Five Years Later, Final Fantasy XV Still Feels Like Family


Closing Fantasy XV initially launched on November 29, 2016, because the 15th most important installment within the historic RPG sequence from Sq. Enix. It was initially launched to favorable essential critiques and has had just a few completely different additions to the universe within the years following its launch, together with DLC and media tie-ins like a brief anime sequence. It even had a current, rereleased crossover occasion with Closing Fantasy XIV, the place gamers had been capable of acquire the automobile from Closing Fantasy XV that the principle group of characters drive all through the sport.

To me, Closing Fantasy XV has develop into a recreation that basically showcases the endurance {that a} online game can have, even when it’s been stated to have a little bit of a messy story total. Endurance can imply various things to gamers, relying on the sport and their very own distinctive expertise with it. It would come within the type of replayability, recreation mechanics, new content material being added, or simply the story itself.

For the sport’s five-year anniversary, I needed to take a more in-depth take a look at the lasting impression the sport has had fon gamers. Closing Fantasy XV’s endurance comes from its standout characters, discovered household themes, and even an energetic participant group that’s nonetheless going to this present day. These parts all create a beautiful sense of household, each in-game and in the neighborhood, that I and others have skilled via enjoying, speaking, and simply sharing our love of Closing Fantasy XV collectively.

A Closing Fantasy for the followers

The opening display screen of Closing Fantasy XV tells you a lot concerning the recreation proper off the bat. It makes me blissful to see it every time I load up the sport. “A Closing Fantasy for followers and first-timers” serves as a reasonably easy lead-in for a recreation that basically does really feel prefer it was created for each longtime followers of the sequence and new gamers.

The story, at its most elementary, tells the story of Noctis and his three shut mates as they cope with invasion, omnipotent beings, and a centuries-old prophecy that units Noctis because the Chosen King inside the recreation. And whereas the story could be a little messy at occasions, Closing Fantasy XV has in the end finished what any recreation ought to: Give gamers one thing to attach with.

Sq. Enix/Microsoft

For fan Jordynne Hatton, that connection got here very strongly in the principle solid of characters upon finishing the sport for the primary time and within the years since.

“After laying on the sofa and crying for just a few hours, I used to be hit with a really overwhelming feeling of shedding a detailed good friend,” Hatton tells Digital Tendencies. “Of grief. I grew alongside the principle solid, watching them develop and overcome issues of their lives that had been truthfully fairly much like my very own private life on the time. I noticed myself in every of the boys — and it felt as if I used to be saying goodbye to all of them. Like that they had taught me all they wanted to, and had been prepared to maneuver on.”

That connection to the principle characters of Closing Fantasy XV is one thing I actually relate to. You spend the vast majority of the sport with Noctis, Ignis, Gladiolus, and Prompto as they go on a street journey that feels all too acquainted to taking lengthy drives with my very own mates (minus conditions that put all of them in rising hazard). And there’s one thing concerning the acquainted street journey state of affairs and the very likeable personalities of all 4 characters that makes Closing Fantasy XV such a joyful recreation to play, even 5 years on.

Final Fantasy XV's heroes stand on a grassy field.

Little issues like Prompto buzzing the Closing Fantasy Victory fanfare after fight to greater moments like a specific struggle that occurs later within the recreation between Gladiolus and Noctis, stand out to me as a result of they present us as gamers all these nuances of the characters. How the characters work together with one another all through the sport has made my expertise with Closing Fantasy XV all that extra particular as a result of the truth that I join with every of them via these little moments that present how completely different all of them are.

Drea, a longtime fan and participant of Closing Fantasy XV, additionally famous that alongside the characters serving as an essential a part of her expertise with the sport, the gameplay in XV is simply plain satisfying, too.

“Except for the lore of the sport, the gameplay itself is simply actually enjoyable,” Drea tells Digital Tendencies. “There’s just a few quirks that may show troublesome, however for probably the most half, exploring the open world, triggering the random occasions, or exploring the completely different dungeons could be a enjoyable problem (or … an extended and daunting one within the case of Pitioss Ruins, however the bragging rights for finishing it’s one thing many followers prefer to share!).”

Retaining the love alive

Like all recreation that’s a part of a long-running franchise, Closing Fantasy XV has seen a group spring up across the recreation. And that group is passionate. Whereas it’s not as energetic because it was within the years straight following the sport’s launch, the fan group has finished its justifiable share of maintaining love for XV alive.

“I’ve been a part of the fandom on numerous completely different platforms since launch, and it’s been superior seeing the other ways the fandom has shifted through the years!” Drea says. “It’s in all probability one of the crucial welcoming communities I’ve been a part of (having been in lots of during the last decade), and everybody I’ve met has been extremely good and passionate concerning the recreation!”

Final Fantasy XV heroes fight a giant monster.

That sense of kinship has resulted in a wholesome modding group for the PC model of Closing Fantasy XV and even XV-particular occasions placed on by Kupocon, a touring fan occasion that was wholly created by Closing Fantasy followers in 2016. My very own interactions with the group mirror that of each Drea and Hatton, as I’ve been energetic in following artists, attending conventions the place the voice actors are visitors, and assembly some nice folks inside the XV group itself.

With the five-year anniversary for Closing Fantasy XV right here, the concept of gamers being offered  with a discovered household via Noctis, Prompto, Gladiolus, and Ignis is mirrored all through the sport. There’s at all times a way of the characters counting on one another and rising collectively all through the story, and that discovered household has very clearly translated into the group of gamers as effectively.

An enormous a part of what has stored Hatton coming again to Closing Fantasy XV was that sense of group. “For me, an enormous a part of the sport staying related to me is how a lot the followers have taken the characters and ran with them. We didn’t get all of the DLC we needed from them? Who cares? Folks can draw and write complete new worlds and eventualities for everybody. The group constructed from the video games is very similar to the characters, too — a household.”

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