Synopsis from site:
Create your own avatar and join up with three other friends to take on epic quests and battles in the FFXV’s first and only online multiplayer expansion.
Set in a world engulfed by darkness, the expansion casts players as a member of the Kingsglaive, with powers and unique abilities invoked from various Lucian kings, who join forces to bring the Light back to the kingdom of Lucis. Other members of Noctis’s crew including Gladiolus, Prompto and Ignis will be made playable in future game updates.
FINAL FANTASY XV MULTIPLAYER EXPANSION: COMRADES is available to players who purchased FINAL FANTASY XV and the FINAL FANTASY XV Season Pass or FINAL FANTASY XV MULTIPLAYER EXPANSION: COMRADES standalone expansion.
(Even though it’s spoiler-free, I will mention stuff from the main game and it could be spoilers. This online expansion is part of the game’s story and it takes place after chapter 13.)
Players who bought the season pass of FFXV not only get all the Episode DLC but they will also have access to the online expansion, Comrades. Teased in the internet, players would create their own character and have the ability to fight like Noctis. In the past months, Square Enix released a beta of the game and gave players a sneak peak of the gameplay. Now that this game is out, I got my hands on it thanks to my online subscription and season pass.
*WARNING: If you have not played pass chapter 13, you will be spoiled!
Taking place after chapter 13, Noctis and his group finds the crystal located in Gralea, Niflheim kingdom. As soon as Noctis touches and encounters the crystal, Ardyn appears and reveal that his name is actually Ardyn Lucis Caelum and he is immortal. Noctis gets sucked into the crystal and his friends Prompto, Gladiolus and Ignis are shocked to see the prince vanish. They even tried to kill Ardyn but that fails and he leaves and waits for Noctis returns. This part of the story leads on to Comrades. As the days become shorter and the night takes over, you play as an unnamed (later you name them) soldier who wakes up from being unconscious and meets Libertus (a soldier and friend to Nyx in Kingsglaive). Libertus comforts you and he helps you when you get attacked by daemons. Thanks to the help of Cor, you and Libertus retreat Lestallum where it’s barricaded and sheltered for refugees. The main goal of Comrades is to play as your custom character and work with other soldiers and bring power to the four main cities. The daemons spawning all over Eos because of the lack of sun and it’s up to you to protect the people until Noctis returns.
Story review: 10 years living in the dark
Personally, this is a clever way to input the expansion into the main game. Originally, I thought it was going to a be separate feature like in games where in Call of Duty or Star Wars Battlefront where you can jump into online and not show concern for the story. It was also a nice treat to see that they brought back Libertus and made me remember Kingsglaive. It was pretty cool interacting with characters such as Noctis’s friends, Aranea and the rest of refugees. I think your main character is silent is because the game wants you to feel like you are part of the adventure and I am okay with that. The story really shows the emphasis of the deamons rapid appearance according to the refugees, you get an essence of desperation and depression. The only thing I can say that irked me a little bit is that even though this is supposed to take place during the 10 year skip, it doesn’t feel like 10 years. More or less, it feels like it days or at least a month. Still, I think this is just an emphasis to show that these people struggled to keep the peace and hold on to the light.
In this game, you can choose to be either a boy or girl. As you play through the game, you can dress them up as Kingsglaive soldiers or even dress them up in casual clothes or something random. Once you are done, you can access weapons just like Noctis. You can use katanas, knives, crossbows and other mystical weapons. You can also perform magic but unlike Noctis, you don’t use Magic Flasks but you use your own magic and it drains your stamina. You use also Royal Sigils from past Kings and Queens of Lucis who can help give you amazing abilities such as double power in magic or boosting attack power for your friends. As you play, you will gain treasures where you can either use to power up your weapons from Cid or do trade in the markets. While you complete missions, you gain gil and use it to buy clothes and chat dialogue for your custom character and weapons to equip. You also get meteor shards in which you can use to power the electricity and unlock missions and go further to the story. With the city being powered up, you can even visit the Hunter HQ base or Old Lestallum. The missions you do is either the following: hunting, escorting or defending.
