As the known prophet and personal best friend of mine Adele once said: “This is the end. Hold your breath and count to ten. Feel the earth move, and then feel my heart burst again, for this is the end.” With Final Fantasy XV, our journey through this hallowed series is complete. I can’t believe it’s been a whole year already! Here we are, standing before the most recent main title.
Perhaps most famous for its development cycle, Final Fantasy XV started off as a spinoff as part of the Fabula Nova Crystallis. This was meant to be all the games set in the universe of Final Fantasy XIII, and yes, that means it started life back in 2006. The initial reveal trailer was very little like what we received last year, meaning it went through many changes. This wasn’t the only game to make big changes; another planned game in the Fabula Nova Crystallis was Final Fantasy Agito XIII, which went on to have a life as Final Fantasy Type-0.
In 2013, with very little hope of it ever seeing the light of day, Square dropped a megaton at E3. Not only was Final Fantasy Versus XIII still a thing, it was repurposed and rebranded to be the next main title in the series. This renewed hype for the game, but even after that it would still take three more years for the game to come out.
When it did release last year, it’s safe to say it received pretty mixed acclaim. Some love it, some hate it. It’s strange to me, it feels more like everyone expected XV to fail after so long in development hell. In that way, the people saying it’s good are surprised it’s good. Those that don’t like it aren’t surprised at all. For that reason, there seems to be much less of a violent clash online as something like Final Fantasy XIII.
That’s why I don’t worry so much about putting myself into this debate. To finish off this journey, I’m taking a new one for the first time. Let’s talk about Final Fantasy!
Final Fantasy XV – November 29, 2016 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Version used for review: PlayStation 4 version, 2016
“In a time unknown, only a prophecy keeps hope alive in people’s hearts.’When darkness veils the world, the King of Light shall come.”
The story of Final Fantasy XV actually starts off much different than any other entry in the series. However, the very initial does start off with in medias res, which has been done before. It shows a glimpse into the future as older versions of our heroes find themselves embroiled in what looks to be a pyromaniac’s wet dream. They huddle together in a plaza set ablaze, discussing strategies to fight an unseen foe. After that incredibly short bit, we revert back to the current time.
This is where things become a little different. The story begins with prince Noctis Lucis Caelum being sent off by his father. Noctis and his three friends/guardians Ignis Scientia, Gladiolus Amicitia and Prompto Argentum are headed for the gorgeous city of Altissia, where he is to be wed to Lady Lunafreya Nox Fleuret, the Oracle. Her job is to bless people and give wisdom across the land.
Almost immediately after leaving, however, Noct and his friends find out that the Empire has violated the peace treaty between them and his kingdom. Instead, they invaded the capital city, Insomnia, and murdered King Regis. In doing so, they also attempted to steal the last crystal in the world and the Ring of the Lucii, which will only grant them more power.
Spoilers follow here! Scroll to the next bolded text if you don’t want to be spoiled on Final Fantasy XV!
From here, Noctis resolves to take back his throne, but first decides to go to Altissia like originally planned. En route, they stop at a nice resort where they encounter a very strange man named Ardyn. Eventually, as they travel, they realize they could use the power of the Astrals in their fight to take back Insomnia.
Noctis goes against Titan, the first of the Astrals that Noctis will acquire for use in battle. According to Titan after he gets his butt handed to him, it was Luna herself that encouraged him to join Noctis and his friends. Being the Oracle, one of her abilities is to speak to such grand beings!
Another one of her duties, it’s revealed, is to stop the Starscourge. This is a terrible curse, a plague that lengthens the nighttime. That… doesn’t really seem that bad, to be honest. However, it also turns people into horrible monsters and demons, called… .well, daemons. These can only come out at night which– ohhhhh. Yeah, that’s bad.
So, Noctis resolves to find her, and they continue toward Altissia. In the region of Duscae, they continue to build their power. Next on the list is Ramuh, a lightning-based Astral of incredible power. He, too, is encouraged to use his power in the fight to take back Insomnia and protect the world from the Starscourge as the nights grow longer and the daemons increase in strength and numbers.
After a long journey, the group reaches Altissia. Here, Luna attempts to speak to another Aftral, the sea serpent Leviathan. Noctis must fight Leviathan to soothe her, but during all the ruckus, the shifty guy from before shows up. Ardyn, who it turns out is the chancellor of Niflheim and is mostly the reason behind Insomnia’s takeover.
