Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward is a return to form for the franchiseFrom : SusanExpress Date : 2015/10/9 15:14:01
Two years after the release of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which was itself a successful turnaround for the suffering Final Fantasy XIV MMO, the games first expansion, FFXIV: Heavensward, has released to high expectations from the games consistently growing user base. Where A Realm Reborn was a reboot of a game that was considered a total failure, Heavensward was to be the first upward building block on top of a successful foundation. Hopes were high, and speculation was positive based on the success of A Realm Reborn, and the two years of patches that sometimes added enough content to last for months. Thankfully, Heavensward is a tremendous success, and only now, months after release (and a month out from the next major patch), are the cracks starting to show in a relatively light endgame.
Heavensward is strongest when it comes to the story. Final Fantasy XIV has always had a story that was above what most other MMOs on the market could deliver, but Heavensward is the first time that the game has felt like a true Final Fantasy game. The story puts the player, who is on the run after the events of the Before the Fall patch, in hiding in the northern territories of Ishgard. To this point, Ishgard has only been known to the players as a place of exclusionary politics and a rich history involving dragons.
Heavensward puts these politics, and the dragons, front and center. For the majority of the time you will journey with a small cast of characters, each of which have their own, impressive, personal journey. You will meet ancient dragons, explore long abandoned dungeons, and traverse some impressive landscapes, which can be seen from a new perspective thanks to the always fun flying mounts introduce for the expansion. Occasionally, you will take a dip back into the arc that was left behind from A Realm Reborn, but the focus on a smaller story, with interesting characters, feels like the best story Final Fantasy has been able to produce in years.
Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward may be in desperate need of new endgame content, but that doesnt change how great the journey was to the end of the current content. Heavensward is a notable high point for the Final Fantasy series in recent years, and the future for the MMO remains bright, with the next major patch around the corner, and hopefully many more patches, and even bigger and better expansions to follow.