Final Fantasy XIII Review

Final Fantasy XIII

How to please fans of the jRPG genre, who happen to play exclusively on PC? Well, you need to pick one of the best parts of some famous series, blow off the dust of time, fix some things here and there, polish it up, take care of a good adaptation for personal computers – and distribute happiness for mere pennies on any popular service like Steam. If you ignore this recipe, you get Final Fantasy XIII.

For those who are not aware of events from five years ago, the thirteenth “Final Fantasy” is a bad game. No matter what defenders say in its favor, it is precisely this game that became a dark spot on Square Enix’s reputation and a harbinger of the franchise’s decline as a whole. The outrage still echoes through fan communities, and, honestly, not without reason.

Welcome to Cocoon. We are having a purge here, but NORA resists Sanctum and sparks a conflict because the leader of the rebels does not want to be separated from his beloved, whose sister wants to take her to the fal’Cie to free her from the fate of a l’Cie. Understand? What do you mean “no”? But here is Cocoon, and here is a l’Cie. Only a fal’Cie can choose a l’Cie, which means only they can remove the marks. So, listen further…

If you somehow managed to understand what is happening, consider yourself very lucky. Final Fantasy XIII couldn’t care less about how its story looks from our side of the screen, so the narrative begins without any introduction. The player, of course, feels as if they have seriously missed the session: the characters are already familiar with each other, running somewhere purposefully, and commenting on the situation with full knowledge of the subject. All these fal’Cie nonsense mentioned above really exists, and without prior acquaintance with a thematic article somewhere on Wikipedia, it can take dozens of hours to understand them. Moreover, it’s not worth it.

Final Fantasy XIII Chars

When the curtain of mystery and misunderstanding is lifted, it turns out that the screen drama is a big cardboard box of foam characters that evoke absolutely no emotions. Their dialogues painfully assault the ears with an abundance of made-up terms and affected pathos, instantly fading away and hardly making you feel anything except nothingness. They themselves only embody all possible stereotypes in their characters: the rebel leader Snow is impulsive and foolish, the former soldier Lightning is firm and closed-off, and the squeaky Vanilla seems to be here just to annoy. There is no point in continuing the list, as soon as a character opens their mouth, you can already tell where and when they will argue with the team and separate to make the gameplay more diverse.

But this doesn’t save the mechanics, because the best minds at Square Enix suddenly decided to overhaul the combat system of the series. Despite the party-based foundation, we only control the leader. If the leader dies, the game is over, and the companions indifferently wander around. It looks insanely wild for the first couple of hours when our participation in battles is limited to confirming automatic attacks. After a prolonged tutorial, our single-button mini-game is taken away, adding to the fun the paradigm system: at any stage of the battle, parties can assign one of the ready-made behavior models so that comrades heal themselves in time, attack or defend when necessary.

To be honest, it sounds much better than it actually is. Juggling paradigms after the third or fourth clash results in one foolproof tactic: attack, heal, attack again. If it doesn’t work, it means it’s too early to intervene here.

Wise appearance is deceiving - almost the entire battle passes on its own

A wise appearance is deceptive – almost the entire battle is fought on its own.

Artificially, fights are prolonged by the fact that each enemy has a special indicator that replenishes with each blow dealt to them. Until the enemy is hit as much as necessary, they will not receive serious damage, so keeping enemies in a weakened state becomes an eternal and routine task. Thanks to this, you try to avoid random encounters in order not to waste precious time and live peacefully.

Fans of deviating from the main plot were also disappointed this time. There are no longer big cities, spacious locations with additional quests, or anything else that could liven up the virtual world. You are welcome to stock up on unnecessary junk at faceless save points and run without distractions along the huge storyline pipe, pondering the fate of what was once a great game.

Perhaps the only thing that can be unequivocally praised is the visual aspect. Final Fantasy XIII still looks stunning even after all these years. The level of detail may not be impressive, but it is compensated by beautiful views, exquisite environmental design, and very attractive special effects. There is nothing to say about the cutscenes – almost all scenes are staged and polished at a level befitting the series, there are no complaints here.

Final Fantasy XIII Movie

After a thorough examination, it is no longer surprising why Final Fantasy XIII has received such a backlash. What is more questionable is the fact that the game, which is not of the highest caliber and age, is suddenly presented to keyboard and mouse enthusiasts in the worst possible form.

In the form in which the average user receives it, the game weighs a whopping 50 GB, primarily due to the mandatory download of tons of Japanese voice acting, which is so necessary for the ordinary person. But even owners of massive hard drives and high-speed connections will not come out unscathed – the most interesting part is just beginning.

Final Fantasy XIII, preceded by a hastily made launcher, only runs in 720p and completely lacks any resolution, graphics, and sound settings. If desired, you can use additional programs to achieve honest FullHD with forced smoothing, but this will not save you from image stuttering and a 30 FPS cap on AMD processors.

If that’s not enough, it’s definitely worth trying to play with a keyboard. At first, it will be unfamiliar, then it will only get worse – and it will end with the familiar press of the Esc key, after which the game obediently closes without any further questions. It seems like the last time a similar case happened was with the fan port of the first Silent Hill, right?

The diagnosis for Final Fantasy XIII is undeniably bleak. Of all the activities here, the only real pleasure is watching the cutscenes, but obviously, that is not enough to immerse oneself in the game. It is equally boring for both fans and newcomers, and the recent PC port takes away any desire to recommend it to anyone at all.

Final Fantasy XIII
PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Square Enix
Square Enix
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



More Reviews