Whether you're an MMO fan or a long-time player of the Final Fantasy series, chances are you've heard about Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. It's been over a year since Square Enix announced Final Fantasy XIV's overhaul, and now it's only a month from release. But not everyone truly understands how big of a deal it is. Below are some reasons why you should be preparing yourself to dive into the beautiful world of Eorzea.
Beta feedback has been very positive
Over one million gamers signed up to play FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. Following months of beta testers being tight-lipped Square Enix loosened its NDA with the arrival of Phase 3. The results were conclusive. The work that's been done under FFXIV's all-new leadership has invigorated the once troubled game with qualities that Final Fantasy XI and MMO fans were craving back in 2010, plus some. Gamers have been especially pleased with menu and gameplay fluidity, and the lively world. It now looks and feels the part of a proper Final Fantasy release.
A world worthy of exploration
One of the most critical qualities in making an MMO captivating is delivering an engrossing world, and FFXIV: A Realm Reborn has that rare quality that makes you not want to leave any part of the world unchecked. Challenging areas are full of ferocious monsters that many will find familiar, and the large map is booming with detail. There are dozens of zones and dungeons to explore that always have something new to see. Combined with the true to spirit soundtrack you'll quickly be convinced that you're living in a Final Fantasy world with thousands of other players.
Emphasis on fan service
FFXIV: A Realm Reborn has all the things that make the Final Fantasy series different from any other. You'll find yourself riding and raising chocobos, fighting behemoths, and casting Firaga on groups of cactuar. But there are more specific references, too. You'll use materia to increase the quality of your gear, and you might even run into Magitek Armor, something teased earlier in the year. There are also armor pieces derived from legendary Final Fantasy characters, like Warrior of Light and Lightning. Those who love the series will constantly find hints of Final Fantasy flavor.
A developed game at launch
Some gamers forget that FFXIV came out back in 2010. While is suffered from an underdeveloped launch, the same can't be said with FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. With the past three-years of development time Square Enix has pumped content and polish into the game. Before FFXIV was shut down last year in order for Square Enix to focus on FFXIV: A Realm Reborn the game had already undergone drastic improvements through over a dozen updates including content such as Primal battles with Ifrit and Garuda. While every MMO in history has struggled with content at launch, FFXIV: A Realm Reborn will already have months of content to explore, even for the most hardcore MMO veterans.
Keepin' it cool during Summer
There's no way around it, 2013's sweltering Summer is just as devoid of games as years past. The Last of Us and Shin Megami Tensei IV have given gamers something to play while hiding in their air conditioned homes, but there isn't much else until Grand Theft Auto V's release on September 17th. Did you know FFXIV: A Realm Reborn releases three weeks before that, with an open beta planned even earlier? Whether you're a PC or PS3 gamer, FFXIV: A Realm Reborn will give you something to make this Summer memorable.
A console friendly MMO
A lot of MMO fans say that the genre just doesn't work with a controller. Wrong. It worked fine with FFXI, and the latest beta phase has proven that it works with FFXIV: A Realm Reborn. Commands are as easy as hitting a bumper and face button on the controller. The game's console integration means Final Fantasy fans who don't have a gaming PC won't be left out. Next year, the game will come out on PlayStation 4 giving console gamers a chance to enjoy the game with the same graphical fidelity as PC gamers.
Square Enix needs this to succeed
It has been said on record that if FFXIV: A Realm Reborn fails then Square Enix will be in serious financial trouble. As such, it has poured an enormous amount of time into developing the game and seeking valuable feedback from testers. To say that it's tried its best to make the re-launch of FFXIV as good as possible would be an understatement. This is a defining moment for the company heading into the future, and it needs nothing less than an outstanding launch.