If I haven’t made myself clear enough, I was no fan of Sony’s disappointing E3 2017 press conference. We saw a lot of games that play exactly the same way as last year’s lineup, unfold over very similar open worlds, tell similar stories, and employ familiar tactics for manipulating the undead and other familiar enemies. God of War abandoned its Devil May Cry roots to snuggle up with the more en vogue Dark Souls style of action, and Spider-Man, while exciting, looks very scripted and swings too close to many of Batman Arkham’s tunes.
Wasn’t there something in that press conference that dared dance to its own beat? Destiny 2? Sort of true, but that’s a monster of a game that comes loaded with the baggage of being a sophomore sequel. I mean something that is daring, something that is dashing, something that does something nobody else in their right minds would dare to try… oh… Square Enix! My savior!
And thus grace has brought unto me the one game that does not give a flying crap about what you think of it. The one open world game made famous because of how many wacky things it does wrong rather than how it adheres to the standards around it. The open world game with enough heart to fill in the empty husks that make up the other 99 percent of the genre.
Final Fantasy XV, my love! What would you have me do? Go fishing with you in Virtual Reality? Yes, please! Anything to get me away from waypoints and quick time events for five minutes. We’ll party like it’s the Dreamcast-era all over again, reeling away at those large mouth bass, hanging out with Pompto, Gladio, and Ignis, eating a carton of Cup Noodle, not doing anything but wasting the day away and catching whoppers.
Square Enix! Construct me a DualShock 4 fishing pole, and I’ll happily take you up on your offer.
I’m not entirely making this up. “Monster of the Deep” was dumbest, most out of place reveal at Sony’s press conference, but then again, it’s part of the dumbest, most out of place blockbuster hit of the last five years, a game I happen to love. Of course, it makes sense that this goofy VR expansion brought a smile to my face!
We laughed about how silly the concept itself was, and we laughed about how Square Enix seemingly did away with ill-advised Virtual Reality Prompto shooting. We laughed at the ugly fish designs… but at least… we laughed.
No, it was no Spider-Man or Shadow of the Colossus, but it was the one other moment in that hour-long presentation in which I managed to crack a genuine smile. I’ll probably never buy it, I’ll mostly likely try it once if I do, but Final Fantasy XV, again, came to me in my moment of desperation and saved me in the most unlikely of ways.
This game, it’s too much. I’m speechless with how stunning it is at making an impression, and for all the most awkward reasons.