Allow me to preface this piece by mentioning a few things: I, along with countless other gamers, have waited for this game for an incredibly long time. I’m thankful that the game is out, and that I’ve had an opportunity to finish the main story. I adore this game, and appreciate the new direction this series is taking, including the fan-servicy, boy band protagonists, giving those who enjoy some male oriented fan-service a great game to call their own! But praise for FFXV will be saved for another article, as this will be dedicated to “That S**t I Don’t Like!” Without further delay, let’s delve into the top 10 things I don’t like about FFXV.
1 | The Driving Mechanics are uninspiring
They’re terrible. You’re basically given a few options for how you want to traverse in FFXV between locations, using your car as the primary means of travel. You set the destination and sometimes you get an option to fast travel there for 10 gil. Why do I have to pay in game money to skip, what is essentially, a timed loading screen? If you don’t skip to the destination, you have to watch Ignis or Noctis drive the Regalia anywhere between 1-9 minutes… You can choose when they turn if you don’t have it set to auto, but you can’t really do much in terms of actually controlling the car. You’re essentially on rails.
2 | Parrying Has a Caveat…
You get a prompt to press square, and then have a window of opportunity after Noctis initiates the “parry” animation to counter attack. But some enemies have much less time to counter attack, resulting in the player getting hit if they don’t press attack. BUT THE GAME DOESN’T TELL YOU THAT. It’s on the player to figure that out themselves- to know to hold the evade button, and press the attack button immediately after to counter. Additionally, not being able to cancel out of attacks to dodge, parry, or roll is frustrating in an era where many action based RPGs allow you to do just that.
3 | No Waiting Feature Sans Camping/Resting
You can only use the resting/camp spot to wait until the morning. If you happen to take on a mission that can only be completed during the day time, and it happens to turn night time in your admittedly distracting travels, you’re SOL. You must fast travel back to your car or last resting place in order to finish your mission.
Additionally, waiting until night time is not an option. You can only do so by accepting hunts that ask you if you want to skip to night time. If, for whatever reason, you forget to press “yes”, you can’t skip time unless you reinitiate the mission at the source. Doesn’t seem like something that would be difficult to implement into the game since Bethesda’s main titles do it pretty well…
4 | The “Wait Mode” Combat System is Terrible
It’s important to note that the actual concept of Wait Mode itself is actually genius. Dragon Age Inquisition pulled this off eloquently, in that at any time in battle, you can pause the action and set up a series of commands for your party members. Need one of your party members to zip away from the frantic mayhem to utilize a powerful skill from a distance? Need someone to heal, and another to aggro the opponents all in one fell swoop? That was entirely possible in the Dragon Age franchise. When I learned that FFXV would have something similar, I flipped my s**t.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it goes in Eos. Incidentally, you do have valuable information about your opponents and their weakness in Wait Mode once you lock onto an enemy and use Libra, which is great! Sadly, in order to activate it, you need to turn the option on in the settings and stand still in battle, which isn’t the best scenario. The problem lies in your vulnerability while you do this, leaving you open to get hit while waiting for Wait Mode to activate (ironic), resulting in needless damage, and pressing dodge will take you out of the Wait Mode activation. This could easily be remedied by mapping Wait Mode activation to the click of a button. I’d love to hear the antithesis of how the current implementation is better than the proposed one, so anyone in the comments section, please let me know why an automated wait mode is even an option as opposed to a button press…
5 | Paid Multiplayer DLC
I’m ecstatic that there’s going to be a multiplayer mode added to FFXV, but it’s going to be behind a pay-wall – LAME. And speaking of… the Collector’s Deluxe edition, in addition to the Ultimate edition, don’t come with the season pass. Wtf?