Ardyn stabs Luna, who is able to empower Noctis with a spell before dying, which allows him to defeat and obtain the power of Leviathan. In a dream after he passes out, the spirit of Luna gifts him the Ring of the Lucii which was shown before. Yes, it’s true, Luna dies here. Normally I’d be sad, but to be honest… as cool as Luna was, she really wasn’t too impactful on the plot. She never grasped my attention too much, so when she dies it never really left a major impression on me.
Anyway, Noctis awakens to see that Ignis has been rendered blind during Leviathan’s rampage. Filled with untold rage, Noctis and his three friends hop on a train. Their destination is Gralea, the capital of Niflheim. They stole the crystal from Insomnia, and it’s time for the king to take back his property.
It’s here that Lucis becomes a bit less important, however. With Luna dead, there’s no Oracle to hold back the Starscourge. Thus, the nights lengthen, and the daemons grow stronger and more plentiful.
Unfortunately, the Empire knows where the four of them are. The army attacks the train, and Noctis and Prompto must fend off soldiers while Gladio and Ignis try to fix the train to get it moving again. Once the train gets moving again, Noctis sees Ardyn himself holding Prompto at gunpoint. He tackles Ardyn off the train and to his horror, realizes that Ardyn used illusory magic. It was in fact Prompto holding Ardyn at gunpoint, and Noctis just bodied him off the train. Ardyn takes the moment to brag, knocks out Noctis and escapes.
They arrive at Tenebrae, home of Luna and the Oracle bloodline. Unfortunately, it’s only more tragedy that awaits them. Luna’s home is being burnt to the ground in retribution for attempting to stop the Empire with Leviathan. Ravus Nox Fleuret, Luna’s older brother and commander of the imperial army, is executed on charges of treason against the Empire. Things are perhaps the bleakest they’ve ever been, as now there is nobody to stop the Starscourge. Daemons begin to roam even during the day, or rather what little daytime there still is.
This is perhaps one of the strongest sections of the game. It’s harsh and unrelenting, showing the true extent of the Empire’s malice. They really will stop at nothing to destroy anything in their path, which is downright scary. We’ve not seen an Empire so dangerously evil in the series since Final Fantasy II, and it’s played to great effect here!
Anyway, soon they posit that the Crystal of Lucis can stop the Starscourge. With this last hope in mind, they remove the passengers from the train and head toward Gralea with even more urgency than ever.
Along the way, daemons stop the train and Noctis and Ardyn are about to square off when the Astral Shiva freezes Ardyn in place. She forges a covenant with Noctis, adding her power to his as well. From here, they head with even more purpose toward Gralea.
They reach the city, and daemons immediately besiege the train. Noctis then takes his car, the Regalia, and drives into the city. Unfortunately, the car is destroyed and what’s worse, his powers are sealed. Unable to fight with his weapons, Noctis resorts to using the Ring of the Lucii and its immeasurably powerful magic. The team learns quickly that there seems to be absolutely no life in Gralea. The entire city seems to be filled with monsters by this point.
Gladio and Ignis, who are separated from Noctis, find the Crystal. They find a control panel which unlocks access to the Crystal, and find Noctis just in time, saving his life from a trap.
It’s now that the three finally find Prompto. After learning more of his backstory, they use the knowledge to allow Prompto to open sealed areas, including the throne room. They find the Crystal and a daemon army descends upon the heroes.
The three guardians shout at Noctis to go to the Crystal to stop the Starscourge. They hold back the daemons as Noctis hurries to his destination. As he is absorbed by the Crystal, Ardyn finally explains his true nature. His full name is Ardyn Lucis Caelum, and he’s Noctis’s ancestor from thousands of years ago.
He was meant to be the Chosen King of Lucis, having absorbed a massive amount of the Starscourge into his own body to protect his people. Unfortunately, this causes the Crystal to reject him entirely, as he was then tainted by the darkness. The crown passes on to his brother, and unfortunately Ardyn dies without being the king. Perhaps even more unfortunately, it turns out that Ardyn can’t die. The daemon energy in him renders him immortal, and thus he chose to plot the death of his bloodline and the Crystal as revenge.
