It’s easy to look at Final Fantasy 14 and its meteoric rise to MMO supremacy as just a result of the downfall of World Of Warcraft. And at surface level, it can definitely be seen that way. However, after putting many hours into it, I can say without a doubt it is one of the finest MMO experiences on offer. From its origin story of being a game so poor, they nuked the entire world to rebuild it to producing fantastic expansions in the form of Heavensward, Stormblood and Shadowbringers. Final Fantasy 14 has come a long way in its 11-year run. We’ve finally reached the end of its original plotline with the release of its 5th expansion, Endwalker.
“Endwalker provides the much-needed conclusion to the original story”
With Endwalker comes a slew of new content, including a campaign and continuation of the plotline. The narrative plays out exactly how one could imagine; an epic tale that concludes the story. However, this had both positives and negatives.
While the story itself is well written and feels conclusive to the storyline of A Realm Reborn — the original plotline of Final Fantasy 14 — it’s predictable and feels artificially bloated by subplots that drag on for far too long. Most of the time, this was some menial task or introducing lore that felt a little pointless. Moreover, this was definitely exacerbated by the somewhat grave nature of the narrative. Fortunately, it does provide the much-needed conclusion to the original story and an excellent point for Final Fantasy 14 to build upon.
Final Fantasy 14: Endwalker provides great new locations and matchmade activities. These varied in quality, as some felt large for the sake of it. Moon, one of the early locations, looks fantastic, but ultimately, felt quite bloated and was a bit of a slog to traverse. Luckily, this improved as time went on and the final area ticked all the boxes for a satisfying conclusion.
The dungeons and trials within Endwalker are also great and offer some challenging higher-end content to those looking for it. Most of the dungeons and trials introduce new forms of mechanics or interesting visuals, so it will be interesting to see how they transform over time.
“So far, we’ve received four out of the twelve trials, all of which have been great.”
The Endwalker update also adds new classes to the mix, with Sage and Reaper. Personally, I’m usually a healer, so the addition of Sage is intriguing. Both classes seem relatively simple and easy, but they don’t seem particularly new or different. However, I’m happy to see the roster expand for new players.
Shortly after the release of Endwalker, the new raids series, Pandaemonium, arrived. So far, we’ve received four out of the twelve trials, all of which have been great. These also have a Savage variant for a more difficult challenge and greater loot to chase. Moreover, the Pandaemoniums haven’t been my favourite raids, but they’re definitely shaping up to be a promising series.
“The OST in every expansion in Final Fantasy 14 is memorable, but Endwalker sets the bar.”
The sound design in Endwalker is, as always, fantastic. The OST in every expansion in Final Fantasy 14 is memorable, but this expansion sets the bar. Masayoshi Soken has blown it out of the park with the soundtrack for this expansion. Endwalker’s score offers many variations of genres, and remixes of original themes that are reprised throughout the main story. The music in the final area is undoubtedly some of the best in the game, and it’s difficult not to get lost in the moment.
Once again, the community of Final Fantasy 14 has been absolutely fantastic, and I can’t say I’ve any complaints. So far, every player I have encountered have been friendly. This includes my visits to players’ housing and sitting in main cities listening to the music players. Although, this has been consistent throughout all of my time in Final Fantasy 14 and isn’t exclusive to Endwalker. However, it is a great selling point in comparison to other MMO communities.
The new Oceania Data Centre began on January 26, 2022, reducing ping and lag for Australian players. This is a godsend for Australian/ New Zealand players who’ve been patiently waiting on foreign servers. As an Australian, there is no better time to start playing Final Fantasy 14.
“The Endwalker expansion adds a lot to an already fantastic game.”
It’s definitely worth noting that we haven’t gotten everything from Endwalker just yet, as we’re still waiting on post patches. This will include more raid and trial content, and story content that’ll lead into the next expansion and close up some loose ends.
Overall, the Endwalker expansion adds a lot to an already fantastic game. I’ve easily spent over 1000 hours in Final Fantasy 14 alone and don’t plan on stopping any time soon. It truly is one of the best redemption arcs of a game we’ve seen in modern times, especially when it launched so terribly. After the release of Endwalker, I’m keen to see where Square Enix will take the Warrior of Light next, and what adventures we may see them through.