One of the most controversial aspects of Final Fantasy XV was surprisingly the story line. The series, famous for such grand stories, was a bit thin. Important moments were told to you, briefly, rather than being shown and explained. Square Enix heard fan’s criticism and have gone back, adding content here and there, to help flesh out chunks of the story that were missing in the initial release (hello, Ravus’s death). The story line DLC also promised to give us answers, for a price. Three new episodes. Gladio is first up to bat. For $4.99, you get to discover why Gladio left the party in Chapter 7. Is it worth you time? The answer lies somewhere in the middle. Read my review and see what The Brah thinks.
Poor Gladio. In a recent poll in Japan, results showed that the beefcake that is Gladiolus happened to be the least popular of the FantaBros. So naturally this means his DLC is first! If you remember in Chapter 7, Ravus tosses Gladio around like a rag doll, making our favorite muscle-bound bro feel his weakest at the moment his King needed him most. Disappointed in himself, he went on a journey. A journey to gain more POWAH.
The problem with this journey? It’s super straight-forward. You start at the top of dungeon, working your way down to the bottom, slaughtering the undead, completing trials to show Gilgamesh, the Blade Master, that you’re worthy of being the King’s Shield. I mean, who knew it would be this linear? It took me an hour and eight minutes to finish the core story. I did not expect it to be that short. There’s also a score attack mode, which has you kicking ass and taking names as fast as you can through the dungeon. Oh! Don’t forget about a battle with Cor. Yes. Cor the Immortal. Good luck, Brah.
Seeing as how the game has you running around as Gladio, combat is more about hacking and slashing this time around, which makes sense, seeing as how Gladio is the muscle of the group. Every time you successfully defend, Gladio’s rage meter builds, as he gains the power to unleash his own uber-powerful moves. Hell, you’re even able to grab columns around the dungeon, to smash across the face of enemies. Nice change up, plus it fits with Gladio’s character. Combat is still fun as always, even if learning the timing of blocking with Gladio is a bit tricky. He’s so slow when fighting that it took me a few minutes to get use to it, after using the nimble King for 60+ hours in FFXV.
Combat does receive a bonus from Cor the Immortal, as he assistants you, battlin’ baddies and telling you of his own journey to prove his worth for his King. Slowly, you get to know more about some of his backstory, which is pretty cool, well, as long as you don’t mind him answering one question at a time until the next save point. If you remember at the early stages, Cor was to be a part of the crew until Square Enix decided to focus on the FantaBros, so he is certainly welcomed and helps make the dungeon a bit more interesting. He doesn’t save it from being so linear, but helps make the combat more enjoyable.
Should you spend the time and money on Episode Gladiolus? I’ll put it this way. If you LOVED Final Fantasy XV, you’ve already bought the DLC, beat it, and running around with shirtless Gladio.
If you enjoyed Final Fantasy XV and you absolutely have to know what Gladio did for the brief time he was gone, you could wait. Yes, it’s only $4.99. But it’s not as if you’re missing anything super amazing. The fight with Gilgamesh is pretty sweet, but the rest of the mission is kinda meh. It’s literally get from the top of the dungeon. Kill demons. Get to the bottom. Boss battle with Gilgamesh. The end. Sure, you can get some easy trophies, but if you have other games to play, you can wait until all the other chapters arrive or goes on sale.
If you’re still pissed that Luna replaced Stella, you definitely won’t be buying this one anytime soon.
While FFXV’s first story DLC doesn’t hit it out of the park at the start, I’m still looking forward to Prompto’s episode in June.
6.5 out of 10.