Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, the long-awaited sequel / remake of Final Fantasy XIV Online, is now up and running. Customers who preordered the game (or completed the old FFXIV’s “Legacy Campaign”) can log in already, while everyone else will be able to start playing on Friday, August 30.
Which editions are available?
The boxed retail game and digital download both cost $29 for Windows PCs, while the retail-boxed version for the PlayStation 3 costs $39. Besides costing more, the PS3 version uses some graphical shortcuts to allow it to run on the console, such as cutting the number of frames in most characters’ animations besides the player’s. It will be available as a digital download later this week, although pricing information has not yet been specified.
The boxed collector’s edition has sold out for both platforms, and is currently going for exorbitant amounts on the secondary market. A digital download version is available (right now just for Windows PCs) for $49, and includes only the digital bonus items. $19 will upgrade the base game to the digital collector’s edition.
What are the system requirements for Final Fantasy XIV?
FFXIV basically requires a dedicated graphics card, on Windows PCs. If you want to see how well the game runs on your system, as well as get a head start on the game by creating your character, you can try out the character creation benchmark.
The game requires at least 12 GB of hard disk space on the PlayStation 3, which makes it basically off-limits for the new $199 PS3 console which only has 12 GB of space total. Besides the fact that the actual formatted capacity of any storage media is a little bit smaller than advertised, future updates and expansion packs will drive up the amount of space needed, as will absolutely anything else you decide to put on your console.
Any other PS3 should be okay, although the early 20 GB units might have trouble fitting much else. If you have a PlayStation 3 console, you can use System Information (from the System Settings menu) to find out how much free space you have left.
What’s changed since the original Final Fantasy XIV?
A lot, so if you’ve heard negative reviews of the first game it’s time to reconsider. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was created in response to those negative reviews, and is so heavily redesigned as to be basically a separate game which happens to take place in the same world.
For starters, many conventions from other modern MMORPGs were adopted, from Guild Wars 2’s random world events (called “FATE” here) to simply being able to jump. World of Warcraft style quests take you through at least early levels, and offer an easy-to-understand introduction to the game. It still has scripted, voice-acted Final Fantasy cutscenes, though, many of which feature the same characters.
When will it be available for purchase?
FFXIV is available for preorder until Tuesday, August 27, at which point it will be on sale normally.