As you probably know, Jon and I got the chance to play Final Fantasy XIV and today we will give our initial review of Square Enix's newest MMO. We will be evaluating the game using several criteria including: community, the learning curve, content and graphics. A little overview of FFXIV for you guys given by Wikipedia:
Final Fantasy XIV Online, is the fourteenth installment in the Final Fantasy series, due for release on September 30, 2010 for Microsoft Windows and March 2011 for PlayStation 3. The game is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game and is developed and published by Square Enix. The game takes place in a land called Hydaelyn, mainly in a region named Eorzea, which will have a contemporaneously aesthetic blend of science fiction and classic fantasy elements.
Lets get this party rolling, shall we?
Community: 3 Sick Chocobos out of 5
When I first logged into the game I was surrounded by people of all shapes and sizes, which actually got me excited because the game already had such a big community....or so I thought. Now while the game itself has a decent sized population I never really felt intrigued or compelled to engage with other players. The game was easily soloable so there really was no need for joining a group, unless you wanted to up the difficulty of your quests and get better loot. Usually, when you are playing an MMO you see groups running around everywhere completing quests together. This may be because they are playing with their friends or they actually NEED to work with others to accomplish a goal. While playing FFXIV however I saw no groups and outside of the tavern areas I saw no interaction or mingling between players. Now because this is a new MMO we will give it the benefit of the doubt and give the community 3 Sick Chocobos out of 5
Learning Curve: 2 Sick Chocobos out of 5
Back in the day MMOs would throw its new players into the world and hope that they adapt and survive (Star Wars Galaxies or EVE Online). The new MMOs however are very easy to just pick up and play. While FFXIV does have tutorials and in game guides (don't forget manuals either..but who reads those anyway?) I would still say that the game could be considered a hybrid of the old system and the new. The user interface or UI is pretty simplistic but it can be pretty confusing when it comes to interacting with your surroundings. In a traditional MMO you would interact with almost everything with the simple click of your mouse. For FFXIV however, the quickest way I could figure out to interact with quest givers or players in general was using the tilda key to bring up your options and then find the option you are looking for. The hotkey system can be just as confusing if you have never played a Final Fantasy Online game. Usually you would be able drag and drop abilities into your hotkey bar, but in FFXIV you have to open up your spell book, pick the appropriate spell, right click the spell, and choose to equip it to your off hand or main hand hotkey bar. Because of how confusing the system can be for new players we are gonna give this 2 Sick Chocbos out of 5.
Game Content: 3 Sick Chocobos out of 5
Content is so important to MMOs these days because the goal of developers in the genre is to have enough compelling content to keep subscribers interested in their game. Because when it comes down to it subscribers are what generate revenue so that the developers can continue to pump out patches and content updates, otherwise there is no hope. FFXIV, at least in my eyes, has a lack of content. One of the most annoying factors of your average MMO is the constant repetition players have to go through when questing. The basic formula for a quest in modern day MMO's is simply go collect x amount of this and go kill x amount of that. FFXIV has decided not to break from the established tradition and follow suit with its fellow MMOs. The other problem with the content is that IT IS SO REPETITIVE. You literally do the same quest over and over until you either die of boredom or move onto the next level tier of quests. So with all this considered I am going to give the content 3 Sick Chocobos out of 5
Graphics: 4 Sick Chocobos out of 5
Graphically speaking, if you have a computer that can run it, FFXIV on all high settings is visually stunning. The world itself is filled with vibrant colors and little details that truly make the game something to marvel at...graphically speaking at least. Now my computer wouldn't be considered a "high end" computer, but I can still run the game on medium settings and have the it run smoothly. That is what is most impressive about the graphics engine. My only pet peeve however is the lack of options for running the game on fullscreen. Depending on what resolution you want to play on will have the choice of playing fullscreen or in windowed mode, and for some of the resolutions windowed mode is your only option. But with that aside I would give the graphics of FFXIV 4 Sick Chocobos out of 5
Overall:3 Sick Chocobos out of 5
If you are a fan of the Final Fantasy series you would probably be content playing this game and have no problems whatsoever. But looking at it from a gamer's perspective this game is disappointingly average. While the graphics for the game are stunning (if you have the computer that can run it) overall we are going to give FFXIV: 3 Sick Chocobos out of 5.