The Continuing Saga of Final Fantasy XV

It’s been around eight months since Final Fantasy XV released, but it’s still receiving a steady amount of DLC. While that sounds like normal protocol for a modern AAA game, it’s received, and is receiving, more post-game content than many other games. In addition to two DLC episodes, the development team has also provided fixes for issues players had problems with, like a higher level cap for the party and new quests, and more is still forthcoming. Heck, it’s enough content to imply that the game shipped unfinished, despite it being in and out of development for over a decade.

The biggest DLC has been the character episodes for the party members that accompany Noctis in the main quest. Episode Gladiolus released in March while Episode Prompto came in late-June, and both have been referred to as enjoyable for most who liked the game despite their short length. Meanwhile, Episode Ignis will arrive in December, and time will tell whether they’ll continue with more story content afterward. The Magitek Armor suits also arrived as part of an update today after previously being delayed due to Saban thinking the original designs were too close to Super Sentai/Power Rangers works.

But the biggest upcoming DLC is far from what many thought a game like FFXV would receive: Content that turns it into an online multiplayer game. It’s called “Comrades,” where players can create their own avatars and venture through in the game’s universe with three others and their avatars to complete quests. While customization options are limited at the start, more equipment can be obtained by defeating enemies and completing certain quests, alongside the more typical items like potions and elixirs and experience points.

Players will get to try out the mode through the beta version, which will run from August 3rd to the 8th. Here, you’ll be able to store up to eight customized avatars locally with limited modification options, a fraction of what will be available in the final version. The only weapons that will be available are clubs, katanas, shurikens, and daggers, along with four default Royal Sigils, and attack patters for all the avatars will mimic Noctis’ movements.

Interestingly, no female avatars are shown in the screenshots, and the info given doesn’t specify whether players will be able to choose their gender. It would be strange if this was a conscious decision, considering the sheer number of complaints about the lack of female party members in the main game outside occasional guests. Unless they clarify this soon, some players could be in for a surprise when they start this on Thursday, and hopefully Square Enix doesn’t provide a Ubisoft-quality defense when asked about it.

Players will start at a base camp, where they’ll advance through a tutorial. Following this, they can complete three quests, while players can cooperate using preset chat messages and voice chat. There will also be cooking, though Ignis’ memetic line likely won’t be present. The beta won’t be long, but they want to give several players the chance to play while testing the server load.

Players will have far more options in the main Comrades quest when it arrives later in the year. The option to use move sets from Gladio, Prompto, and Ignis, and the four main characters themselves, will arrive for the main version. These options should be available after Episode Ignis arrives, where he’ll be playable for the first time. More weapons, Royal Sigils, and quests will be available in the main version. If it’s not possible to customize a female avatar for the beta version, it will have to be available here, since there’s no way they’ll leave the option out of the main game. That is, unless they want to invite serious criticism.

FFXV continuing to get DLC is one thing, but it’s another when FFXV-related content makes its way into other games through collaborations. Teaming up with other Square Enix games like Mobius Final Fantasy and NieR: Automata are no big deal since they’re from the same publisher, but the relationship between FFXV director Hajime Tabata and Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi leveled up with a Terra Battle collaboration. But the most puzzling (and hilarious, in a way) collaboration came with Gust Corporation’s magical girl title Blue Reflection, where Cindy and Aranea’s outfits are available to wear for two characters. Also, the Regalia, the car the guys drive around the game in, is coming to Forza Horizon 3 this week.

Given the amount of DLC it’s receiving, this may not be it for the collaborations. Meanwhile, Square Enix will continue promoting Episode Ignis and the Comrades DLC, and perhaps a trailer for the latter will arrive later this week. Following that, perhaps they can get around to releasing a complete collection featuring all the DLC in one package, ideally on disc so owners don’t have to download gigs upon gigs of patches and episodes.

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