WoW experience when you can get the same (or better) experience for free? Was it wrong for me to think that most people like free things? I don't think FF14 has any sort of "try for free" deal like WoW does.

Opinion,s opinions, opinions...
#2.1 (Edited 74d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(3) | Report | Reply
Shadowsteal  +   71d ago
First of all, FF14 is not a clone of WoW, it's an evolved or modern take on their first MMO FF11. FF11 came out one year before WoW, so let's get that straight. In any MMO does anyone play it for the story? If you really cared about an amazing story and hand crafted quests that push you to do every single one then you'd be better off playing a single player game. Quests in any MMO are created to give you exp and level you up. Within the first day* of playing you can get from 1-15 and start doing dungeons which are the pest parts of this game in my opinion. Then there's the battle system, FF14 uses a hybrid of active and timed based. You still have to dodge and evade aoe or cone attacks from various enemies. I personally think it's perfect, it works great and FF14 introduces many tweaks that make it feel unique, you explained it better than me. It isn't like WoW where you and an enemy are locked in place and there's no point of running away, so all you do is spam your skills and get hit until you or the enemy is dead. Finally, the monthly payment. Do you have any idea how poisonous free to play is? FF11 is still pay to play to this day because it's still WORTH PLAYER'S TIME AND MONEY. I don't think anyone want's to pay $1 for a pack of materia or $5 for a mount and $3 for costumes. I prefer that it's pay to play because it mitigates the trolls present in game and I don't have to end up dropping $15+ a month to fully enjoy the game. Yes most often then not, the cash items are optional or there's a grindier procedure to attain them but regardless in F2P MMO's they either put obstacles in your way to make the game more grindy so you pay to remove said obstacles. Or the cash shop items let the people who play, feel fully free in the game opposed to people who don't pay. I'm glad FF14 is P2P because I never feel limited in the game, and I hope it stays P2P for another 5 years+ like FF11. I'm sorry you didnt enjoy the game as much as I did. Frankly, I never paid for a MMO in my life, I just played F2P ones. The experiences I've had in F2P MMO's vs. the experience I've had here is night and day. My 30 day trial for the PS4 version will expire in a few days. I'm planing to subscribe all summer, because this truly is an amazing game.

I like how throughout your whole review, you never told anyone that FF14 has a one character do everything system. If you want to be a different class, then instead of creating a brand new character and losing the reputation of your main, you can pick up that class on the same character. The game allows players to have one character and use EVERY class on the same character, EVERY COMBAT CLASS and EVERY CRAFTING/GATHERING class on one character. I hate how in other games I have to create a new character just to try out different classes. Not many games have this system where you can do EVERYTHING on one character. This alone is a huge* selling point to players who like this system like me not many other MMO's do this. And the ones that do, don't reach the same quality as FF14. If anyone enjoyed the combat in FF12 which I though had the best combat system in all the final fantasies, then you'll love FF14.

Technology isn't advanced enough to create an MMO with gameplay like Kingdom Hearts or Devil May Cry. And I mean like fully MMO not MMO-esque games like Vindictus or Warframe. If there are games like that, please tell me, I honestly want to know. If there aren't maybe you should lower your expectations next time reviewer.
TH3BR3W  +   71d ago
Well said. I didn't even think to mention the 1 char for them all system.

Btw what server you on?
Shadowsteal  +   71d ago
Exodus my good sir
TuxedoMoon  +   71d ago
I never made any comparisons to FF11 because I never played that game, but I did play WoW, Flyff, Perfect World, DOMO, and several others that had similar battle systems. Most of my problems with FF14 was the dull gameplay and the fee. It's preference. I prefer and active battle system where I actually have to put effort into dodging and attacking, something like Vindictus or Tera. FF14 does get harder near level 40~50, but that's too late for the challenge to start, IMO. Time is something I don't really have, so I played it as much as I could before I got bored with it.

As for the multi-class thing, I made a mistake and didn't put it in. Quite frankly, it wasn't much of a big deal. I did go for blacksmithing more so than another fighting class. Leveling up was a breeze thanks to things like fates and instances, but it quickly got boring. While the multi-class thing is nice, combat gameplay didn't change too drastically for me to be too worried.

A full mmo? Vindictus is categorized as an MMO (Warframe is probably a categorized as an online shooter). Phantasy Star Universe and Phantasy Star Online 1-2 both have action combat systems, PSO2 being the closest thing I've played that's close to Devil May Cry looking mmo.

If you mean games with large over worlds, Tera and the upcoming Black Desert Online both have a more action based combat system. Even something like DC Universe Online has an alright combat system going for it. Mabinogi was one of the best MMOs I've played in recent years. It looks like an N64 game, but it has a lot of what I like in the gameplay. When I played it, there wasn't a class system, meaning you have to make your own class or mix them through the AP system. The combat was action based, but slow. You have to time your attacks and manually evade and block. Best of all it had an actual story with distinct characters. As far as I know, there are no distinct level caps in Mabinogi thanks to it's rebirth system. It may not be as advanced as FF14 in terms of horsepower, but it had very deep gameplay mechanics.

Technology doesn't need to be so advance to have engaging combat mechanics that force players to actually dodge, block, and time attacks from the start of the game. Mabinogi, especially, proves that. All I was expecting was to be engaged in FF14's world, but instead I came out of it bored. There wasn't much to the game, IN MY OPINION, that really warranted the price of admission and stay.
Shadowsteal  +   71d ago
Fair enough. I'll enjoy the game for the both of us friend.
zeuanimals  +   67d ago
If time isn't something you have, you shouldn't be playing MMOs. They are the biggest time sinks in the world.
TH3BR3W  +   71d ago
Ah cool im on brynhilder happy hunting good sir!
Kings4L  +   64d ago
I have this game on ps4 and I, unlike some people really enjoy this game. The 5/10 rating is complete garbage, I can sense personal hate he may have with the game in the way hes analyzing it. A realistic score in my opinion for this game is a 8/10. They could of done better with the character models, feels like you are playing with dolls. But other than that the game is very fun.
belac09  +   64d ago
couldnt agree more i LOVE this game, it has a LOT to do if your willing to put the time in. i am leveling up 2 new classes right now and im having a blast doing it. i havent even really gotten too far into the crafting/fishing, etc. ill be enjoying this game for the rest of my days probably.
TheDivine  +   59d ago
Idk. I'm a pretty massive FF fan for sure but I've never played a MMO. I honestly don't like the idea of playing with hundreds of other people, I rarely if ever play mp, and despise subscriptions. That said I'm really digging FF14 on ps4. It feels like 12 with other people around. I love the graphics, lore, and world design. The combat is fun and engaging, fates are cool, the quests are pretty boring but quick enough to keep you moving forward which is great. Best of all I can play most of the game solo. I love that flexibility. I prob won't sub after my first month unless I can't beat the main quest in that time but if I didnt work so much I could easily see myself diving in for 6 months nonstop. Its classic FF to me. I just wish it was fully voice acted and had a stronger main quest with far more story.

Add comment

You need to be registered to add comments. Register here or login
Remember

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

Average Score 7.6 Reviews(147)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
PS3 Release Dates
PS4 Release Dates
AU 14 April 2014
EU 14 April 2014
US 14 April 2014
Wii Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
JP 2011
AU 2011
EU 2011
US 2011
Xbox One Release Dates