Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV has been captivating players worldwide since its relaunch in 2013. Its second major expansion, Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood, aims to take the already-excellent game to a new level of greatness. It intends to deliver an unforgettable journey that further expands the horizon of Eorzea.
So, did Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood succeed in doing all these? Was it a great expansion to the thriving MMORPG akin to the previous one, Heavensward? Read on and find out. Here is our article review of Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood.
What is Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood?
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is the second expansion pack for the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Final Fantasy XIV. It was released on June 20, 2017, for macOS, PlayStation 4, and Windows.
Stormblood takes place in the Far East, two years after the events of Heavensward. The player character, the customizable Warrior of Light, travels to Ala Mhigo and Doma to help the people of these two nations liberate themselves from the Garlean Empire. Along the way, they must face new challenges and enemies, including the primals, Lakshmi and Susano.
The storytelling in Stormblood is a true masterpiece, brimming with political intrigue, emotional moments, and unforgettable characters. The expansion takes players on a thrilling journey filled with shocking plot twists, intense conflicts, and impactful revelations that will leave you eager to uncover the next chapter.
Additionally, the Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood expansion also introduces two new playable character classes. First, is the cool melee character, the Samurai, while the other is the calculating intellect, the Red Mage. Both jobs seamlessly integrate into the overarching Final Fantasy XIV story. Overall, the two new jobs offer unique playstyles and add depth to the game’s already diverse roster of classes.
Exceptional Visuals and Sound Design
Customary to almost all Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood’s visuals and sound design are impeccable. Square Enix has a reputation for bringing excellent attention to detail to any of its games, and this expansion is no exception.
Stormblood showcases several gorgeous vistas that are otherwise unavailable to the vanilla Final Fantasy XIV version. Take, for example, the majestic cityscapes of Kugane and the magical Ruby Sea and Yanxia. The art team’s meticulous work is evident in every aspect, from character designs to the intricate architecture of the new zones.
Now, let’s switch gears to the game’s masterful musical score. The musical score by Masayoshi Soken complements the visual experience perfectly. Everything just feels epic with a piece of excellent accompanying music, and Stormblood has tons of that! With a blend of epic orchestral compositions and melodic tracks, the music captures the essence of each area, adding depth and emotion to the gameplay.
Boss battles are more blood-pumping and intense while exploring magical wonders feel more serene thanks to the perfect soundtrack Masayoshi Soken provided the game with. In fact, we can go as far as saying that Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood would be a failure without his great compositions. That is how impactful the soundtrack is and how it significantly enhances the overall immersive experience.
Improved Gameplay Mechanics
Stormblood introduces significant improvements to the game’s core mechanics, building upon the solid foundation established in previous expansions. The combat system feels refined and balanced, offering a satisfying blend of strategy and action. The addition of new skills and abilities for each job brings fresh dynamics to battles and encourages players to experiment with different playstyles.
The expansion also introduces new features, such as swimming and diving, which open up exciting possibilities for exploration and uncovering hidden treasures beneath the surface. The revamped PvP system, with the introduction of Frontline and the Rival Wings, adds an engaging competitive aspect to the game, allowing players to test their skills against each other.
Endgame Content and Longevity
Final Fantasy XIV stands among the greatest MMORPGs in recent memory largely thanks to its wealth of endgame content. Well, as impressive as the endgame is already before Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood, it is now arguably at its peak with it!
The second major expansion to the excellent MMORPG introduces new challenging dungeons, raid encounters, and the highly-anticipated Omega Series. All these combined provides both game veterans and newbies tons of things to do even after finishing the game’s main campaign. Truly, you can never run out of things to do in Final Fantasy XIV, and Stormblood doubles down on that!
Furthermore, the addition of the new residential area, Shirogane, gives players the opportunity to personalize their living spaces and further engage with the game’s community. Perhaps more than ever before, players now truly feel a part of a living, thriving world.
Lastly, the continuous updates and patch content released post-launch ensure that the expansion maintains its longevity, offering players a steady stream of new content and exciting challenges.
Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood – New Features
Here is a quick rundown of the new features introduced in Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood:
- Samurai Job Class. The Samurai is a melee physical DPS job that uses a katana to deal damage to enemies. They can use powerful attacks to deal damage, as well as abilities that increase their damage output or reduce the damage they take.
- Red Mage Job Class. The Red Mage is a ranged magical DPS job that combines elements of both black magic and white magic. They can use powerful spells to deal damage to enemies, as well as heal and buff their allies.
- New Area: Eureka. Eureka is a new area that is inspired by classic MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XI. It is a dangerous place where players must work together to level up and progress through the story.
- New PvP Mode Rival Wings. Rival Wings is a new PvP mode that pits two teams of 24 players against each other in a battle for control of a central crystal. Players can choose from a variety of different classes and vehicles to fight their way to victory.
- New Alliance Raid Return to Ivalice. Return to Ivalice is a new alliance raid that takes players to the world of Ivalice, which has been featured in previous Final Fantasy games. The raid tells the story of a group of heroes who must stop a powerful evil from destroying Ivalice.
- New Residential District Shirogane. Shirogane is a new residential district that players can purchase and decorate. It is located in the Far East and is inspired by Japanese culture.
Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood Conclusion
Square Enix has hit it out of the park again with this MMORPG expansion. Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood is a true testament to the legendary game studio’s commitment to creating and further enhancing the great MMO experience exclusive to Final Fantasy XIV. It offers a new story arc, new jobs, new challenges, and new areas to explore. Truly, if you’re a fan of Final Fantasy XIV, then you should definitely check out Stormblood.