In partnership with Square Enix
Final Fantasy XIV really is the gift that keeps on giving: the Stormblood expansion is coming, and it’s massive.
Arriving June 20, Stormblood is the second expansion for the online Final Fantasy adventure, and introduces new dungeons, zones, jobs, and a brand new story – basically an entire game’s worth of new content.
Before we continue, take a look at the most recent (and stunning) CG trailer for the expansion below:
Certainly, there’s no getting around the fact that Final Fantasy XIV has always been a striking game with a visual flair, from the larger than life locations, to impressive character designs, and gorgeous CG cutscenes.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 14 moments that encapsulate the beauty and wonder of FFXIV, to make the wait for Stormblood a touch more bearable.
Man, Ishgard is a cool looking place – a proper, brooding fantasy location with a real ‘lived-in’ quality that sits somewhere between Lord of the Rings and Star Wars – kind of a fitting description for Final Fantasy as a whole, really.
2 – Shiva!
Is it even a Final Fantasy game without an appearance from Shiva? The popular blue-skinned summoned monster has popped up in pretty much every game in the series, and her introduction in XIV is a truly memorable one.
3 – Crystal Tower
Anything that references Final Fantasy III is A-okay in my book, and the Crystal Tower is a direct reference to the same area from the NES classic.
Obviously it’s been re-worked for the MMO, offering adventure and exploration for high-level players, but the towering crystal spires and dangers within look better than ever.
4 – Here Be Dragons
In a lot of games, the best stuff is usually saved for CG trailer, but my lord look at that Dragon – that is such a nice looking dragon, it’d almost be a shame to kill it. Almost.
5 – Take Flight
If you haven’t flown through the clouds towards a mysterious island on the back of a majestic winged beast, have you even really lived?
6 – The Golden Saucer
One of my all time favourite moments in Final Fantasy VII was visiting the Golden Saucer amusement park. FFXIV not only brought it back, but made it look better than ever. Top marks.
7 – Costa Del Sol
Yet another throwback to Final Fantasy VII (not that I’m complaining, mind). The white sands, clear waters, and sunny blue skies make Costa Del Sol the perfect place to unwind after a hard day’s questing.
8 – All Clouds, No Strife
Okay, the floating islands and steampunk style ships are very, very cool, but the nerd in me is far more impressed by the way those clouds look – seriously, they look amazing.
9 – Chocobo
Sorry, but if you don’t have time for Chocobo, I don’t have time for you. The bird-brained steeds of the Final Fantasy universe have rarely looked cooler than they do here.
10 – The End Of Eorzea
The original Final Fantasy XIV was actually pulled offline for a while, but holy mother of God did Square Enix pull this off with style.
Where other companies might have simply sent a mass email notifying gamers of the termination, Square added a final, apocalyptic quest line that involved one of the moons crashing down to the world, with no way of stopping it.
11 – Spin Attack, Fool
The very end was marked with one of the slickest cutscenes I have ever seen in my life, case in point this sexy ass spin attack in the middle of a fierce battle.
12 – Oh, Crap
I don’t know much about fighting in epic fantasy battles, but I know when something like this happens, it’s definitely not good.
13 – One Of The Greatest Cutscenes Of All Time
I swear, if you’ve never watched the final minutes of Final Fantasy XIV before, you need to do it now. GIF’s don’t do justice to one of the most beautifully animated and intense scenes in video games – and the music is f*cking incredible.
The game came back later and better than ever under the Realm Reborn banner, good news for all of us I think.
14- Stormblood Is Coming
And so we come full circle (as far as this article is concerned at least) to the stunning trailer for Stormblood. There’s so much to love in the new footage, but the GIF above is a personal highlight.
Just look at the way the wind gently blows her hair, and the way her clothes flow and ripple as she moves. The attention to detail is absolutely phenomenal, and I can’t wait to see and learn more when the expansion launches on June 20.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.