Horizon Complete – FF15 Up Next

Lots.  I’ve spent lots of time in Horizon.  I’ve collected every statue, vantage point, cleared every bandit camp and corruption zone, explored every cauldron and every village, I’ve killed more robots that I could count…and I am very happy with that entire voyage.

The last quest is an interesting one and I’m not sure if it played out that way due to previous quests or not.  I was equipped with what essentially was a grenade launcher to take out a massive swarm of robots.  I took out Helis, one on one.  I then had a final fight against a Deathbringer, with minimal cover and plenty of additional enemies.  That was a super fun fight.  The final scene works and closes up the story really well.  Without getting into spoilers, the good guys win and you bring peace back to the land.  Typical.

Except… the post-credits scene throws logic out the window in order to set up a potential sequel.  Against character and against lore, a choice is made that goes against nearly everything that preceded.  People who are dead should stay dead (like the others who have died before them), and people who have ruined the world and atoned for it, should not double-down on ruining the world once more, especially when there’s an alternative way forward to reach the same underlying goal.

So aside from that 30 second cut scene, I stand impressed and happy.  It is my top candidate for game of the year…and we’re only 1/4 of the way in so far.

FF15

When I bought the PS4, I received Uncharted 4 and FF15 (used), so those are up next.  I know what to expect with Uncharted, but FF15 was an outlier.

First, games should not have 10 gig installs over the internet.  The heck.  Second, I did not expect to have an emo band as my main party out of the gate.  Third, there is a poor blend of action/arcade combat where defense is 90% non-visual.  If FF13 was “press A”, then FF15 is “press O”.  Finally, I am hoping this is a bug, but the random drop ships of 12+ enemies with guns, and spawning every 3 minutes, seems a bit much.

Ok, game proper now.  I’m about 4 hours in I guess, enough to have acquired the first 2 of 13 rare weapons.  Where FF13 was laser-focused for the first dozen hours, FF15 loses all focus within 5 minutes.  There are mini-quests everywhere.  Combat is ok, but the toolset is quite poor to start and clipping is beyond annoying, especially with groups of larger enemies.  The teleport function in combat is neat.  The main story seems to follow the traditional FF fare…you’re somebody, someone important dies, you become important, blah blah blah.

I truly do not understand half of the systems in the game.  I don’t understand the car (or its upgrades), I don’t get the differences between weapons (and their upgrades), I don’t understand character skills (cooking, photos, scavenging), I don’t get the point of bounty hunts…nothing is explained, just given out.  It gets marginally better as the story progresses, but there are large level swaths where I am more confused than anything.  One quest had me take out 5 cat-like beasts, 5 levels below me.  They tore me to shreds from physical damage, only for the afore-mentioned enemy drop ship to show up and clean house.  There’s no feedback to see what I did wrong, no way to really improve without information.  So it’s a continuous trial/error gameplay that is growing frustrating.

The world itself looks great, as to the various characters and enemies.  The music is solid.  There’s fishing, which is always a plus.

The game just feels like a bunch of random ideas thrown together without any purpose.  90% of my activities have nothing to do with the main quest line, and don’t appear to provide any benefit other than a higher character level.  FF15 was well reviewed, so I am clearly missing something.  Maybe it will get better over time.

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