He taunts Noctis and asks him to take the Crystal’s power and become the True King. After all, it wouldn’t be fun to kill a mortal like Noctis as is! So Noctis indeed does that, meeting the Astral Bahamut inside the soul of the planet within the Crystal. He finds out that he can save the world from the Starscourge once and for all… at the cost of his own life.
Now, Noctis awakens on an island with the Crystal’s power. He learns his friends are waiting for him near the starting area of the game, and heads over there. He looks a little ragged, and a bit older… ten years older, in fact! Yes, ten years have passed since his time in the Crystal, and in that time, the world has all but crumbled. Daemons are everywhere, and almost nowhere is safe.
It’s quite the shock to see the world in such disarray, but it’s not surprising. We really end up seeing the scale of destruction that befalls the world, and it’s rather impressive. It adds to an already very dramatic game to see familiar areas crumbling to nothing under the weight of the Long Night, where no sunlight can get through. It’s a great way to set the tone for the finale.
In this dark time, Gladio, Prompto and Ignis are daemon hunters keeping people safe. Ignis, though blind, is so used to it he no longer needs a cane to walk. After a happy reunion, the group resolves to take out Ardyn once and for all.
And thus, we end where we began. Insomnia, the capital city of Lucis. Ardyn brought the Crystal here, and this is where it ends. Upon reaching the city, the Astral Ifrit assaults the heroes. The Betrayer of the six Astrals, Ifrit despises humanity and is the source of daemons and the Starscourge. Thankfully, Noctis calls upon his other Astrals and Shiva essentially gives Ifrit the kiss of death, freezing and shattering his body.
Inside the palace, Noctis and Ardyn clash in a final battle between kings. When Noctis appears victorious, Ardyn mentions to see him “on the other side”. Noctis sends away his guardians, taking the throne and calling upon past kings to rid the world of the Starscourge. All the past kings attack Noctis, whose soul is taken by the Ring of the Lucii and can now wield the true power of light. Using this power, Noctis’s spirit finds Ardyn in limbo. Here, with his power and the power of his friends and family, he erases Ardyn from existence entirely. This shatters the Ring of the Lucii, and the sun is able to rise again.
In the final scene, in a dreamlike state, Luna and Noctis are together again, and finally have their dream wedding. King Regis pronounces them man and wife, and they take the throne. Finally able to rest, the two enter their eternal slumber, together at last.
It’s a pretty heartbreaking finale, but it just goes to show you that Noctis seriously grows over the course of the game. He’s a scared prince on the run, and grows into a strong king who is willing to sacrifice everything to save the world. It’s extremely touching, even though it’s very bittersweet.
Spoilers end here! You can continue reading below!
With the story of Final Fantasy XV showing the horrors of war, it’s hard not to get engrossed. Very rarely is any Final Fantasy story completely happy, but FFXV isn’t afraid to go as far as it takes to make a good dramatic story. I loved it, to be honest. It’s not perfect, mind you, as there are definitely some logical leaps and such that I needed to look up online to understand, but overall it’s a solid story.
And it’s sad, too! We see a lot of people get hurt, injured or even killed. You never know what will happen next, so you have to be prepared for anything. Even then, there are some fantastic twists in the story that will keep you guessing. I adore the story of Final Fantasy XV and I get the feeling that you will too. Provided, of course, you can keep up with all the funky names and locations.
“My hair does not look like a chocobo butt!”
You know it looks good. Next!
I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Of course I’ll talk about the graphics. Originally meant for the PS3, what would become Final Fantasy XV was totally remade from the ground up for the next generation of consoles. This allowed the art team to go absolutely crazy with detail and designs that wouldn’t be possible on 7th generation systems.
Everyone talks crap about the “boy band” look that the four main characters have, and I’ll be honest: I don’t blame them. Noctis in particular is not dressed like a prince that he is, but I think that’s fine. I don’t hate their designs, even though I don’t blame someone who does. From a technical standpoint, they look pretty amazing though.
Also, the game is very vibrant and colorful. Lots of use of particle effects keep the game bright and engaging, which is an interesting contrast to the mostly realistic setting the game takes place in. It’s a great balance for modern fantasy like Final Fantasy XV is trying to be. Just be prepared to see a lot of blue!
