[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Final Fantasy XV DLC pack: Episode Prompto
Xbox One, Playstation 4
Season pass, or $4.99 download from Xbox/PS stores
Release Date: June 27, 2017
WARNING: There are SPOILERS for the main story of Final Fantasy XV in this review. Continue at your own discretion if you have not yet finished the storyline in the game.
Typical for games such as Final Fantasy, as you play through the latest main game installment you only know as much as the protagonist, the sassy and sleepy Prince Noctis, which leaves a few plot holes without explanation. Season pass holders, or those who purchase individual pieces of DLC, received Episode Gladiolus a couple of months back, which filled in part of the story about the strange period of the game where the prince’s guard Gladiolus leaves without telling anyone why. It allowed players to experience what ol’ Gladdy was up to, and see more of the interesting yet underused character Cor Leonis. Recently we received the next piece of the puzzle left by the storyline of Final Fantasy XV with Episode Prompto.
(Here there be spoilers. Don’t say I didn’t warn ye.)
I will admit, I am a huge Prompto fan. He is my favorite character in this installment of the series, followed closely by our beloved gourmand Ignis. I was pretty upset when sweet Prompto was knocked off the train during Noctis’ fast paced battle with antagonist Ardyn, and relieved when I found him in the empire’s headquarters in everyone’s favorite level, chapter 13. (Note the sarcasm.) But all we are told by a bruised and exhausted Prompto is that he is from Niflheim, and not a Lucian. We see the barcode permanently inked onto his inner wrist, but little else is said other than the fact that his three friends do not care and love him anyway. D’awwww.
Episode Prompto gives us some insight on what happened after he fell off the train, starting “a few days later” with a freezing Prompto trying to find his way through the frozen wilderness. While the snowy setting was cool, it felt more like it would be a level in a military first-person shooter. Perhaps I play too many of those, but regardless it has a different feel from the other settings in the game. Of course Prompto is alone, and the game mechanics feel different from playing as Noctis. They are not as smooth, but in a way it feels right because Prompto is the only one of the three men whom has not had any formal training. He does not work for the kingdom, he is a commoner. So while he may be skilled with his pistols, using the sword he has feels clunky and slow. Annoying at times, but once you remember this is not the graceful Noctis who has been blessed with the power of his ancestors, it isn’t too bad. The music is different from the rest of the soundtrack but sets the tone well. It can be somber and quiet, expressing the pain Prompto is going through learning about his past and wondering about his friends. Or if you are near enemies it can take on a dubstep style which is surprisingly catchy and fits the gameplay in a way that would never work while playing as Noctis, or even the other two guys.
The snowmobile was an interesting addition, because it makes traveling a lot easier and is quite fun. It can be difficult to maneuver at times, but by completing various side quests you can collect CPUs and use them to upgrade the machine to make it faster, do more damage when hitting enemies, more stable, or increase its defense. The side quests add to the experience, my favorite being the race against the clock on the snowmobile. Proceed with caution though: it had me playing at level 34 and pitted me against a large level 99 Magitek machine. Short version- it did not end well. But it was fun to try. It is actually pretty fun just riding around looking for troopers and creatures to slay because if you do it right, Prompto is actually quite badass in this. I managed to get over five hours out of this two-hour adventure just wandering around.
As you traverse the tundra and find your way to the quest markers, you begin to learn more about Prompto’s past. I definitely recommend that you look around everywhere you go. You will find useful items such as Elixirs and Phoenix Downs, sometimes in plain site but otherwise hidden, and you will come across notes and tape recordings. These are worth checking out because they provide more insight on both Prompto and the empire’s wickedness. Plus, they are interesting if you are a story-driven gamer. You will also find gun racks with three different types of firearms. They have limited ammo, unlike the pistol you start out with and have through the entire DLC, but you can find more and even steal them off of Magitek troopers after performing a stealth attack. There are also bomb like items to be found and can come in handy when facing a large group of enemies at once. You are alone, after all. And you only have two skills, one of which is Selfie Shot. Sounds ridiculous, but it helps you understand the enemy better to do more damage and you get adorable photos of our blonde, freckled friend to look through. Let me be real here, the photos are one of my favorite aspects of Final Fantasy XV because the characters are just so darn cool.
Episode Prompto shows you what happens during the period in which he is missing from the main story, but still leaves some holes in the story. I would have liked to have seen more, but I will not spoil the DLC for you by stating anything other than that. I will however say that the end is eerie yet nostalgic in a weird way. I rather liked the last minute of this DLC. If you have the season pass, it is certainly worth playing, or if you have $4.99 and two or three hours to spare, go for it. It has its flaws but is enjoyable nonetheless, and makes you eager to get to Episode Ignis later this year.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][review_summary positives=”Some insight into a small plot hole
You can have Prompto take selfies
Adds more gameplay” negatives=”Adds some new plot holes
Only a couple of hours long”]Great if you have the season pass or are simply a big Final Fantasy fan, but skippable if you are not a story-driven gamer.[/review_summary][/vc_column][/vc_row]