Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review
PS3 | PC
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Box Art
System: PC*, PS3
Dev: Square Enix
Pub: Square Enix
Release: August 27, 2013
Players: MMO
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Language, Mild Blood, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence

These are rare innovations in a game that mostly sticks to the modern MMO formula, though. Pretty much everything else is drawn straight from other games--from the cooldown timers that spaces out your attacks, to the basic combat mechanics (with the exception of some attacks that give you a chance to get out of the way), to the obnoxious fact that you can end up booted to a land far away when you die. (I found this especially frustrating when I was fighting a boss alone in an instanced scene. Why can't I just try again when I fail?) Even the FATEs are just a copy of the "dynamic events" in RIFT and Guild Wars 2.

A Realm Reborn does break new ground by being a cross-platform release, however. I played on PC, where the controls are exactly what you'd expect--WASD movement, number keys for attacks, and so on. But the game also appears on PS3, where face- and trigger-button combinations set off the attacks. This is a handy solution for the problem of cramming so many moves onto a single controller.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Screenshot

The game also features some PvP content. There's an arena that allows four-on-four and eight-on-eight battles, though for reasons I cannot understand, it's restricted to characters of Level 30 and higher, which means you'll be investing many hours before you can try it. Reportedly, there will also be areas in the world where PvP is allowed, but these won't be revealed until the first patch.

So, if you want some PvP as an occasional diversion, A Realm Reborn will provide that, but it remains to be seen whether there will be much more. I'd have preferred a separate leveling system for PvP, so that all players could compete on an even playing field, as some other MMOs are doing today.

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Of course, every MMO review has to come with a disclaimer: These are just my thoughts after logging some hours with the game. I still have a long way to go in my own adventure, and the game itself will change as Square Enix updates it and adds content.

But it's beyond clear that Final Fantasy XIV has, in fact, been reborn. This is everything players wanted the original game to be--it might avoid pushing the boundaries, but it provides hours upon hours of well-designed quest sequences, breathtaking graphics, and a gripping plot. At last, we have a modern MMO worthy of the Final Fantasy name.

By
Robert VerBruggen
Contributing Writer
Date: August 29, 2013

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.8
Graphics
This is hands-down the best looking MMO to date.
4.5
Control
On the PC it’s exactly what you’d expect, but on PS3 it introduces a new way to handle MMOs on consoles.
4.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The tunes are great, with familiar themes blending with new melodies.
4.0
Play Value
There’s a ton of well-made content, but the early hours are boring and in most ways it doesn’t push the boundaries.
4.3
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • All the hallmarks of the Final Fantasy franchise, including an engaging storyline, genre-leading graphics, and HD real time cut scenes
  • Robust gameplay features such as player-run Free Companies, story-driven player-vs.-player content, and a unique summoning system, all designed to accommodate a dynamic player community.
  • Incredible new graphics engine that delivers a high level of detail and quality on both the PlayStation 3 and Windows PC platforms.
  • A flexible class system that allows players to change to any of the eighteen different classes on the fly, simply by swapping their equipped weapon or tool.
  • Breathtaking musical score by renowned Final Fantasy series composers.
  • Cross-platform play on PlayStation 3 and Windows PC.

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