Final Fantasy XIV was first released in 2010 and was an immediate disaster. It cannot be overstated what a complete failure the original game was: it was just plain bad. If you have any interest in game development, the documentary on it is fascinating. The short version is that it was a mess inside and out: a very pretty picture with no substance whatsoever.
The game was subsequently revamped and relaunched as A Realm Reborn, which released in 2013. Since then, the game has had an incredible rise, with a particular peak at its spectacular Heavensward expansion. Shadowbringers, the third expansion, released in July 2019, and has been extremely well-reviewed.
So what makes Shadowbringers so good? And for those who have never tried FFXIV at all, is it good enough to start playing the MMO FF?
Short answer: good lord, yes.
Long answer: FFXIV is a story-driven game, to the point that all gameplay is locked behind the story. This is every bit a Final Fantasy game, from tl;dr cutscenes to character deaths I'm still not over. The base game (A Realm Reborn) is widely considered the weakest, to the point that the devs are planning on streamlining it for newcomers. Even then, it's still going to be something of a slog.
And yet: that very journey is what makes Shadowbringers so good. It builds on story beats introduced all the way back in ARR. It turns your voiceless character into a proper protagonist. It makes you really feel like you have a Final Fantasy party in the form of the Scions. And it has one of the best villains in the entire series.
I cannot even begin to give Shadowbringers half the praise it deserves. If you're a FF fan who wants to experience a new journey, you can't do better than this.
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Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers © Square-Enix. No infringement intended.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow is © Larissa, 2019-2020.