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Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus Hands-on Preview

by Kyle Hanson


At last weekend’s PAX East 2017 I got the chance to sit down and play a good portion of the upcoming DLC, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus. Putting players in direct control of Gladiolus while also separating him from the rest of the group seems risky, but from what I’ve seen of the DLC so far it works rather well.

The story of FFXV: Episode Gladiolus takes place within the larger plot of the main game. As told via flashback, Gladiolus sets off on a bit of a personal mission, taking on the “Blademaster”. When he returns to his friends he has a new and fairly large scar, which you’ll see the creation of within this DLC.

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus offered its biggest surprises and changes in the realm of combat. Taking control of Gladiolus, players will have to change the entire way they look at combat. The best way I could describe it is to say it feels more like a brawler, with Gladiolus having several melee attacks that deal tons of damage. It’s not a button masher though, with blocks being just as important thanks to their ability to charge up a Rage meter that allows for even more powerful attacks.

Combat took a bit to get used to, but once you get the timing down it works rather well. I can easily see some players preferring this style over that featured in FFXV with Noctis. You’ll get plenty of time to play with it though, with the Episode Gladiolus DLC set to take about 1.5-3 hours, depending on how much you mess around and explore the environment.

I put about 30 minutes into it and felt like I’d made significant progress, though there was still a lot of road ahead of me. The enemies that I encountered were quite varied, though they settled into a pattern further into the adventure. Learning their strategies was important, and I was already formulating specific tactics, depending on the makeup of the group I was fighting.

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus is set to arrive on PS4 and Xbox One on March 28th, so you don’t have much longer to wait. More DLC is planned for later, with Episode Prompto currently planned for June. Each will allow players to control a separate member of the group. Breaking them up is a big risk, but this DLC should calm some players’ nerves.

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus PAX Trailer

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