Square Enix claimed it had saved “the best for last” with Episode Ignis, and Final Fantasy XV’s latest DLC more than lives up to the billing. With fast-paced action, a gripping story, and some truly startling revelations that reshape perceptions of the overall story, Episode Ignis is a must-play for FFXV fans, and the most enjoyable new content to come to the game since its debut back in November 2016.
A word of warning: if you haven’t completed FFXV yet, steer clear of Episode Ignis until you do. While it’s well worth the cost of admission as a standalone or as part of the Season Pass, it refers to major plot twists in the middle and end of the story.
Like Episode Gladiolus and Episode Prompto before it, Ignis’ DLC can be completed in a two-hour sitting. It consists of three short chapters that branch off from Chapter 9 of the main story, and in them Noctis’ devoted tactician takes on scores of imperial troops throughout various neighborhoods in the Venetian-inspired city of Altissia, then teams up with Ravus to aid Noctis and Luna after their standoff against Leviathan. Chapter 3 brings some an unexpected face-off. Completing all three chapters opens up the Extra Verse option in the home menu, an alternate pathway through the third chapter that brings some major, game-changing twists. Don’t miss it.
Each of the chocobros’ story episodes have tweaked the base game’s combat system, like Gladio’s greatswords and Prompto’s firearms. For me, Ignis’ fighting style is the most fun of the three: like Noctis, he’s speedy and agile. The most recent FFXV update, version 1.20, added the ability to swap between characters in the main game. It’s a welcome feature, but Ignis is probably the only bro besides Noctis I’d want to control for any extended period of time. Gladio feels slow and lumbering, while the controls of some of Prompto’s firearms are too fiddly for me to seek out outside Episode Prompto.
Iggy wields twin Spelldaggers imbued with three magical elements. Flamebound daggers allow Ignis to hone in on a single target. Frostbound daggers attack a small area around the target. I found myself leaning heavily on the Stormbound daggers, at least in the first two chapters. Using these, Ignis zips around the field attacking every baddie in sight, Noctis-lite style. It’s particularly handy for crowd control early on, as it allows you to rack up massive combos and increase your damage multiplier. Ignis also gets a metered special attack called Total Clarity, which basically allows him to pull off more powerful versions of each of his three standard attacks. You’ll be using this one a lot, too.
Episode Ignis also adds some handy tweaks to make navigating the maze-like city of Altissia less frustrating. (Yes, it’s an incredibly detailed and beautiful environment, but getting around in the main game often takes longer than it should.) Ignis can swim in the canals, but more importantly, he acquires a hook shot early on, allowing him to speedily glide between rooftops and other high points.
So yes, it’s fun to play. Very fun, even. But where Episode Ignis really shines is in its story and character development, which I desperately want to talk about here because it really is SO GOOD, but I won’t spoil it. The devotion and care Ignis displays for Noctis throughout is genuinely moving, and getting his perspective on several key events will change how you see the overall story. If you found yourself sucked into the bonds between these characters, even if you haven’t picked up FFXV for months, you’ve gotta check out this DLC.