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Final Fantasy 16: The Rising Tide Review – Riding The Wave

It is at all times a bit bizarre to return to a recreation you completed for story-centric DLC, particularly when the bottom recreation had a reasonably definitive ending. Nonetheless, people who have just a bit bit extra left within the tank can take the chance to offer a recreation you actually cherished yet another excessive word to finish on. I typically consider the Mass Impact 3 Citadel DLC as the most effective example–an oddly positioned, but near-perfect send-off. Remaining Fantasy XVI: The Rising Tide evokes related emotions in that I used to be simply blissful to have an excuse to revisit that world and spend a bit extra time with characters I cherished. Whereas it does largely play out like extra Remaining Fantasy XVI content material, The Rising Tide fills in a couple of blanks left behind and allows you to wield two new Eikons in a questline that reaches related heights of the unique recreation.

The Rising Tide questline is slotted into FFXVI proper earlier than the principle recreation’s level of no return, making it really feel like an impromptu diversion at a crucial level within the story. That mentioned, it is obligatory, as most of the occasions main as much as the DLC present the context round its story. As Clive, you and the crew are invited to go to a area known as Mysidia–a quiet space tucked away within the north and cloaked underneath the veil of highly effective magic to each conceal itself from the remainder of the world and preserve a facade of brilliant blue skies. It is a new space for the sport that has its personal attention-grabbing, remoted society and allows you to discover a comparatively small however vibrant area, and its gorgeous views remind you of how FFXVI makes use of its technical strengths to color a vibrant and attractive world.

Now Taking part in: FINAL FANTASY XVI – The Rising Tide DLC Launch Date Trailer

A lot of FFXVI was visually dour given its grim nature, so Mysidia’s tropical tinge is a refreshing distinction. However this is not a trip for Clive–The Rising Tide revolves across the historical past of Leviathan as an Eikon that, like each different Eikon, was wielded in unhealthy religion. By means of the principle state of affairs quests and sidequests, you be taught in regards to the individuals of Mysidia, their lifestyle, and their specific relationship with Leviathan. The persons are self-sustaining and deal with magic fairly in another way from the remainder of Valisthea, and their chief, Shula, embodies their ethos as she accompanies you all through the DLC. She’s not precisely a standout character within the grand scheme of issues, however she is a strong anchor for The Rising Tide and supplies a adequate excuse for dragging Clive off the overwhelmed path. It is a twist to the everyday FFXVI plot beat and comes round to be a moderately candy story about breaking generational curses in a manner that lends itself extra to FFXVI’s softer aspect.

That is to not say The Rising Tide does not go onerous, as a result of like the bottom recreation, its mix of intense boss fights woven into spectacular cinematic cuts stays the inspiration right here. Together with the brand new area are a further dungeon and one other larger-than-life Eikon battles. Whereas the dungeon itself is kind of quick, the boss struggle that awaits on the finish of it options some intelligent and ingenious mechanics that even impressed the Remaining Fantasy XIV Savage raider in me. FFXVI’s base recreation shares a number of similarities with the MMORPG when it comes to battle mechanics, and this stays true right here, however a couple of twists caught me off guard and left me grinning after I was in a position to overcome them. And even when I might see it coming from a mile away, the build-up to a different climactic Eikon battle and the arduous struggle itself introduced again that particular feeling of hype FFXVI was so rattling good at evoking. The telegraphing of sure mechanics within the EIkon battle aren’t at all times nice, so there’s some trial-and-error as you bang your head in opposition to the wall to get by way of it. Nonetheless, determining find out how to resolve the mechanics together with pulling off nasty, weighty assaults as Ifrit was as gratifying as ever, matching the most effective of what the unique recreation needed to supply.

