Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Mar 132020
 

Amid last month’s flurry of romance games, I also took the time to finally play something else: the rest of the Final Fantasy XV DLC!

I played Episode Prompto right when it launched, but even though I always intended to buy and play Episode Ignis and Episode Ardyn, I never got around to it.

Then Final Fantasy XV came to Game Pass for PC with all its DLC included, so I decided this was the best opportunity to catch up.

And since I had all the DLC in my hands, why not start with Episode Gladiolus after all?

Episode Gladiolus

I originally skipped Episode Gladiolus because it didn’t interest me, and it’s by far the weakest of Final Fantasy XV’s DLC. There’s not much story here, just Gladio fighting Gilgamesh to become stronger. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great. The best part was probably its remix of Battle at the Big Bridge.

Episode Ignis

Then I moved on to Episode Ignis, which I was especially looking forward to since Ignis is my favorite of the four Final Fantasy XV protagonists.

Episode Ignis has more of a focus on story, and it also isn’t as linear as Episode Gladiolus, instead giving you a city to explore, reclaim sectors of, and find treasure in. Exploring the city was pretty fun, and the story had some epic moments. Some of the story content reminded me again of how strange certain storytelling gaps in the main game felt, but Episode Ignis on its own was awesome and well worth playing.

Episode Ardyn

Finally, it was time to play Episode Ardyn. This is the one I was most excited for, and learning Episode Ardyn was included with the game on Game Pass was the tipping point that made me finally play the DLC.

Episode Ardyn has an even heavier focus on story and lore than Episode Ignis did. It lays out more details about the world and its history and focuses on Ardyn’s change into the villain we know him as. Some parts felt a little rushed, and I think it would have greatly benefited from a longer length. Pretty much everything in Episode Ardyn’s story made me say, “This would be much more effective if it was more gradual.” It’s still enjoyable in this shortened form, but it makes me think about what could have been.

Oh, and it gets bonus points for Verstael. Young Verstael is everything I wanted from him.

He’s even better here than he was in Episode Prompto. I don’t understand how the main game squandered Verstael and all his mad scientist potential, but he makes up for it here.

Anyway, like Episode Ignis, Episode Ardyn does eventually put you in a more open area where you can battle enemies and capture sectors. It was really a lot of fun, and I’d rank it at the top of all the DLC.

I’m happy I finally played the rest of Final Fantasy XV’s DLC, and my final ranking would be Episode Ardyn > Episode Ignis > Episode Prompto > Episode Gladiolus. Have you played the Final Fantasy XV DLC episodes? Which was your favorite?

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