6 | The AI is Incredibly Non-Self-Sufficient
They die. A lot. Especially Prompto. I understand developing AI is incredibly difficult and I commend Square-Enix for their work in getting the enemy AI to be as aggressive as it is, but keeping your party members alive shouldn’t be as much of a chore as it is in FFXV. It’s dreadful. Prompto is constantly in the way of danger, as opposed to hanging back like any rational, ranged attacker. Hopefully we’ll see a patch implementation that causes the companion AI to react to situations the same way Noctis does, where the player learns the pattern to get out of the way of oncoming attacks, and Noctis does something along the lines of yelling out to the team, “do this to avoid getting hit!” so they can follow his lead. A system like that would make a lot of sense, and allow you to spend way less resources keeping them alive.
7 | Initial Character Cliche Syndrome
The characters are admittedly a bit cliche in moments like when Prompto stares off to the side and mutters “If only…” during a big reveal. The kind of stuff that makes you completely roll your eyes, as if you’re watching a badly written melodrama. It’s easy to understand what the character’s personalities are before you even start playing due to their design and how they act, fulfilling their roles of tough guy, aggro, tank Gladiolus, brains over brawns, tactician Ignis, speedy, quirky, and joking gunslinger Prompto, and nonchalant, uninterested, prince-turned-king Noctis. With the exception of Noctis being as uninterested as he is in (mostly) everything, everyone in the party is pretty easy to read and assume you’ll know how they respond to situations. But that makes their interactions fairly predictable and gives us a sense of “been there, done that” syndrome.
8 | Everyone is Complaining…
…All the time (with the exception of Gladiolus). It’s like they’re little whiny children instead of young men who just found out their empire has collapsed, crying about it being hot outside. Just get the job done boys, we don’t need to hear you b***h about being sweaty or about the walk being too long.
9 | The Camera Man is on Meth
The camera is utter garbage. While the cutscene camera does a fine job of capturing the scene, the combat camera just doesn’t cut it. It barely keeps up with the action in time, causing you to miss important visual cues to prevent catastrophic damage. Most of the time, you can find the camera nestled directly underneath you when fighting larger enemies, or in bushes, rocks, or walls where the game doesn’t render elements in a transparent manner.
10 | Movement is Often Restricted
Whenever you enter a dungeon or heavily populated area, Noctis and the crew will completely slow down to a slow trot. In dungeons, you go into a sneaking, slow moving, walking state unless you sprint, which forces you to manage your sprint bar and reactivate the sprinting button right before you run out of stamina if you want to move at a brisk pace. When in cities or towns, you slow to a cute little trot. You cannot go any faster than this “cute trot.” The only reason I can think of that FFXV doesn’t allow free movement in these situations is to allow the in-game assets to continue loading and streaming from the hard drive. Going faster may reveal the elements popping in and out of frame, but that theory doesn’t make sense for the dungeons. There are more areas of the game that restrict your movement, like after battles, where Noctis stops whatever he was doing to do a short animation and just stand there, doing absolutely nothing. Or, when you interact with elements that allow you to crouch to go underneath a surface. Instead of a seamless transition, Noctis stops, crouches, exits, stops again, and then you can move forward. Let’s not forget the sections that require you to carefully balance your way across a narrow bridge like structure, slowing your movement down even further. Yeah, makes total sense for a character who can literally teleport across large distances… For a game that’s apparently inspired by western developers, it’s controls are still pretty dated and stuck in an old Japanese tank mechanic style of game.
I could go on about a few other elements, like how the “x” button is used for jumping, as well as interacting with on screen prompts and environmental elements, and how the game doesn’t fully register that you’re in front of an object trying to initiate it’s function, so instead of mounting a Chocobo, you’re forced to watch Noctis flail and jump around… But I digress. To discuss the other flaws may undermine the multitude of great things about FFXV. I’ll be going into detail about everything FFXV does get right in the next written piece, but what do you all think? What things do you like and dislike about FFXV? What do you expect to see in the next piece?
Thinking about picking the game up? Do so at Amazon today!
Edited by Dillon Payne