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Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition
Game Reviews

Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition

The definitive edition of a fantastic JRPG – just make sure you’ve got the hard drive space.

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While I’d love to launch into a rant about how the customization options and power of the PC make it the best option for gaming, I’ll try and control myself. Instead, I’ll praise the accessibility and low-entry price of console gaming. Video games aren’t exactly the most cost-efficient hobby, but if you want to get in and don’t have a lot of cash, consoles are a great choice. In the case of exclusive, they’re the only choice.

If, on the other hand, you have more money than sense, you can build a big, dumb PC and install big, dumb PC ports on it so they look stunning enough that you forget your buyer’s remorse (and possibly your rent). That’s exactly what we’ve got here with the fantastic PC port of an already fantastic game: Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition.

After years of war between the kingdom of Lucis and the local evil Empire, there’s finally been some progress toward a peace treaty. The Lucian prince, Noctis, is going to be married as a symbol of unity between the two nations. That means a road trip across the world of Eos, though, and that’s not the most inviting place these days. Noctis and his friends will need to stay on their guard as they make their way toward the wedding, especially when things go south and the trip becomes more of a battle for survival.

XV’s gameplay owes a lot to titles like Kingdom Hearts. There’s a focus on dodging enemy attacks rather than simply eating the hits, then counterattacking in a stylish fashion. Noctis can carry multiple weapons at once, summoning them in and out of existence through the power of his royal lineage, and he’s also able to warp around the battlefield by flinging said weapons at enemies and objects. Altogether, you’re pushed toward a mobile and dynamic playstyle, though arguably the best moments are when you’re discovering new secrets in the world rather than just beating up baddies.

If you’ve played the console releases of Final Fantasy XV, you’ll be familiar with how this one plays. What you might not be familiar with is how much better it runs; even the vaunted PS4 Pro would struggle somewhat when it comes to XV’s graphics. That’s not the case if you have a nice, meaty PC, and that becomes the main reason you’d want to pick this on, since the smooth graphics and animation make this feel like a whole new game. Crank the settings up, turn on a fan so your PC doesn’t explode into flames and enjoy! There’s one slight problem worth noting – you’re looking at an enormous install size here, something like 90GB, so make sure you’ve got some extra space.

Of course, if you haven’t played the original release, this becomes a must-have. Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition comes with an array of new content that’s been added since release, including DLC episodes starring Noctis’ companions and a fully-fledged multiplayer mode. Even the basic gameplay has seen some touch-ups, including some changes to the endgame and the addition of character-switching so you don’t have to spend the entire game as Noctis.

Really, that multiplayer mode alone might be enough to sell the Windows Edition; it’s a bit shocking how in-depth it is for something added to XV after the fact, including a flexible character creation system, new weapons and a fair amount of content to enjoy.

All told, if you’ve played the original console release of FFXV and all the DLC to death, you probably won’t need another trip to the world of Eos in the bigger, prettier Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition. I’m sure we’ll see a sequel or spinoff one of these days, so you might want to wait for that. If you’re new to the game and associated content, though, there’s certainly something here for you. This is a road trip worth taking and the PC version is, as often seems to be the case these days, the definitive way to take it.