Editors' Alternative: FFXIV Shadowbringers Brings MMO to New Heights

Hiya, I'm Justin Massongill and I really like Closing Fantasy XIV.

I began taking part in 5 years in the past and I used to be instantly seduced by Sq. Enix's groundbreaking method to controller-based MMO fight, by the intoxicating soundtrack from Masayoshi Soken, by the truth that I may evolve every class and every work on the identical character, and on the opposite. attain – but surprisingly pleasant and welcoming – the neighborhood.

However you've most likely heard the story of the sport's metamorphosis into one of the revered MMOs in the marketplace, so I cannot discuss it right here. What I’m going to elucidate is why FFXIV's latest growth, Shadowbringers, catapults this fourteenth predominant entry into the higher layers of Closing Fantasy's story. Briefly: Shadowbringers is among the greatest Closing Fantasy video games of all time. Sure, I mentioned it.

Attempt to watch any opening cinematic of FFXIV with out supplying you with goose bumps, I problem you.

The story of Shadowbringers sees your teleported hero in a brand new dimension (a shine, in recreation jargon), known as the primary one. It appears that evidently their model of the Warriors of Gentle could have eradicated the forces of darkness too properly and that their world has been nearly consumed by a torrent of limitless and lethal gentle.

This premise poses attention-grabbing narrative stakes: in case you have constructed a status as a lethal hero and overthrowing the regime at house, the residents of this new dimension have by no means heard of you. It's a refreshing change of tempo in comparison with the restrict deistic reverence with which NPCs normally deal with you, and permits the story to unfold on a extra private degree. As an alternative of simply nodding whereas the story unfolds round you, the needs and motivations of your character lastly come into play.

I took some photos with the strong photograph mode of FFXIV

Your longtime fellows – the Scions of the Seventh Daybreak – have additionally been summoned to the First and have their very own challenges to beat. One seeks to find the sordid secrets and techniques of a utopian metropolis too stunning to be true. One other disagrees with opposing concepts of assuming the tasks of fatherhood and guaranteeing that the woman he has sworn to guard is ready to fulfill his future.

The story of Shadowbringers lasts about 50 to 60 hours and is punctuated by appearances by a few of the most notorious villains within the "Closing Fantasy" sequence that the sequence has seen since silver-haired Sephiroth has graced our CRTs. Considered one of these – no spoilers – is written with such effectivity that it's arduous to not really feel empathy in the direction of them as issues get clearer … I at all times really feel a touch of remorse that we couldn’t have ended our time collectively extra amicable phrases. Sigh.

Whereas historical past is what impresses me probably the most at Shadowbringers, the central methods at play proceed to offer a strong basis that may assist the tens (hundreds (hundreds?)) Of hours that you’ll dwell these tales. Many playable jobs have been modified from small adjustments to full revisions, and have typically been properly obtained by the FFXIV neighborhood (particularly after the current 5.05 replace, which handled stability points between the three healer accessible). . The brand new works in Dancer and Gunbreaker are the highlights, offering probably the most game-based work of the sport and a surprisingly energetic tank position, respectively. I wager on Black Mage and I'm above the moon with my degree 80 spin – it's not an enormous change from the extent 70 equipment, but it surely's been smoothed and optimized in order that he feels far more highly effective. Explosions all over the place!

A legendary Guardian Drive from Closing Fantasy VIII makes a formidable comeback within the final FFXIV raid.

Two weeks after the launch of Shadowbringers, the brand new "Eden's Gate" raid was launched on gamers having accomplished the search for the principle story of the growth. I cannot go into the small print of this raid right here, however there’s a significantly breathtaking sequence in his first struggle that I described right here, if you don’t thoughts being spoiled. The loot system of this raid has additionally been tailored: lengthy story, the drops are extra quite a few, so it’s a lot simpler to pay money for the particular tools that you simply pursue. A brand new 24-player raid is predicated on the NieR and NieR Automata universe and is developed in collaboration with Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito. It's going to be bizarre.

The soundtrack of Shadowbringers is, as at all times, a spotlight. The radically completely different setting of this extension gave Soken the chance to diversify and convey the soundtrack of the sport into attention-grabbing new instructions, masterfully invoking a myriad of genres similar to their respective areas and assembly as a glove (or extra correctly, a pair of headphones). He additionally continues to expertly management the emotional energy of the leitmotif, so as to pull a tear from all eyes, besides the driest eyes.

Semi-related notice: Sq. Enix not too long ago made accessible a ton of soundtracks on streaming providers, together with Spotify. The OST for Shadowbringers isn’t out but, however you possibly can hearken to a whole lot of earlier items of FFXIV.

I grew up with this sequence. It's been part of my life for nearly 30 years, which launched me to the idea of role-playing for the primary time. I had by no means imagined that the story of an MMO would ally with that of the golden age of 16/32 bits of FF. However Naoki Yoshida and his group should not content material to construct the perfect MMO out there. For me, Shadowbringers is the final phrase of fantasy.

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