Review by kindrid77
"High expectations, big dissapointment"
We looked forward to this game hoping that finally a one-of-a-kind MMO experience would be released. Though the graphics are absolutely amazing, the game itself leaves much to be desired. It's like watching a movie filmed at a stunning location but ruined by C rated actors. The quests are so utterly ridiculous that my husband and I thought we grabbed a 3+ rated game. Picking up garbage, putting flowers on gravestones, de-licing sheep ?
The server issues at inception aside, you can choose your class and can become any other class at any time throughout the game . By equipping weapons or tools from other classes you can become that class and rank up each one . Though players have a lot of flexibility in exploring the different worlds even if you are clueless where you are or where you are going - you are forced into a strict team regime when initiating the duties. It can take up to 30 minutes before many of the duties can commence.
The controls and game navigation are absolutely abysmal and the most user unfriendly we have ever come across. Navigating through the menu is sheer torture and you have to constantly use the start button to access journals, logs, character and everything else. These and countless other foibles make playing the game a chore. Entering dialogue in the chat section requires a sequence of prompts to finally be able to text others. At stalls you cannot return to the stall menu except by speaking with vendors again. Targeting friend or foe is by far the most irritating aspect of the game. With so many players and enemies you have to keep switching until you find the desired target. The game screen is cluttered beyond belief with all kinds of useless information that should have been accessible through other means.
The game starts off with mind numbing quests that require you to run around aimlessly. Not quests that give your brain cells a good workout mind you, just finishing quests to obtain EXP. Most of the time you don't even know what the quest is about, nor would you care as they are that dimwitted. The player constantly re-spawns where you started off only to have to restart the arduous long track back to where you need to be. Throughout the game you never really know where you are or where you are going and why. The map, like most other features, is far from user friendly and doesn't properly guide you to where you need to go next. Quest and story icons pop up everywhere without any sense of your location or direction. There is not much MMO experience with the quests and levequests which you have to accomplish on your own for the most part. The quests are pretty much the same throughout, downright boring and tedious. The only exciting aspect is getting the experience. Unfortunately, enemy battle in Eorzia provides none of that, so players will have to numbingly trudge on from quest to quest. On the way you can join fate quests to kill time until you can restock the number of levequests you are permitted to play.
The market board for gear etc.is a very nice added feature of the game where players can put-up weapons, armor and items for sale once you are at some ridiculous level. Buyers can select their class and level with ease and buy anything that others have posted, which basically renders all of the vendors selling equipment at exorbitant prices completely redundant throughout the entire game. Selling your stuff at stalls will not fill up your gil till as you get near nothing for any of your items. Finding the right vendor that actually sells your stuff is no easy feat even if Sqaure Enix labeled the stalls. As you move from area to area most vendors will not sell the equipment you need which means that when you finally do locate one, you better remember where it was. The rare equipment items can be obtained from treasure chests from the duty quests. Players select greed , pass or need. With a fair team of players it is possible to get the item you desire . A very frustrating method of distribution where you are forced to redo the same duty over and over, in the hope of getting better equipment without having to pay for it. Gil does not grow on trees in this game and vendor equipment of any value is unaffordable for most.
Exploring Eorzia is actually more boring than the quests. There is nothing to discover as you repetitively make your way through different areas. The game is anemic of content. All hope of obtaining rare items in other ways has been chopped off at the knees. Travelling Eorzia , even with the addition of Chocobos , is still a boring undertaking. The graphics are awesome and breathtaking but unfortunately this does not provide a Band-Aid for the painful game experience in general.
Targeting enemies or other players in combat remains a challenging task, especially as you need to switch between them quickly. In a crowd you need to go through a whole range of enemies and co-player combatants that it takes a lot of time to finally zoom in on the right one. The attack skills are limited until you reach level 25 or thereabouts which provides for boring battles. The game doesn't force you to think your battle strategy through as most of it is pre-set. When you can actually execute battles by holding the controller with just one hand you are made painstakingly aware that the game requires little technique. When playing in dungeons the game makers felt it was necessary to splatter the screen with long texted duty instructions. Apart from the fact that you do not see your other team players and enemy it is annoying and screws up the gameplay. Commands are slow and the use of any of your equipped potions is restricted for a colossal amount of time .
We had expected much more of FFXIV . Granted, certain elements due to the genre have to be sacrificed but this is no excuse for the lack of real game experience. The storyline dissipates quickly and all you are left with is quests and duties, lots of aimless running around and little excitement. It is definitely not a game that is consistent and which provides the much sought after exciting game experience. Player irritation compounds as you work through so many aspects of the game and simply just kills all the fun. No doubt other MMO game developers will follow this game closely and hopefully draw their lessons from its many shortcomings. Time will tell how many people are going to be willing to pay to play once the free on-line trial period is over. Square Enix will, undoubtedly, be faced with many difficult decisions as players exit this game and move on.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 09/09/13
Game Release: Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn (Collector's Edition) (EU, 08/28/13)
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