Speaking of those environments, there’s a huge variety to see. Large plains, rocky mountains, enormous cities of stone and brick, there’s always something new to see. It’s great! The art team had a lot of time to work on the game, so they seemed to use every moment they could. I can’t tell if some assets were reused from the Versus XIII days, but if they are then that means the game was ahead of its time.
On a technical level, the PS4 version runs at 1080p with a mostly smooth 30fps. I don’t have the Pro so I don’t have any of those nice enhancements, but I hear they’re nice! The Xbox One version runs at 900p/30fps. Now, when it comes out early next year, I’ll be picking up the PC release for sure. I can only imagine the types of enhancements coming to it, and I know it’ll be nice to see a buttery smooth 60fps (or above!) with my rig. As it stands now, though Final Fantasy XV looks gorgeous and is perfectly playable. There are a few framerate dips, but nothing too major and never for very long.
The cool thing, though, is that Final Fantasy XV marks the first time that the series makes use of graphical improvements on consoles since it’s the first to support both PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. According to Digital Foundry, both versions come with presets that allow for either high resolution, uncapped framerate at 1080p, or a stable framerate with a high level of detail, also at 1080p. This way, even Pro or X owners that don’t have a 4k TV can still get use out of their more powerful consoles. It’s pretty neat that Square Enix thought of as many fans as possible with their options!
That’s about all for the graphics, as usual. The game looks incredible, surely you’re not surprised? Performance is good and is enhanced with the mid-generation upgrades like PS4 Pro or Xbox One X. Even on the base PS4 like I’m using, the game looks great and runs fine. The art style is understandably a little odd for a prince and his crew, but overall the world is beautiful. The modern fantasy look is really neat to see in action! Overall, Final Fantasy XV, as always, delivers on the graphics front.
“I follow my calling. I will not halt my steps for anything else.”
This time around, Final Fantasy XV has a brand new composer for the series. However, it’s not a new composer for Square Enix; since the inception of the series, Kingdom Hearts has been lauded for its soundtrack. This beautiful work was composed by Yoko Shimomura, a veteran of the video game music business. Square tapped her on the shoulder and asked if she would compose, and she happily obliged.
Thank goodness she did, because I absolutely love Shimomura’s work. She’s consistently near the top of my list of favorite game composers (yes, I know a lot of them) alongside titans like Nobuo Uematsu, Akira Yamaoka, Michiru Yamane, Koji Kondo, Jesper Kyd, Jeremy Soule and more. She’s a tour de force in her own right, and it feels right at home that she composed for Final Fantasy XV.
Her style is a little more bombastic at times than in the Kingdom Hearts series, but it fits the world and tone of the game exceptionally well. She even found a way to sneak in the traditional “Final Fantasy battle opening” when the party is… well, sneaking. Props to that!
However, that’s just a neat example of Shimomura paying homage to the series. What follows that is usually the battle theme, which is incredibly epic. It’s pretty hilarious when you go to engage a few small monsters for a hunt, only to be greeted with this:
It’s a fantastic theme, but it’s not even the best battle theme in the game. There are many to choose from,
It’s not all intense all the time, though. This is, for all intents and purposes, a roadtrip game. You’re going to travel a lot, and see the sights and people of the world of Eos. That means a ton of different locations, and a bunch of different musical styles. Say, for instance, when you meet the gorgeous Cindy, mechanic extraordinaire and daughter of Cid:
However, it is still an RPG, which means there will be exploration into dungeons as well. Thankfully, the dungeon theme is atmospheric and disquieting as it should be. It actually sounds closer to Kingdom Hearts than most of the other tracks in Final Fantasy XV:
And, of course, what Final Fantasy game past VII would be complete without its own fair share of Latin chanting? The fight with Ifrit comes to mind almost immediately when I think of a fitting theme, it’s absolutely charged with energy and anger, fitting for a fight with such a fiery beast:
So, do I think Shimomura did a good job? If it wasn’t obvious, it’s a clear yes. It seems only natural to ask her to fill in, as she worked for so long on a series with very similar themes to that of the Final Fantasy franchise. Knowing she was taking the reins on the music of a dearly beloved series, she made sure to bring her A-game. Well, Final Fantasy XV, consider that game brought.
“It’s true. I have no authority whatsoever. But what I lack in authority, I make up for in friends.”