As a chapter all about Leviathan, having the ability to use the facility of the long-lasting serpent is a particular spotlight. Artistic Enterprise Unit III actually mentioned, “What if we gave Clive a gun?” and that is basically what they did. Leviathan is a projectile-focused Eikon energy that has its personal distinctive mode that turns Clive’s arm right into a shotgun able to blasting deadly chunks of water, and boy, does it soften away enemies’ stagger meter. For cooldowns, you additionally get a rapid-fire bubble blast and wave-like skill that begins from the edges and crunches small enemies collectively, making them straightforward targets for shotgun blasts or every other AoE spell you’ve got lined up. There is a satisfying suggestions to touchdown pictures and weaving between Leviathan’s moveset, and it is nice to see that FFXVI model of motion fight nonetheless had room for artistic concepts.

On high of that, you additionally get to wield Ultima as an Eikon energy, which permits Clive to hover with wings that may additionally violently swipe at mobs of enemies. Lots of the cooldown skills with Ultima are heavy and dramatic shows of energy that are not precisely conducive to swiftly weaving into an assault rotation–if you simply wish to disrespectfully pummel enemies, Ultima is the Eikon for you. Ultima is unlocked by beginning up the brand new content material known as Kairos Gates, which is a part of the DLC’s bundle. It is a run-based fight problem the place you progressively construct Clive with boons and enhancements to assist make it by way of a genuinely powerful gauntlet of enemy hordes and remixed bosses. The menus and sound results between rounds are encased in an old-school Remaining Fantasy presentation which is a cute contact, however these fights are something however cute. In case you’ve been wanting FFXVI to up the issue, it is a first rate, albeit simple, strategy to get extra out of its fight.

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The Rising Tide comprises a handful of sidequests to fill out Mysidia, which provide rewards or unlock options for the area. These vary from speaking to NPCs, fetching gadgets on the planet, taking out sure targets, or some mixture of these things–mostly persevering with the everyday FFXVI quest design, which wasn’t precisely its robust go well with. Not that it is stunning, however most of the conversations within the DLC nonetheless have that odd, stiff fashion of dialog by way of a cutscene that stood out like sore thumbs within the authentic recreation. It is one other a type of FFXIV-isms that do not fairly maintain up when utilized in a extremely produced, prestige-style recreation.

Nonetheless, the DLC does use sidequests successfully in a couple of key methods. For one, they are usually extra combat-focused so that they’re alternatives to sharpen these new Eikon-wielding expertise. However after the DLC’s essential state of affairs is completed, a brand new batch of sidequests pop as much as let the general story breathe, they usually’re important for giving Shula and the individuals of Mysidia closure. I am a bit shocked these are marked as sidequests contemplating how impactful they’re in contextualizing The Rising Tide. And whereas the reward for finishing all of it is not essentially a tangible one, it is an emotional payoff that gives as a substitute brings some a lot wanted heat to FFXVI’s darkish world.

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The wonders of Mysidia are additionally represented within the new music for The Rising Tide. To the shock of completely nobody, composer Masayoshi Soken and his crew have been cooking as soon as once more. The principle village of Haven has a catchy but sorrowful acoustic tune that splendidly captures the setting, and the gorgeous overworld theme struck me as an extension of the bittersweet emotions I had enjoying by way of elements of FFXIV: Endwalker. The dungeon theme incorporates mild digital components to speak one thing inexplicably magical in regards to the atmosphere whereas additionally calling again to the principle leitmotif used all through FFXVI, as if to wrap the entire journey collectively by way of sound. Whereas the Eikon boss battle theme is among the many explosive and spectacular tracks to hype you up within the second, it is the extra calming music, the place the emotional nuances of the journey are delivered by way of the notes that make up the songs.

Taking part in by way of The Rising Tide was bittersweet. For all its flaws, I’ve a deep fondness for Remaining Fantasy XVI, so I used to be blissful to have a robust hook to carry me again to Valisthea, even when it was a moderately short-lived journey that wrapped up simply as I used to be beginning to vibe with the brand new setting, skills, and characters. In a number of methods, The Rising Tide presents one thing I want the unique recreation had a bit extra of in its story: vibrance and heat. FFXVI was outwardly grim and dark–fitting what it was going for. However having this distinction that enhances the core themes of the unique recreation was an actual deal with, particularly with some nice gameplay twists alongside the best way. The Rising Tide is a straightforward advice for many who loved the bottom recreation, and a rattling tremendous strategy to ship off FFXVI.



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