Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers from Chapter 13. Read at your own risk. ; )
Final Fantasy XV‘s Chapter 13 presented me with a truly unique experience, and not in a good way :D. Through all my years of gaming, I’ve never encountered a level so undeniably frustrating, and I’ve played some bad ones (which I’ll get back to you once I’ve remembered them =)). Almost every game has a level that many people don’t like, even games that we love, and Final Fantasy XV is no different.
Everything before this Chapter was great and went smoothly, then BAM. You’re plonked into a game that’s gone from an RPG to an RPG with horror elements, horrid mechanics and it lasts well over an hour, even up to two hours if you want to collect everything or are having a bad time with the Chapter in general. I wouldn’t say it feels out of place, it’s how restricted you feel.
For the first 20-30 minutes it wasn’t so bad, in fact I thought it started out well.
Until it dragged on and I realised it wasn’t going to end any time soon and at this point, I was ready to hit the hay. But I continued on because I wanted to finish it off instead of having to do it the next day. And although I get what this level is trying to do, which is making Noctis feel vulnerable and exposed with the lack of weapons, magic and overwhelming lack of companionship, which is replaced by being surrounded by abominations and Ardyn’s creepy voice.
You’re restricted to slow walking for no real reason and can’t sprint, both dragging out the Chapter even more than necessary. Rolling is actually faster than walking and that’s what I did throughout the whole level while traversing through it. Imagine doing that for 2 hours? : D
Having no weapons or companions are completely fine in this Chapter because it needs to happen to make you, the player, feel ‘naked’. In fact you do get a weapon, but not in the usual sense. The Ring of the Luci is a ring that either absorbs health (called Death), dealing a moderate amount of damage with a long cast time, or drags enemies into the void (named Holy), effectively ‘one shooting’ them, with a much longer cast time. During this time, you’re vulnerable to damage and it’s the only the weapon you have at your side. Everything felt so slow compared to the usual fast paced action we’ve been used to since Chapter 1.
When you encounter the Foras, it’s actually well done. Part of you feels powerless and the other parts feels the opposite. But before you can fight the Foras for real, you’ll have to keep avoiding him. On the other side of the spectrum, having to hide to from Rogue Axemen drags the Chapter out even more and makes it incredibly boring. You can fight them with the Ring of the Luci’s ‘Holy’ spell but you’ll be vulnerable to attacks and unless you can get some distance or can take their hits, you’ll be losing a lot of health, which isn’t ideal as you’ll need to then restore it back.
Although to make things ‘less’ painful, there are rest points with a chance to manually save your progress so you don’t have to do most of it in one sitting. Unlike Inns, Hotels and Camping however, you can’t eat any food while resting.
It Sucks, But You Gotta Power Through It!
The chapter sucks. It’s one of those things that we say, looks good on paper but not so good in practice. Improvements are coming but I’m not sure exactly when the developers will add them or what they will be. It’s a good thing the rest of the game is so damn fantastic as I still 100% stand by what I said in my Final Fantasy XV review and the game is worth playing.
Have you played Chapter 13? How did you find it?
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