The key to dealing with Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, I’ve found, is managing your expectations. If you wanted a strategy game set in the world of FFXV that properly leverages the characters and content of the game, well, sorry but this game is not for you. If you were expecting a FFXV strategy game made by Square Enix, this is also not for you. In fact, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire is exactly like every other city-building, tower defense strategy game out there, especially on the mobile market. It may as well be Game of War for all you care.
In fact, the only parts of this game that actually properly deal with the licensed IP are the world map, raid events, and the labrynth that you can fight through, one daily free strike at a time to earn rewards.
Otherwise, it has all the standard pieces of a strategy game. There are player guilds, timed quests, marches, pvp arenas, pvp city sieges, the works. If you’ve been sitting around, waiting for a FFXV strategy game, well, you have it.
Like many mobile games, A New Empire is a micro-transaction machine. Machine Zone actually did a decent job of balancing that out so free players can earn some in-game gold while still letting you pay to, well, win. At least in terms of PVP.
The in-game currency can be earned, or bought for greater rewards. You can also buy loot boxes, purchase a premium service called VIP- though there is a free trial to get you properly hooked on the benefits.
Several of the game services and modes- some of the PVP, the casino – are only unlockable by micro-transaction.
Now, micro-transactions in mobile games aren’t nearly as anathema as they are on PC and console titles. So that’s likely not going to be a major point of contention among players.
The game’s biggest failing though, is its visuals. The whole game just looks a bit too cluttered and bare. The stylistic flourishes don’t mix together well. The Citadel itself looks more like something out of Civ, while the labrynth and ascension tree look much more like they belong to the IP. A New Empire is ultimately nothing special that doesn’t leverage the license property anywhere near enough.
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