After losing to the enemy high commander Ravus, Gladiolus is forced to swallow a bitter pill and face the limitations of his own strength. In order to travel with the Chosen King, he realizes he must also possess a comparable level of power in order to protect him. In the ancient ruins that were found in the Kingdom of Lucis 30 years ago, the spirits of heroes that once served the king await the next generation of warriors. The episode features:
•A new story told from Gladiolus’s perspective uncovering the events that transpired when he left the party in FINAL FANTASY XV’s main storyline
•An exhilarating combat system that capitalizes on Gladiolus’s blocking and counterattacking play style through the new ”Valor” and ”Rage” systems
•Special items that can be carried over to the main game—exclusive to those who complete EPISODE GLADIOLUS
•Two brand-new gameplay modes: ”Score Attack” and ”Final Trial,” made available upon completing EPISODE GLADIOLUS
(May contain spoilers if you haven’t played Final Fantasy XV)
This DLC also includes an additional story chapter called Chapter 13, Verse 2 where players can also play as Gladio traverse through the city and learn some secrets in the eyes of Gladio and learn the fate of Ravus and Emperor Iedolas Aldercapt. I will be talking about that as well so unless you played Final Fantasy XV, get ready to be spoiled! This review will be split as it involves certain moments from the game story.
Just like the synopsis says above, after the events of Chapter 5, Gladioulus gets frustrated that he was easily defeated by Ravus Nox Flueret (Lunafreya’s stepbrother and High Commander of the Imperial Army). Feeling like he is lacking strength, he temporary leaves Noctis and his friends in Chapter 7 and train and acquire strength. With the help of Lucis’ strongest warriors Cor Leonis. Cor tells Gladio that it’s possible to gain more power if he takes the trials of Gilgamesh, the Blademaster. However, Cor mentions, even Gilgamesh, that the trials are very difficult and not many warriors can survive, but Gladio ignores the warnings and follows through. Together Cor, Gladio attempts the trials to defeat Gilgamesh and gain more strength.
Opinions – Quest for Strength
I found this part of the story very interesting because without this DLC, I was wondering where and why did Gladio go and leave Noctis. This episode fills in the gap and answers questions. Another bonus added is that we get screen time with Cor since he only showed up for a bit in the early chapters in the story and then disappears. The trials Gladio goes through shows that Gladio isn’t just a man who is known as the muscles in the group but we learn that there is a reason why is needs strength, which is used for protecting the king. I was not expecting that this Episode also talked about Gladio’s father, Clarus Amicitia and even Cor’s youthful life when he endured the trials. In this episode, besides the combat system and gameplay, we kind of get an idea on the side characters and learn more about Gladio’s determination and we see what it means to gain strength. In relating to anime, I felt like Gladio was sorta like Zoro from One Piece. Both these men are known to be strong and they are willing to protect their leaders; whenever these guys face defeat, they push themselves harder and come back stronger but with battle wounds (This Episode will explain the recent scar on Gladio’s head).
The Episode also includes new features such as Score Attack and Final Trial. In Score Attack, you play the story again (skipping cutscenes) in a time limit and earn points. You gain points when fighting daemons and lost souls. If uoi can rack up to 500,000 points, players will receive a shirtless Gladio costume in which gives him increase power in the main story but also offers fanservice if you want to show off Gladio. In Final Trial (I recommend playing this after the Episode), Gladio fights Cor in a 1v1 match with only default items (3 potions and 1 Phoenix Down). Cor is literally strong and fights without mercy. It’s almost like fighting Sephiroth from Kingdom Hearts, both men are strong and can take away a chunk of health. Players can also take pictures too but you can see them and share in this Episode and they won’t appear in the main story. The game also includes some heavy rock music to fit in the story and combat, from what I believe, I think it was done by the same composer who also worked on the popular and recent release of NieR: Automata; you can also play the music in the main story while driving.
*UPDATE 4/25: I defeated Cor!
Chapter 13, Verse 2 (or 13.2) (SPOILERS!!!)
Taking place in the beginning of Chapter 13, Gladio and Ignis gets separated from Noctis as they try to save Prompto and retrieve the Crystal from the Empire. Rather than playing as Noctis, players will be Gladio and guide the Ignis (who is blind) traverse the base and try to meet up with Noctis. Along the way, Gladio and Ignis will learn some shocking surprises when learns what happens to Ravus and see the trickery of Ardyn and Iedolas Aldercapt.
Opinions – Fool me once, shame on you!
Unlike the main story with Noctis, Chapter 13.2 is much shorter and the combat is actually easy because thanks to the antagonist Ardyn, Gladio can summon his Greatsword and Iginis and his daggers and fight against the daemons. Rather than going through a maze or dealing with Magik soldiers, you pretty much deal with small enemies and a giant enemy. So regardless, the enemies are too much to handle and the only thing to look out is the final boss in this chapter. I won’t spoil too much of the boss but I will say he is tricky but his patterns are easy to detect. Like mentioned before, we get to see what happens to minor side characters like Ravus and Iedolas. Still, even with the chapter, I feel like it could have expanded more. I am not going to spoil but ig you played as Noctis in the story, you might understand why it doesn’t make sense that his chapter is long and this one too short.
Gameplay – Fight as the Shield
Very different than Noctis, Gladio is very bulky because he is more focus on strength than agility than Noctis and his powers. Gladio is equipped with the Greatsword, a sword that is very huge and heavy and similar to Cloud Strife’s Buster Sword. He has a shield in which he can use to defend himself and counter enemies. The new rage system included gives the player the ability increase damage and perform signature moves which can help Gladio do more damage or wipe out multiple enemies. While playing as Gladio, I really enjoyed playing as him in the same way as Noctis. Even though I couldn’t teleport, I enjoyed fighting like a warrior and relying on strength. Even though I never played games like Bloodbourne or Dark Souls, I felt like the Episode was trying to be like these games but more simple. You walk around through areas fighting enemies and take on bosses on your own with a set pattern.
Conclusion – Worth downloading?
Personally, I would get this DLC for those wondering what happened to Gladio in the parts he wasn’t there in the story. This will players and fans understand who have questions like where was he when he wasn’t with Noctis. This DLC can be fun as well if you want to try a different character than Noctis. The only difference with Noctis and Gladio is that Gladio is more combat focused than Noctis is balanced. This DLC is fun and challenging and you get to experience Final Fantasy XV in a different perspective. If you want to get this game, this DLC is about $5 but if you have the season pass, you can get this for free. If you still want more Episodes, get ready for June as we get ready for Episode Prompto! Based on my ecperience, I really like this DLC because I like to fight and Gladio is one of my favorites of the Chocobros. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my review!
Check out my gameplay experience in Episode Gladio below (the last video is a teaser to Episode Prompto):