The videogame genre of MMORPGs has practically always accompanied me. Come to think of it, it was thanks to them (or because of them, depending on your point of view) that I got my first "gaming" PC. It was 2015 and I was watching a program on Sky, on a channel that was something like 814, in short, you know all those various regional channels that were thrown away from 800 to 900? Here, there was a channel that dealt with video games, whose name I do not remember at all - indeed I invite you to write to me if perhaps you have information on it - and every day, around 16, there was a kind of news in which the two conductors were talking about various video games.
It was at that moment that I found out Guild Wars and I was immediately hooked, I don't know what, maybe the effects, the setting, “le luuuuuuci”, but I instantly fell in love with it so much that I broke so much and got a PC that could run it. I had played a few other online games before, mostly Hidden & Dangerous 2, but never anything like an MMORPG. I had a vague knowledge of World of Warcraft but "you pay to play" and therefore nisba. But Guild Wars, you just buy that, you're done. And from then on it was a riot of different titles that were rarely my "main games". Yes in short, I have never been addicted to gender, and it is useless to hide, this risk exists, it exists and anyone can still fall into it today. After years of playing Guild Wars and its expansions, I also played metin2, Ultima Online, DC Universe Online, Dofus, Black Desert Online, Guild Wars 2, Lineage 2, Lord of the Rings Online, Runescape, Phantasy Star Online 2, Star Wars The Old Republic, TERA and I probably forgot some (I don't mention New World just because I am ashamed of wasting time on it).
In recent times I have finally approached the sacred trinity with WoW, which I must say I have played a short time anyway. I started with Warlords of Draenor and finished with Battle for Azeroth, basically three expansions. Soon after, I started playing Elder Scrolls Online, which I occasionally continue to start even today and finally Final Fantasy XIV. I knew absolutely nothing about the title, I limited myself to watching a couple of boss battles and listening to some musical themes to convince myself and so, about four years ago, I buy the latest expansion released and start my journey to the land of Eorzea and in what, with all due respect to hard and pure fans, it is among the best Final Fantasy ever made.
The game structure, to date, consists of the base game, A realm reborn, released after the 1.0 disaster, plus four expansions: Heavensward, Stormblood, Shadowbringer and the most recent Endwalker. The story unfolds along all these contents, guaranteeing extreme longevity. We are talking about hundreds and hundreds of hours of content, and exceeding a thousand hours by getting lost in endgame and "collateral" content such as glamor and housing is very easy, but we'll talk more about it later. The review comes relatively late due to the issues that are plaguing the game at the moment. Basically, is too successful. This has led to a huge influx of players, beyond expectations, and due to the semiconductor crisis, Square is having enormous problems finding servers to allow people to enter. This translates into queues that can reach up to 4 hours of waiting. Consider that in order to play it, I have to ask my girlfriend at home to queue at 18pm so that I can start playing after I finish work, around 20:30 pm. 21 days of free play have already been given away and hopefully the situation will be resolved soon even if it seems rather unlikely.
The plot sees our characters as protagonists, the Warriors of Light, embroiled in the battle between Hydaelyn and Zodiark, two opposing divinities representing light and darkness and of which we are heralds of the first while on the other side there are the Ascian and the empire of Garlemand. But to say that what is written here is "scratching the surface" of everything that is narrated in the game would be extremely reductive. If in A realm reborn we are indeed committed to defeating the Primals summoned by the tribes present on Eorzea in order to obtain the power necessary to face Zodiark and, in the meantime, to contain the aims of conquest of the Empire, and from its deadly weapon magitek, Ultimate Weaponin heavensward change everything. We move in fact to ishgard, a place at war against dragons for years and which sees the introduction of a series of new characters, including the Dragoon Estinien. It turns out that, again, the Ascians have helped bring the conflict between humans and dragons back to life after a peace made between the two races, and it will be up to us to restore balance. stormblood instead it focuses on a more political scenario and the liberation of Ala Migho, while Shadowbringers presents a total reversal of our character's roles, moved to a world parallel to the main one in which the light has won and flooded everything. In fact, light and darkness do not equate to good and evil but are two forces that must remain in balance to ensure that life can go on.
Talking about the entire history of the game in depth is practically impossible. Its origins date back to times prior to the actual start of the game, the amount of written lore is immense, and in case you are interested in learning I invite you to read the insights made by SeBH, really perfect, or alternatively his series of videos on YouTube, or you can take a look at the Wiki. If, on the other hand, you want to know more about what Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 was, its collapse, its perfect and splendid closure and the beginning of A Realm Reborn, take a look at the documentary of noclip previously proposed, complete with interviews with developers and producers, and the series of Speakers Network.
And so, after a long time, it arrives endwalker, which, as already said, closes this cycle and, at the same time, also begins a new one. The expansion, unlike the previous ones, immediately comes to life, with a series of quests, one more tense than the other and which culminate practically in the middle, a moment in which an extremely important fact happens and in which a series of information that, as has happened in the past, leads to inevitable questions about what we have done and the true nature of our actions. From the middle there is un slight slowing of the texture which then resumes at the end but the epicity always remains at very high levels, and in every single moment in which some dialogue seems out of place, one of the other members of the group always intervenes, ready to remind you of an event or another dialogue that has taken place maybe in A Realm Reborn and which is perfectly linked to the actions that are happening at that moment, a sign that the story as it is was already present and well defined in the minds of the writers.
The tragedy never fails and the topics covered are extremely mature and heavy for the brand. Death had already been dealt with in previous expansions, no character has ever been relatively "safe" but in this case the apocalypse comes directly, and spares no one. Our Warrior of Light, at some point, finds himself practically disarmed and overwhelmed in the face of what comes, the inevitability of events but, as always, hope is the last to die.
The new Endwalker dungeons are well done and, finally, they also challenge players by presenting a slightly higher than average difficulty level. Let's not talk about the trials, I believe that the first in Extreme mode is one of the most complex in the game and requires days and days of trying to be completed. There is still no word on the raids given that the first will arrive on December 21st. The music, made by Masayoshi Soken, they always manage to render the atmosphere well, passing from poignant compositions for violin and piano to rock and rhythmic pieces for the battles or choirs for the most evocative sections. The finale closes a perfect circle and at the same time also outlines a new one. In fact, Endwalker is not the last expansion of the title but the end of a narrative cycle, which at the same time also opens a new one. With the next patches will obviously arrive new content, including raids, dungeons and a section, which personally is the one I look forward to the most, “to the Stardew Valley” about which not much is known yet. Starting again will certainly be difficult but there are already excellent foundations and narrative ideas, we only need to understand what the writers will focus on in the future.