Final Fantasy XV marks the only the second time in a main, non-MMO Final Fantasy title to eschew the ATB system. However, unlike Final Fantasy X’s methodical, turn-based combat, Final Fantasy XV instead takes it in another direction. This time, gameplay consists of action RPG combat not unlike an expanded version of what Kingdom Hearts offers. They’re different the moment you look below the surface, but at face value you have two characters that both jump around, hack and slash, and other such superficial similarities.
First of all, attacking is a little strange if you’re unused to it. Usually, you mash the attack button in these games to do damage. In FFXV, however, you hold down the attack button, and perform different moves depending on what direction you push the analog stick while attacking someone. Your moveset changes depending on which four weapons you have equipped at any given time, leading to a moment where it allows customization between tons of different weapon types. It’s up to you to find the best moveset for yourself. Personally, I really like using the basic setup. Sword, knives, polearm and greatsword.
To be honest, it reminds me a lot of Devil May Cry 2. Yes, you heard me right. However, Final Fantasy XV does what that digital tragedy was attempting to do, only much better. See, in that game, you performed moves based not on button combos, but what direction you moved the analog stick while pressing the attack button. However, it was infinitely less intuitive than what we have here, and that’s due to simplification. By holding the attack button and shifting the analog stick, it allows the game to smoothly transition between attacks, unlike the disjointed mess of essentially trying to use Super Smash Bros. combos in a 3D character action game.
However, there’s a lot more to combat. Another important aspect is the Warp Strike. Noctis has the ability to use some MP to warp into an enemy for a nasty hit. The further away he is, the more MP is used and the harder he hits the enemy. It’s a great way to initiate a fight, as well as escape danger, but you have to be aware of your MP cost. Use more MP than you have, and you go into Stasis, where you’re essentially exhausted and vulnerable to attack.
To mitigate this, you should make use of cover and warp points. Hiding behind cover lets you regain MP faster, while warp points let you launch to them and refill your MP instantly. These also make it easy to jump right back into the fight with a big warp strike! However, MP isn’t the only thing that works a little differently this time around. HP is a little bit strange at first, too.
Essentially, you have two health bars when fighting. When your HP hits 0, you enter a danger mode. Critically injured, you hobble around until either one of your partners revives you or you use an item to restore your HP. Any damage you take during Danger actually cuts off chunks of your maximum HP, so if you lose half your max HP in Danger then use a Potion to restore your health, you can only restore half as much as normal. In order to regain your max HP, you must use other items like Elixirs, which are more plentiful this time around.
It’s a really interesting mechanic, and I enjoyed that it wasn’t just an immediate game over, but that you were also punished for playing poorly. You can burn through items very quickly throughout Final Fantasy XV if you don’t pay attention, and it will cost you lots of gil to replace them.
Oh, that’s another thing. Once again, you don’t get gil from battles. Instead, you find items to sell to shops for money, and sometimes you’ll get gil as a quest reward. This encourages the player to go out and explore the wide open world of Eos, which just may be another first for the series.
Unlike other games in the series with a world map, a little exploration or sidequesting sprinkled in and that’s it, Final Fantasy XV takes the large areas of Final Fantasy XII and expands them into a full-on open-world RPG. The large areas are stuffed to the brim with content, and more often than not you’ll find yourself getting sidetracked because you find a new quest on your way to a different one. The neat thing is, you have so many methods of travel at your disposal!
You can walk on foot, ride a chocobo, drive your car, even fly an airship later on. The car is perhaps the fifth party member of Final Fantasy XV, as it’s pretty integral to traversal. You can choose to drive manually or let Ignis drive, which is what I usually do. There’s no real version of fast-travel in this game: all traversal is done in real time. This leads to a lot of calm downtime while you’re driven around to your next location.
This allows you to focus on scanning your surroundings. If you see something interesting, you can stop the car and go explore. It’s really weird at first, but I grew to quite like it! Oftentimes, the group will have some banter and character growth that happens naturally as the game progresses. It feels like a realistic portrayal of how a bunch of 20-somethings would act around each other on a large roadtrip. You have the leader, the nerd, the jock, and the clown, basically. They play off each other really well, and I liked getting to experience these moments of levity.
Those are the two major elements: the ARPG combat and the world traversal, but there are a few other minor additions as well. The Ascension system is essentially a skill tree system. You have plenty of different trees to choose from, and you can build yourself and your team as you see fit. Activating skills costs AP, which is gained in many ways throughout the game. One such way is the strategy system.
