The extra content in Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV is the gift that keeps on giving. The developers seem to feel there’s still much more players can get out of the game that’s way past how FFXV wraps up the story of Noctis and his friends. With the announcement of at least three more episodic DLC coming for FFXV next year, starting with an episode focused on the game’s main antagonist Ardyn, there will be plenty more to do before every aspect of the story and characters have been completely exhausted. Among the content the developers are hoping players will embrace is their latest multiplayer feature Comrades, and being a lover of all things FFXV I gave the multiplayer a shot.
Comrades takes place some time after Noctis has disappeared and the entirety of the kingdom of Lucis has been plunged into an eternal night. The game lets the player be a member of the elite force the Kingsglaive, who are sworn to protect the crown and borrows the king’s magic to do it. Your mission is to restore some light back into the kingdom and defend its people until the day the true king returns from his slumber to fulfill his destiny.
You begin by creating your character in a very detailed and impressive customization menu. Some hair and clothing options start off as kinda limited, but the more you play Comrades the more chances you’ll get to purchase new hairstyles and other fashion options in the shops to add to your inventory. Being as this is a Final Fantasy game, it’s almost impossible to make your character look ugly. You can even create and play as a female Kingsglaive as I’m currently doing in my first run with the multiplayer.
Comrades is broken up into missions you complete to gain meteor shards to help bring back electricity to the power stations scattered throughout the world. Much of the missions are very similar to the side missions you play in the main game. There’s a lot of creature killing in the first few hours of the game, which eventually unlocks unique solo missions that seem to be more story-related. While Comrades is designed to be played online with a bunch of friends who also own FFXV, you can actually play the game solo and recruit AI Kingsglaive to assist you in the missions. Since I don’t really have anyone I know who owns FFXV on Xbox One and I refuse to play the missions with random strangers, the AI Kingsglaive has helped a lot. I haven’t experienced unhelpful AI during the times I’ve played the missions. In fact, most of the AI just jump straight into the fray and even finish off the enemies before my own Kingsglaive soldier lifts a finger. It remains to be seen if the multiplayer will continue to play smoothly by just having me and the AI going through the entire Comrades DLC.
I’ve only played maybe about two to three hours of Comrades and it’s hard to tell how long getting through all of the missions planned out for this additional content will take. The only reason I’m playing the multiplayer is to learn more about what happened during Noctis’ slumber within the Crystal. The main game only infers what happened during that time through Noctis’ friends who briefly fill Noctis in on what exactly happened in his ten year absence. The gaps in the story that are being filled in with the extra DLC content is really the biggest draw for any FFXV fan. I’m hoping there will be a satisfying pay off by the time I reach the end of Comrades.
From what I have seen and played of Comrades so far, it’s an enjoyable experience overall. I particularly like how they combine the events and characters from the movie Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV with the game itself. The Kingsglaive movie has largely been a separate experience that was outside of the game itself, so to have the movie further acknowledged in FFXV is pretty significant. This isn’t the only time extra DLC content in the game references the outside media that was released before the game came out. For instance, Episode Prompto acknowledges the short anime episode that focused on Prompto’s childhood and his first encounter with one of Lunafreya’s dogs. Seeing these kind of references that were no where in the main game is a nice nod/Easter Egg for the fans who consumed every media out there tied to FFXV.
My only real complaint with Comrades is the repetitive monster hunt missions in the first few hours of the game. I’m sure the more I play and the more power stations I have up and running will provide more variety and new challenges in the missions I gain over time. For now, it can get boring if you decide to play the multiplayer content for more than an hour. I’ve also read other opinions on the Internet that Comrades will be many hours of grinding. As someone who doesn’t care for level grinding characters in games all that much, I’m not sure how I feel about this. Level grinding Noctis and the bros in the main game didn’t feel as bad to me largely because I simply enjoyed the banter you hear between them during the exploration parts of the game, and you can easily level up characters by exploiting the rest feature in certain hotels like Galdin Quay. But because I absolutely love the game and wish to see more story expanded in the extra content, I may just suck it up and do what it takes to see the end of Comrades.
Have you played Comrades? What do you think of the multiplayer expansion?