There are plenty of high points for Final Fantasy XV- but the main plotline isn’t one. We sing high praises for the photos the game takes for you and the pricey but good-looking food, but suffice to say the main plotline isn’t worth investing in as much.
We will talk about this without mentioning any story spoilers, mind. It will be discussed in broad strokes.
If Final Fantasy XIII’s story is absolutely convoluted, XV is extremely straightforward by comparison. There’s a struggle between light and dark (literally), a prophecy of the one true king, and an evil empire waging war against the good empire. And Noctis is on a journey with his friends to get married for political reasons. Pretty simple, and the open world parts of the game has light story beats. The only lore dump you will see is totally optional, located in the tutorial.
Even the game starts out pretty quick for a Final Fantasy game, a series known for its long intro cutscenes.
But once the main plot kicks in, it kicks in hard. Plenty of cool set-pieces, dramatic twists and turns Noctis and friends have to face, all happening at really quick pace. Too quick, actually. Then you have a very, very long chapter of the game that will throw you off.
While the action during the linear section is mostly fine, some of the story beats are not explained well or given the right kind of exposure. Some of the twists fall flat, and at moments you just don’t know what was going on with some of the characters. And characters of some importance are just barely mentioned or have a very unsatisfying end to their character arcs.
Interestingly enough, the team at Square Enix acknowledged this, and a future update/patch will be addressing this particular issue (minor spoiler warning). Yes, Square Enix will patch the story. And this is not the first time, the day 1 update did have some story fixes by adding scenes from the Kingsglaive movie and the Omen trailer. The result of that patch? Not so much.
We played Final Fantasy XV without watching any of its transmedia offers- the Kingsglaive movie, the Brotherhood short anime series, and an audio Prologue Drama- available only in Japanese, but an official English script can be found here. By just playing the game, the main story plot feels uneven. Clearly the focus was to provide a strong gameplay rather than a fleshed out narrative this time around and the need to patch the storyline is telling of how the quality is.
Speaking on the upcoming patch, there will be a focus on fixing the story, a particular chapter that felt off as mentioned before, as well as more post-game content. There’s even a character creator coming, but no ETA on any of these fixes just yet.