I’ve always seen Final Fantasy XII as a game that tries to juggle two incompatible design choices. On one hand, it tells a really complex story of political upheaval and Star Wars nods, and on the other, it provides a brilliant open world to explore with sub-quests that feel just as important as the main quest.
When you jam these two elements together, you get a competition between wanting to get back to the plot and wanting to get out to see all that the world has to offer. Final Fantasy XII is a game that is so good at what it does that it rips you right in half over how to proceed next.
I suppose a third compatible branch is getting players to accept Vaan’s totally chiseled abs. Make fun of Vaan to his face, I dare you!
Just a reminder of the plot, at least
Trailers don’t really do Final Fantasy XII’s open world a whole lot of justice. It’s not as straight-forward as Skyrim or The Witcher 3, and there are complexities to the treasure layout, enemy placement and stats, and randomization of it all, courtesy of SaGa creator Akitoshi Kawazu. That guy is nothing but systems on top of systems. The story, though, is ripe for trailers as you can perfectly see in the “2017 Spring” trailer above.
Just remember that for each dramatic beat you hit in the game, you’ll have a monster to track down or a new area to explore, and it’s going to be a while before you get to the next plot beat. Enjoy it while it lasts.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age launches for the PlayStation 4 on July 11.