I tried. This reminds me a lot of The Witcher 3, where I just cannot get into the game. I’m getting old!
I mentioned before that the game had minimal instruction and that the various systems seems to serve no unified purpose. I stand by that, more so now than before.
First, the world is small in content, but massive in scale. There are wide swaths of nothing to do. I rented a chocobo (more on that later) and ran for 15 minutes before finding the next settlement. In the dark, managing to get lost in the field a bunch of times. 15 minutes of nothing. No enemies, no loot, nothing to examine… just walking. The scenery looked good, but there’s no gameplay. I’ll concentrate on my last 2 play sessions.
I found the chocobo HQ of sorts, and they started assigning me quests. The first one was to hunt a behemoth, a FF stable of large size. I was level 19 at the time (not sure what the cap is) and thought this would be an interesting challenge. First, it took me 10 minutes to realize where the entrance to his lair was, given that the map marker was at the incorrect location. Once I entered, it was 5 minutes in a linear corridor with 1 minor fight on trash, nothing else of note. I finally find the bugger, and I’m tasked with tailing him in the mist. I can see the tail and just need to stay X amount of distance away. For another 5 minutes. There’s no hiding, no line of sight, just stay out of his range. Once that part was done, I got to fight him proper.
Well, not really. Instead, the game left some exploding barrels on the ground and instructed me to blow them up with fire magic when he was in range. There are 3 issues here.
First, magic is considered a weapon. You need to build it from materials. It is entirely possible to run out of said materials, then you need to find a spawn point, collect more and get back to it. Magic also has a cooldown, somewhere near 30 seconds, between uses. The second issue is that these fire barrels require the monster to be next to them, and that only happens when he chases me. So I have to be next to the barrels. I mentioned that those barrels explode? Yeah, they take off more than half my health. And with a big demon next to me, I lost all my HP numerous times. The third issue is targeting. It is awful. There were 6 spots to target on the behemoth and actually targeting a barrel felt impossible. And if I missed, then there was 30 seconds wasted. I ended up wining the fight, with 2 AI dead (full dead) and me with ~15% of max HP left, basically 3 hits from a game over. Multiple systems at play, none of them working together, making for a massively frustrating experience and I turned off the game for the night.
The next session was bounty hunts. These are small quests that ask you to kill a certain amount of enemies nearby. Well, nearby can mean a 10 minute walk of nothing, but it’s nearby. This particular mission was listed as level 12, and I was 22 at the time. I had spent time upgrading my weapons and skills too, figuring I was “at part” for the power curve for this level.
And I was wrong. I needed to kill 9 wolf-like creatures, who ran around like they were on crack. Each took about 20-30 seconds of continuous damage to take down, while the other 8 were launching attacks at me. I kept blocking and parrying, but that doesn’t really deal damage. I used Glad’s AE attack too, at least to knock them back a bit. I lost Ignis (he dies every 3rd fight it seems) and by the time the last wolf was down, I was left with 20% max HP.
I don’t get it. I cannot find weapon/power upgrades beyond what I have. I see no extra skills. I’ve eaten food to get stronger. I used 5-10 potions a fight. I am getting continuously attacked by swarms of enemies and cannot get any consistent damage out. My teammates are a few cards short of a deck when it comes to AI. And I’m about 10 levels higher than my target.
I play games to de-stress and have fun. I certainly like the adrenaline of a good fight, where I feel some level of control over what’s going on, and if things go sideways, I can adapt. I cannot find that feeling in FF15. I have no idea what’s going on in the story (king is dead, I need to move across the map). There are massive empty spaces of nothing. Combat controls are a bad mix of action and RPG. I’m just not having any fun. Time to move on.