Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers Previewon May 29, 2019 by Reuben Mount
I’m a huge fan and avid player of Final Fantasy XIV, and so I was thrilled that Rice Digital were invited to a the Shadowbringers Media Tour on May 17th 2019. I got to play a preview build of the game, visiting four key areas and got the opportunity to play with the jobs at Level 80.
I’ve put all of my footage and thoughts into a video that I’ve put below, but I just wanted to put a few thoughts here too. We (as in the whole group in attendance) were allowed free rein to explore Il Mheg, Lakeland, The Crystarium, and the Level 74 dungeon, Dohn Mheg of the expansion. My first impressions of the game were that the design of all of these areas was both haunting and beautiful.
There’s a constant feeling of threat in the air, and what we know about the Main Scenario of the expansion bleeds directly into this. The light is overpowering and is beginning to destroy this world, The First. There’s large amounts of colour everywhere; beautiful purples, greens and pinks form the sweeping vistas of Il Mheg and Lakeland and yet these colourful settings belie a deep sadness.
I won’t go too far into the Job changes, or Battle System updates, as we recently had the Letter from the Producer LIVE that showed off all of these changes. What I will say is that the Jobs that I do play feel evolved; White Mage in particular feels like it has had added to it exactly what was needed to bring it up to date for the latest expansion. Along with this both Gunbreaker, which is briefly seen in the video, and Dancer both feel like great additions too.
The dungeon, Dohn Mheg, feels like a Wonderland-like affair, full of colour and whimsy. It’s my assumption, although I don’t know for sure, that this location has something to do with the new Beast tribes based on its feel. The bosses all have interesting mechanics and designs, and the enemies in the dungeon themselves are fantastic too. I ran this dungeon both with other players and using the Trust system, and both runs felt distinctly different.
All-in-all, I’m very excited for Shadowbringers. I cannot wait to get my hands on it next month, and for everyone to start playing come July. The Main Scenario seems to be a fantastic and foreboding step forwards with the story of the Warrior of Light and Eorzea. All of the Job and Battle changes are well thought out and really work in practice. Finally, the world itself is both beautifully designed and despairingly lonely.
Who knows, I might even try out the Tank role, for once.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is due for release on July 2nd 2019.