While in attendance at the Final Fantasy 14 Shadowbringers preview event in London, I was given an overview of the content coming to the MMO. In addition, I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the game.
When booting up, the screen showed a message reading “This is a pre-release build that has not undergone final adjustments. All content is subject to significant change.” Even so, playing as the two new Jobs — Gunbreaker and Dancer — was an absolute blast.
The Dancer is a Ranged DPS and the Gunbreaker is a Tank. Both slot in with the existing Jobs quite well and they both have unique strengths, abilities and Actions.
Shadowbringers Dancer and Gunbreaker
When the Dancer was announced as a Ranged DPS Job fans were disappointed. They expected the Dancer to be a Healer but after playing with it for a few hours, I can’t imagine it being any other way.
Far from being a simple Ranged DPS, the Dancer is a Party Buffing machine. By performing certain dances and the correct sequence of dance moves, the Dancer can buff themselves and their party and dish out huge amounts of damage.
If I’m being honest, the Dancer felt like it may have been a little OP in the build I played.
Playing as the Dancer feels really great and is also a huge amount of fun, thanks to the mechanics making it like a rhythm game. To perform attacks and buffs with the Dancer you first select which type of Dance you’ll perform and then select a series of dance steps.
When you select the Dance you’ll perform, the Actions on your Hotbar change into Dance steps with combos shown. Performing these combos completes the Dance and buffs and or attacks. While there’s not an actual rhythmic requirement to performing these dances, the simple fact that you press button combos makes it feel that way.
As for the special mechanics of the Dancer, when you buff yourself and your Party you can fill your Espirit Gauge and when full you gain access to better and more powerful dances. Dancer attacks are either single-target ranged or close-range AOEs.
The Gunbreaker, being a Tank, is a beast of a Job. They dish out massive amounts of damage and work on filling charges on their Gunblade. By performing combos and certain attacks, charges are added to the Gunblade which can be used to provide Buffs or deal increased Damage.
There’s a lot to like about the Gunbreaker and it’s easily one of the more stylish Jobs in the game. Using different combos sees the Gunbreaker jumping and slashing around the field while accruing charges.
It’s not as flashy as the Dancer but it’s certainly a Final Fantasy favourite and lives up to the legacy of Final Fantasy VIII.
Like the Dancer, in the build I played, the Gunbreaker felt pretty OP. That could have been due to the fact that I was playing at level 80 which gave me access to every Action, a huge MP gauge and an even bigger HP gauge.
Playing as both the Dancer and the Gunbreaker was a lot of fun and it certainly bodes well for Shadowbringers in general, but without being able to try any Quests, I was forced to fight random monsters in the field over and over.
It’s difficult to get a good grip on these new Jobs with such narrow opportunities but from what I did play, I know that both Jobs are going to be some players’ new favourites.
Leo Stevenson travelled to London, UK as a guest of Square Enix. Flights, Meals and Accommodation were provided by Square Enix.