Sometimes in battle, you’ll see a strategy pop up, usually a side-objective in the battle. It’s totally optional, but doing it will grant you a chunk of bonus AP. Seeing as skills balloon in size rather quickly (you can go from costing 32AP to over a hundred or so, for example), it’s important to keep an eye on these!
Overall, there is a great gameplay system here. You go around, do sidequests, have a good combat system, and many smaller systems to enhance your game. However, there are many complaints that Final Fantasy XV’s combat never truly evolves, and I must admit, there is merit to that.
That combo system I mentioned before can only take you so far. Eventually, you will notice that all the weapon-changing in the world won’t hide the fact that you’re holding one button and swinging the analog stick around. Yes, I agree that it’s not the most intense fighting system on earth, but learning the best ways to take down enemies beyond just attacking is helpful as well. Knowing when to dodge, parry, warp strike, run, or which weapons and magic to use, it all comes together much differently than other Final Fantasy titles. It’s not bad for me, but I do agree it does get repetitive after a long time. That being said, it didn’t detract from the game as a whole for me too much. I still had so much fun playing Final Fantasy XV!
“CAW kids, it’s Kenny Crow! Come on down to the Crow’s Nest for a mouthful of happines!”
The truth is, being an open-world game, Final Fantasy XV has so much side content that it’s not even worth it to try and put everything down here. I’ll attempt to, sure, but I guarantee you that I’m going to have to leave some things out. Otherwise, this would be tens of pages’ worth of content.
Starting off, the first major sidequest we get early on is finding the Royal Arms. These are powerful weapons that only the royal family can use. Noctis can find one for each weapon type, and they must be used with caution; using them drains some HP since they’re so powerful. Finding these throughout the land can prove a little tricky, as they involve finding the caves housing them and then going through said caves, which are essentially dungeons. These dungeons can contain bulky, dangerous beasts, so be careful!
Another major thing in Final Fantasy XV are the superbosses. This time around there are five of them, and if I’m not mistaken they can all be fought over and over again in hopes of getting good gear. One of them, the Adamantoise, is almost impossibly large, leading to a sense of scale that’s hard to match. It’s like fighting a Colossus, except that Colossus has 5,000,000 HP! Now, there’s a really cheap way to beat him over and over which makes EXP grinding for the postgame much easier, buuuut I won’t reveal that. It’s silly, and hilarious, and awesome all the same.
In addition to the Royal Arms, you can also get five Legendary Weapons after you beat the game. These are by far the most powerful weapons you can find! The five weapons you can get are the Iron Duke, the Dragoon Lance, the Ziedrich, the Soul Saber and the Zwill Crossblades. Each of these weapons is the reward for a quest so even after beating the game, you’re not even close to done!
On top of that, there’s a whole host of sidequests in the game. You have fetch quests, monster hunts, dungeon exploring, picture-taking, world-building, fishing, chocobo racing and more. Like any open-world game, there is an absolute mountain of content you’ll find yourself buried under. Not all of it is worth your time, but I still felt like doing a lot of it anyway. I admit, however, that I saved a lot of it for later. I plan on getting the PC release, so I wanna keep some stuff fresh!
So, like any major game like this, it’s no surprise that Final Fantasy XV comes with a bevy on content, including a New Game Plus mode that Square Enix patched in later on. Suffice it to say, you’ll be kept busy for a very long time!
The Final Word
“Still, knowing this is it and seeing you here now, it’s… more than I can take. Well, what can I say? You guys are the best.”
I can see why Final Fantasy XV may not be the most popular game. It’s very different, and not always in a good way. The combat is fun, but can become repetitive very quickly. The story is deeply engaging, but I counted quite a few inconsistencies here and there in the plot. The world is huge and exciting, but the lack of fast travel can be awful depending on your preferences. It sounds like another balanced game, where it’s only okay.
But it isn’t. Final Fantasy XV isn’t just okay. I really liked it! The pros outweigh the cons quite heavily for me, as most of them simply don’t apply to me. Sure, I thought the gameplay was boring at first, but honestly, the simple combat is still fine with me. It’s a means to an end, and I can live with that for the beautiful world we got. The story is dramatic and at times unpredictable, the music is absolutely stellar, and the game is simply gorgeous.