The latest character-focused story downloadable content for Final Fantasy XV has been released on Playstation 4 and Xbox One as of June 27th. How does it stand against the previous content? Our resident Final Fantasy Fan-Boy has been pouring in some hours so find out after the break.
Episode Prompto opens a couple days after the events of Chapter 11 in the original Final Fantasy XV storyline with our protagonist trudging his way through the snow and eventually passing out from the extreme cold. Hours pass, Prompto wakes up in a Nilflheim stronghold, unarmed and being taunted by Ardyn.
The story lasts around two hours, which explores Promptos upbringing which answers some of the questions left by the ending of the main story.
Just like the episode which focused on Gladiolus before, the game comes with tweaks to the combat system which fit with Prompto. Throughout this adventure, playing as Prompto the combat is mostly aimed towards gunplay. You’re still equipped with your signature pistol, you’ve found a foldable pickaxe for your close range encounters and you can pick up a range of main arms and grenades.
It very much sounds like you’re going to be playing a more twitch based experience as you’re using guns and that isn’t the case. Your melee and pistol work in the same way they did throughout the main campaign – you automatically lock onto your target and pressing R1 you’re able to unleash rounds onto your enemy.
Throughout the story, you fill find other weapons laying around including SMGs, Rifles and an RPG. These require more input from you as you need to aim and shoot, headshots result in critical hits; overall incredibly satisfying.
Holding down the Square button, you’re able to go into a crouched position and sneak your way around. Sneaking up upon your enemy will result in a stealth kill, where you will steal their weapon or if you’re already using that weapon, replenishing the ammo of that weapon..
Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto follows the main design of the main scenario. There is a main questline for you to follow with a handful of quests which take you off the beaten path, introducing you to the beauty of the new, not seen before environment.
Early on you are given access to a snowmobile, which you can upgrade if you invest the time into the side quests.
There are a number of collectibles throughout this story, all of which are optional. These come in the form of cassette tapes, giving you additional insight into Verstael and his descent into madness – all fully voice acted.
You will come across additional documents hidden around outlining the creation of the Magitek Infantry and Niflheims downfall.
Just like Episode Gladiolus before it, when you complete the main campaign unlock some additional bits and pieces for Prompto to use back in the main campaign and you unlock some additional modes. While I won’t go into too much detail, the content you unlock is obvious after you have played through the story.
One of which is Intensive Training, where you given the opportunity to spar against Aranea Highwind. While it took me a few tries to beat her, I found the fight to be frustrating as it’s a melee character Vs a ranged character. Defeating Aranea was the most satisfying wins I have had throughout the whole of Final Fantasy XV.
Renowned composer Naoshi Mizuta who has composed music for Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XII-2 was approached to compose the theme for Episode Prompto. He has managed to create something which is outstanding and fits the overall tone of this episode – Hopeful with tones of melancholy.
My Opinion / Final Thoughts
While Final Fantasy XV has it’s short falls, one of which was the narrative of the game. With the inclusion of Episode Prompto the game is starting to shape up and feel like one whole experience now and personally is becoming stronger and stronger with each expansion of the story.
I’m sure that I’m not the only one who feels that the game should have included these sections when the game was first launched however with each release, I come flocking back to the game to see what has been included and I am genuinely hyped with each release – The game is successfully pulling me back and I’m not feeling like I have to play these, I want to experience these stories.
Expanding upon this, I firmly believe that if these sections were included with the game when it first launched that they wouldn’t be as fleshed out and genuinely hope that they continue to develop more content for the game. Specifically more story driven content, that’s not to say the free updates aren’t brilliant. I have other games which drip feed me content, such as Final Fantasy XIV.
I hope that Final Fantasy XV continues to grow and that they continue to develop more content past the original season pass.
Now, as much as I have enjoyed my time with this content and have enjoyed shouting “Metal Gear Prompto”, there are some downfalls. The AI hasn’t been altered to deal with long range combat, leaving the experience to be stiff.
When you attack and press a direction button Prompto will perform a different move, just like his melee companions do. There isn’t really anything unique here for gun play, Prompto will dodge in the direction you press and fire his gun and isn’t that useful – it looks cool and that’s all.
I’ve found you are required to dodge, the attack in a direction instead of using your directional attacks. As when you’re fighting melee enemies you need to put some distance between them and yourself.
The boss fights stand out from the others available in the game and really push Prompto to his limits as at first you feel that you are out of your depth but as the fights progress, you start to realise their patterns and how you can take advantage of them. The final boss did leave me with some mixed feelings but I won’t discuss that here!
Aranea is an actual character throughout this content, they spend time establishing her as a character and expands upon her. She’s now more likable and it’s nice to actually get the time to sit down and interact with her instead of her being that character you have to glitch into your party – after my playthrough she is the best waifu of XV.
Overall, I’m giving Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto a 8/10.
If you’re looking for another dose of Final Fantasy XV and want to expand upon the world of Eos then you really can’t pass on this content. I know there is a large portion of the fan base which are sitting on the side, waiting for all of the content to be released and blitz through it all in one coherent playthrough but I strongly suggest you reconsider and enjoy this game over time.