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Final Fantasy XIV PS3 Beta

Square Enix’s successor to the still popular MMO Final Fantasy XI has had a rather tumultuous history. First released back in 2010, FFXIV was received with scorn at worst and negativity at best by the majority of its playerbase. Originally planned to be released for both PC and PS3, the latter version never came to fruition, a fate that would eventually become inconsequential considering the failure of the PC version.

However, Square have been hard at work in the three years since the original release of the game and have almost entirely reworked the title to afford it one more chance at success. Adopting the new moniker of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Square are now in the process of Beta testing the upcoming rebirth of Eorzea - the fantastical world where the game takes place.

Currently in its third of four Beta phases, Square have finally granted access to PS3 players so they can join their PC brethren in experiencing the reinvented universe. It’s important to note however, that the game is still in closed Beta as of the third phase. The fourth and final phase will see the servers opened for everyone to enjoy and we have no qualms with recommending you try it out if you didn’t receive an invite, as XIV is already showing some signs of promise.

From what we experienced, FFXIV shares more than a passing resemblance to FFXI. Whilst this may concern those of you who remember the heavily grind orientated XI, it seems Square have opted to include only the good aspects of XI and done away with painful experiences such as having to spend hours finding a party to join.

Combat feels fluid and satisfying, even with a gamepad, which is largely due to a redesigned user interface that is largely reminiscent of previous games in the series. In terms of visual fidelity, FFXIV is easily one of the most attractive MMO’s on the market, which should come as no surprise considering its heritage.

The only concern we currently have is FFXIV’s payment model. Unlike most modern MMORPG’s, Square have opted to go with the now arguably outdated subscription route, which could seriously hamper its appeal. Success will arguably depend on legacy players (members of the original release) and the strength of brand loyalty alone for the relaunch to go smoothly. Either way, we have high hopes for the title and whilst we can’t go into finer details yet, expect much more coverage as the game enters open Beta.


JoeP | 10th July, 2013

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