Guest Reviewer: Shawn Campbell
Introduction: After a poor launch of the original Final Fantasy 14 of which was a huge letdown to fans, Square-Enix was able to fix a broken game with Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. I myself was one of the few that quit playing the original Final Fantasy 14 and came back to A Realm Reborn pleasantly surprised. Now it is time to see how the first expansion Heavensward compares to the previous game.
The entire expansion was played on my PC, which has a 3.1 GHz i7, CPU, 6 gigs of ram and a GeForce GTX 660 graphics card. I played the Direct X11 version of Heavensward on high settings. Although the benchmark stated I could easily run it on maximum, I did not for the most part.
*Warning Spoilers to the ending of Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn*
Now with that out of the way the story continues where it left off after the assassination of the Sultana and the Warrior of Light being blamed and cast out to find a new home. After helping the Ishgardian’s near the end of the main scenario, the warrior of light is accepted into Ishgard and charged with helping them end the war with the dragons and heretics. Throughout the story, the player helps and uncovers secrets of the war between Ishgard and the dragons.
The origin to the war and actions between both man and dragon are an intricate tale that spans thousands of years to that of even ancient Allag. As the Allagan Empire and its vast technological society even had dealings with the dragons and surrounding areas, prior to when the Elezen came to Ishgard. As the player delves into the story they will also come across new beast tribes, as well as primal gods summoned by the Beastmen that once again are tied to the Ascians trying to sow chaos and destruction throughout Eorzia.
The Ascians are still a huge part of the main story with the Scions trying to find a way to break the cycle of rebirth and destroy the Ascian’s once and for all. In the background, the empire starts up a new campaign of conquest, which may tie in to future updates or an expansion. Seeing as the empire had a huge presence on the main story in 2.0 it is expected that we will see more of them in either 3.X or possibly 4.0. What lies in wait is still unknown but the Garlean Empire is obviously a big threat still and is lying in wait for its return.
I enjoyed the story for the most part and 90% of it was quite well done, and I liked the direction it was heading. Although I would love to explain the story in more detail, it would be extremely hard to do so without spoiling major plot points for the expansion. Therefore, have done my best to be as vague as possible. The story is one that is well worth playing for all those who are interested and enjoyed the story to A Realm Reborn.
Controls: Controls are that of what you would expect out of most MMO’s with main HUD having customizable ability bars and layout. You can customize and tweak things easily and to your comfort level in the system settings and develop your own macros in order to make executing abilities and rotations much easier. For the expansion, I did not utilize any macros for new abilities and have found it hard to try and create macros that would be useful as a Summoner. Seeing that is the job class and the rotation is more of a priority order and not a standard rotation it is difficult to make effective macros that work in every situation, as all encounters are different.