“Final Fantasy XV: Multiplayer Expansion Comrades” launched on Nov. 15 and it’s a nice little slice of DLC for the base game of Final Fantasy XV. It has plenty of things to do, but at the same time there are some bogus wait times.
Right off the bat, the expansion is playable both with other players or AI bots, but it is required to be online at all times. The story is set between Chapters 12 and 13 of the main game, so its best to actually play through the entire story completely and then come back to the multiplayer whenever you finish Noctis’ journey.
You start Comrades as your own custom character — you can make up to 8 characters in a semi-decent creator suite; but this ain’t WWE 2k18 tho and you are limited at first — who is a member of the Kingsglave and was taken away to the safety of the last remaining town as the world quickly succumbs to pure darkness and the monsters start destroying everything. Your goals is two things, take on various missions and restore the power to the world using electricity.
Missions are structured like typical quick-play mmo-lite style missions — think Monster Hunter — where you pick a mission, head to a hub screen, wait for others and then fight a monster(s) in a quick 2 to 10 minute battle, head back to camp if victorious, eat a meal and then part ways. Restoring power to the world, is basically how you level up and unlock new stuff for your character and new missions to take on — you can also find additional power this way too. In the end, you repeat this until you’ve had your fill for the day.
Gameplay is almost identical to how it is in the main game, with slight changes made so players can now use healing and offensive magic that is tied to their weapons. You can easily have up to 8 different spells equipped to your guy if you can properly customize your weapons using the loot dropped by monsters. Yes, weapons can be upgraded between missions via Cid and his machine shop, dropped loot from monsters can also be traded in at various shops — once unlocked — to get even stronger base weapons. Upgrading weapons is how you boost your characters base stats as well.
While Comrades is fun to play in short bursts there are a few annoying moments in the game. The actual gameplay is solid, but it’s the long load times and random filler screens that you have to go through to actually do anything — what I described above as the flow of the game, is basically a 10 to 12 minutes of filler and load screens. You can browse social media for a good while as you go through all the unneeded screens as you wait. Even post a status update of how long you’re waiting. Eventually you may get fed up with waiting and stop playing altogether. The game also slows down, whenever you talk to an NPC in town or even when it auto-saves.
Another draw back to playing online, is that it’s actually a challenge itself to play with 3 other friends. The way it’s currently set up is that one person has to set up a room, and within 60 seconds all other friends must join the room otherwise they are locked out of it. Also ALL PLAYERS need to have unlocked the level in order to play, you can’t play a level if you don’t have it and more don’t unlock if you finish a new one — you still have to restore power to the world grid in order to get a mission. Its stuff like this that makes Comrades a chore to play through and I find myself switching over to Final Fantasy XIV, Destiny 2 or even Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 whenever I’m done playing with friends.
Also avoid Quick Match mode, which has a nasty bug that makes you gain Negative EXP for your characters. You can physically roll back your character levels and the game will save over that automatically.. Bad form Square-Enix, patch this quickly and fix these three issues!
Is Comrades worth a purchase, honestly no. But if you have the Season Pass already, then Comrades is free for you and it’ll fill in the missing gap in the main story; you even get a bit of fanfic by making your own characters and interacting with Noctis’ friends. Otherwise, just wait for Comrades or the Season Pass to drop in price and then pick this up.
You’re not missing anything of worth right now besides long load times.