In combat, you play similar like Noctis but since you are not a royal blood, you can’t fight and phase in midair at the same time. You can still do warp points like Noctis and that is important since it helps you recover. You can even collect food materials in which not only can be used to create food at the end of each mission (you will be cooked by random characters such as Monica, Cindy, Cid or a random cook), but you can also be revived if you are holding an ingredient.
Instead of Prompto, you have the photographer Vyv to comment on your heroic actions and you can use him to share pictures online.
Gameplay Review: Warping and Grinding!
At first I enjoyed this game a lot. It was nice customizing my character and fighting with other FFXV players. I like to dress up my character looking like Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist or Michael Jackson. I also like training with Noctis’ friends Prompto, Gladiolus and Ignis. The combat in the game is pretty fun as well. I like how the difficulty balance in each mission and it shows that you can’t just go slice willy nilly. I ended up being the team’s line of defense by healing players and creating a powerful shield. However, even I did enjoy the game’s combat, there were things that got in my way.
First, this game makes you grind! In order to progress the story or to unlock upgrades, you’re going to have to play this game online multiple times. Online can sometimes make it worse too. Unlike most online games where you can create a private party, you don’t get the option at all. Whenever you sign up for a mission, you can either go to the private selection and see if there’s anything open so you can jump into a team or you can jump into a random party and you either get a high level player or extremely low fighter. You can also have AI characters help you if no one wants to play online or you want to be alone. In short of all this playing online, it’s all random!
Next, the game can glitch a lot due to people’s connection or the game’s frame rate. It’s probably because of internet connections, but I think the game finds it difficult to process all the mayhem going on. Whenever I tried to use a warp attack on moving targets, sometimes my attacks fail and I end up getting close to my target. One of the moments that made me mad is that, I was doing a mission, I somehow completed a mission and also failed in the same time. I didn’t win anything and I had to start all over and the results screen was stuck on my game.
This one no big deal, but remember I said you can have a cook make food for you and it can be Monica or someone else? Expect to see Monica over and over again regardless to what have for ingredients. I seen people get Cindy and she serves salad in a jar or people get Cid make tacos and the majority I get is Monica. I like Monica but I wish the chances for getting someone would be high. Unless I am doing something wrong, I wish I got more Cindy and Cid.
Most importantly, if you see in the map where you unlock power and the nods say 60,000 kw, DON’T SPEND IT ON 60,000! According to a video, it’s a waste and you are better off ignoring it!
I will probably mention this in a spoiler post, but as soon as you complete the story objective, you feel like you can sit back and watch a cutscene but be prepared to fight a final boss. The game doesn’t tell you that and I ended up getting too comfortable and I died.
Is Comrades worth it? Personally, I would play it for the story. I like the idea of playing with players and being the hero. It’s fun to customize your character and be part of group and tackle the same missions together. However, this game will make you grind for items like weapons, costume pieces and treasure. If you are someone who doesn’t mind spending time online, you should enjoy the game. However, this game does have the common online issues and I wish the game added a feature where you can play your friends privately and not jump in like signing up for a college class. Still, it is nice to see an online game in FFXV but I assume that you are better off playing Final Fantasy XIV instead of online gameplay. I played this game for the story. I forgot to mention, the main song for this game is so beautiful! The song “Choosing Hope” was composed by Final Fantasy music legend Nobuo Uematsu and sung by Emiko Suzuki. Whether it is vocal or instrumental, this song stuck to me and I fell in love with it. Square Enix, please release the song either CD or digital because I will buy it for my iPod.
Anyway, what is your thoughts of Comrades? Comment down below. Also, feel free to donate to my page at Ko-fi. If you do, I will give you a shout-out in my next post. So far, Maku and Rocco B. gave me coffee.
Final Fantasy XV Mulitplayer Expansion: Comrades is available for PS4 and Xbox One. You need online and you can get the game free from season pass or buy it individually.