Quick Take: Episode Ignis [Minor Spoilers]
December 15, 2017
Two days ago when Episode Ignis was finally released, I jumped out of bed and immediately sat down in front of the TV, turned on my roommate’s PS4, and logged into her account to download it with her Season Pass. Then I went to make myself breakfast and chomped on Apple Cinnamon Cheerios as the download bar slowly filled up.
The first chapter of Episode Ignis sets the scene by taking the player back to the Leviathan trial and showing how Ignis got separated from Prompto and Gladio in the chaos. Then, it immediately dives into a mini-tutorial during the first few minutes of actual gameplay. Ignis has three elemental styles of fighting, and each has its own situational use. Fire for your typical one-on-one combat, ice for when you’re surrounded so that Ignis can do area-damage, and lightning for when you want to zip in close to a faraway enemy or bounce between spaced-out targets. Then he has two techniques: High Jump, which costs one tech bar and is basically a copy of any Dragoon-class jump attack, and Overclock, which costs two tech bars and increases one element’s attack damage for a short period of time.
I really loved playing with these battle styles and techniques. With the oversimplified battle system that FFXV uses where the player pretty much just bashes circle while the system automatically locks onto enemies, these elemental fighting styles added strategy and options to how the player can take on a fight. However, while the battle system is oversimplified, it also makes things easy on the player whenever the camera glitches out. I found this happened a lot during chapter two, when Ravus joins the party and tag-teams with Ignis to get to the altar.
After playing the full DLC, though, there are two plot-heavy boss fights where the game pretty much says “fuck you” to two of those elemental styles by making you fight a single target. Of course, you can still use the other two elemental styles, but there’s little point when they’re less effective.
Overall, the character development and added plot that this DLC gives to FFXV as a whole was worth it. When the player starts the DLC, the game stops to say that it’s best played after a complete run of FFXV. Only when the player reaches the altar does the reason become abundantly clear. Without giving away too much, they did draw inspiration from the “blind prophet” trope. This trope is also played upon with Ignis’ gauge ability, which is called “Total Clarity.” Why yes, I did die a little on the inside.
I should mention that I played Episode Ignis on easy mode, and this is because I’m one of the people who play games more for the story than the challenge. So, in easy mode, I finished the DLC in just over an hour.
Since I played through my roommate’s Season Pass, I did get the game for free. However, this hour of gameplay costs $7.99 on the PlayStation store. I’m not sure that I would pay that price for one hour of gameplay, but if you’re invested in FFXV, love Ignis Scientia, and are dying to know how he became blind in the main storyline, then I definitely recommend Episode Ignis.
They really did save the best for last.