Final Fantasy 14 Shadowbringers – An Overview of the Expansion
Earlier this month I attended a special preview event for Final Fantasy 14 Shadowbringers in London. Naoki Yoshida was in attendance and gave an hour-long presentation and gave a Shadowbringers overview in addition to detailing the changes coming to Square Enix’s MMO.
In addition to the presentation, I was given hands-on time with Final Fantasy 14 Shadowbringers and was able to explore some of the new areas and try my hand at both the Gunbreaker and Dancer jobs.
However, at the very beginning of the presentation, Yoshida gave us a Shadowbringers overview that helped set expectations for the expansion. The Shadowbringers overview was also a great place to start for what Square Enix is doing with Final Fantasy 14.
In Shadowbringers, players will, for the very first time, travel to another realm. Known as ‘The First,’ this realm is being consumed by the Flood of Light and is on the brink of destruction.
Whereas players have previously been Warriors of Light, fighting the Darkness, in Shadowbringers, players will become Warriors of Darkness, fighting the Flood of Light.
The trailer that was released at the Tokyo Fan Fest is certainly worth a watch as it sets the scene quite well.
During the event, I had the chance to chat with Yoshida. He said that the themes of Shadowbringers are stagnation and decay.
What if people decided to just stop putting in the effort or what if people just decided they’re no longer going to pursue something with passion, just cease working, just be lazy, eat whatever you want and just give up on doing anything that is human-like.Naoki Yoshida – Director & Producer, Final Fantasy 14
Yoshida added that by doing this and acting this way, the people of the First have actually found quite a peaceful way to live. But he wondered, “is that really the correct way of going about things?”
The Flood of Light, engulfing the First, and destroying most of the Realms, leaves the inhabitants wondering how to live out their remaining days before extinction. Questions that Shadowbringers asks are ‘what are your values?’ and ‘what is your moral compass?’
The city of Eulmore is a great example of this new attitude, inhabitants of the First exhibit. Yoshida put it like this;
Some people might decide we don’t even need to work. We don’t need to put in the effort anymore because we might as well just wait for our end.
It might seem likes things are deteriorating in terms of how mankind reacts, but there’s no fighting, conflict or disparity between the rich and the poor.
To some people, that environment might seem like paradise and so people start to flock to that idea. But if too many people come, not everybody can fit into that space.
Not everybody could necessarily go in and so we start to see that the people who are accepted and the people who are not, start to break apart into those distinct groups.
As the Hero of Darkness though, the player can’t sit back and watch the world end. Instead, players will need to fight the Flood of Light and try to restore Darkness to the First.
Content for Days
During the presentation, Yoshida advises that Shadowbringers is large, really large.
The Shadowbringers expansion has content equivalent to that of an entirely new, single-player RPG. This includes the main narrative and campaign, side quests, areas, Beasts, Races and more.
Six new areas will be included in Shadowbringers;
- The Crystarium
- Lakeland – Fort Jobb
- Lakeland – The Ostall Imperative
- Il Mheg – Lydha Lran
- Il Mheg – Pla Enni
- Il Meg – Wolekdorf
These areas are quite bright and colourful and after playing in them for a while, you’ll notice that there’s no day/night cycle. The environments in Shadowbringers look like they’re in permanent twilight but if you look to the horizon you can see the brightness from the Flood of Light.
Another thing you’ll notice about the environments is how alien and foreign they look. There are bright flowers and plants twisted in strange shapes and with odd foliage. There are also floating plants and flowers that appear to be suspended by nothing.
Aside from the imminent destruction of the First by the Flood of Light, the locations in Shadowbringers are really quite beautiful.
The new cities in Shadowbringers were detailed at Tokyo Fan-Fest and include player-hub The Crystarium and narratively important Eulmore. At the same Fan Fest, the two new races — Viera and Hrothgar — were also detailed. Two new Beasts, Nu Mou and Pixies will also be introduced in Shadowbringers.
Finally, Yoshida advised that with Shadowbringers, Square Enix is ending 32-bit support and introducing 64-bit Mac support.
There’s a tonne of other changes and content coming to Final Fantasy 14 Shadowbringers so make sure you check out our other posts to get the lowdown on the new expansion.
Leo Stevenson travelled to London, UK as a guest of Square Enix. Flights, Meals and Accommodation were provided by Square Enix.