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Final Fantasy XV

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I recently wrapped up main story play and half of the DLC expansions.  I feel it started out slow but by time I hit Chapter 04 or so, I was enjoying myself and the uptick in play and story.  Of note, I played on Easy because I'm not a fan of grueling RPG combat.  I wrapped up main story in around 45 hours.  Semi spoilerish but the total amount of chapters is


15 chapters


I played the game in 4k resolution.  Roughly averaging 45 FPS the whole time, while enjoying insane quality looking gameplay.  If I had any slowdowns, it was with cut-scenes as opposed to combat.  I did have some game crashes (4 total), but not until the final chapters.  Checkpoint saves do a good job but I suggest manually saving to be safe.  Especially after a boss fight, etc.

The skill trees are quite robust.  There is also a Wait menu combat system, but I stuck to action mode, short of trying the wait system when I started playing.  If you want to try the game out, there is a demo as well on Steam.

I mentioned crashes and performance.  To note I'm playing with 32 GB DDR4 with an Intel i7-7700k and a Nvidia 1080 Ti (with 391.35 drivers on Windows 10 Pro Build 16299 / 1709) .  Running the HD assets along with the main game has my total install folder at 148 GB.  I am playing from a Samsung 840 Pro Series SSD that the game is installed on.  My Main OS is running off a Samsung 960 EVO M2 SSD.  I did not have the courage to see read speeds from a mechanical hard drive.
Quick note, there are performance display options in the FFXV menus.  I recall seeing load speeds be around 240 MB/s on the load screens.

Back to graphics, my card's memory usage for 11 GB hit 96% usage and 100% GPU usage.  Mostly when I had in-game crashes, I would see the 'nvidia driver stopped working' error come up.  As I mentioned I saw this 4 times total, so I would not consider this game-breaking, since I would reboot and be fine afterwards, until the next crash that typically were hours to days apart.

With the tech details out of the way, I feel the game was enjoyable, looked excellent and also plays well.  If you want to run at a higher frame rate, you can set your game options up to 120 FPS.  I did not really try playing @ 1080p, largely because I used the benchmark utility to get as close to a playable 4k resolution as I could.

If you would like an RPG to scratch your itch, I would suggest giving this a play if you haven't yet.  I also played Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and really enjoyed my time with it, but Final Fantasy XV is going to be more kind to your time, with less grinding mechanics than Xenoblade Chronicles 2 had.  Granted XB2 now has an easy combat option too, so that might bring that main story playtime down.

Wrapping up, Final XV uses some classic Final conventions while also taking some liberties with story and play mechanics.  I was glad when I had time to sit down and play, as those sessions tended to be pretty lengthy.

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I forgot to mention.  I followed a suggested content guide for when to play DLC packs to match along in the main story.  Minor spoilers in the quoted Steam thread but highly suggested main game to DLC path quoted below:


How to have a good experience with FFXV: (MINOR SPOILERS)
1. Play and complete Chapter 1 (or the Demo).
2. Watch Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV.
3. Complete Chapter 2 and start Chapter 3.
4. (At any point during Ch 3) Watch Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV on Youtube
5. (During the long car rides in Ch3) Read Final Fantasy XV Prologue Parting Ways. Get the PDF here
6. Play Chapters 3-7.
7. Play DLC Episode Gladiolus after he returns to your party.
8. Play Chapter 8
9. Enjoy the Open World until halfway through Chapter 9 (the game will inform of a point of no return)
10. Play Chapters 9-12
11. Play Noctis' path in Chapter 13 first (make an extra save at the start of Ch13 for the next step)
12. Load the extra save from the previous step and play Gladious and Ignis's path in Chapter 13 after they regroup with you.
13. Play DLC Episode Prompto after Prompto returns to your party.
14. Finish Chapter 13.
15. Play Chapter 14 and finish the main game.
16. Play DLC Episode Ignis.
17. (OPTIONAL) Play non-story post-game content in Chapter 15.
18. (OPTIONAL) Play Multiplayer DLC Comrades with friends.

Each DLC is about 1.5 hours long.

Via this Steam review thread.  Reminder that the 4 DLC packs are included with purchase of the PC edition.

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