The “Final Fantasy” series has been around since 1987, and in that time, it has amassed role-playing gamers from all over the world to partake in its various epic storylines. With the introduction of “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn,” the series returns to the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game genre.
The game was released in August last year and established itself as one of the best MMOs of the last generation — that is, the PlayStation 3 era. Recently, Square Enix, the publisher of the game, released a beta for the PS4 version of this game before the release of the final game in April.
In “A Realm Reborn,” players create a character to explore the vast land of Eorzea in the Seventh Umbral Era. As with most MMOs, there are sets of main quests and side quests for players to enjoy and take part in, but it is up to the players to make their own adventure. The beginning portions of the game allow players to choose between five visually distinct races, eight different combat classes, and then start players off in one of three major city hubs.
As players level up, they are better equipped to explore the outskirts of the world and interact with more characters to obtain more quests and get more experience points. This formula of leveling up is common with most MMOs, but “A Realm Reborn” also brings in a new type of quest called Full Active Time Events, of FATEs, which are random events rallying players together. Once these fates are finished, players receive a hefty number of experience points, allowing them to level up even further.
However, despite the smart addition of the FATE system and the overall strong execution of the typical MMO formula, “A Realm Reborn” does have its shortcomings. The transition from keyboard to console controls is common among MMOs on multiple non-PC platforms. While the PS4 version of the game sees graphical upgrade compared to the last generation version, this enhancement is nonexistent relative to the PC version. In addition, the PS4 also brings another major annoyance with the game concerning the controller.
“A Realm Reborn” uses the DualShock 4s touchpad as a mouse and players are also given the option of playing with a standard computer keyboard and mouse.. Looking at the early aspects of the game, such as the character creation, it is quite irritating to navigate the menus and try to change aspects of the character. Often, clicks aren’t registered by the touchpad, and the only way to select something from the menu came from using the arrow keys on the DualShock 4. A faulty mouse-click system can really hurt an MMO game. As a result, this should be one of the main things Square Enix fixes before it ships the final PS4 game.
Despite the nuisance of a mouse replacing touchpad, “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn” is a fun and intriguing game that shows that Square Enix is not only a pro at making RPG and action games but also games outside of their usual realm of expertise.
Contact Evan Carr at [email protected].
A previous version of this article may have implied that the DualShock 4 controller is the only way for the player to operate within the game. In fact, players are given the option of playing with a standard computer keyboard and mouse. Therefore, the point made about the poor use of the DualShock 4’s touchpad as a mouse can be avoided if the player chooses the option of using a typical keyboard and mouse.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that “Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn” was the first game in the Final Fantasy series to venture into the massively multiplayer online game genre. In fact, Final Fantasy XI was also an MMO game.