During PAX East we got a chance to play the first part of the upcoming Gladiolus chapter DLC for Final Fantasy XV.
The first of four expansions follows Gladiolus in a side story that happens in parallel with the core game. The chapter starts with Gladio describing where he went during the story, opening in a diner with Gladio seeking insight from Cor, the previous king’s guard before him. Following this the chapter places the player straight into a combat tutorial to get acclimated with the differences in the combat style.
Although the combat is very similar, there are a few core differences that are highlighted through the first few moments of combat. Gladio is a heavy hitter, with a slower movement speed and more drawn out attacks. This speed difference is also very noticeable from the main Noctis gameplay since there is also no phasing style movement.
The first 30 minutes of gameplay saw us though a bit of cave exploration and two mini-boss battles. The exploration feels much the same to the base game with some slight differences in using debris around the levels as weapons against larger monsters.
In terms of the story presented in this first 30 minutes, Gladio is seeking power to become a better king’s guard. Although only a short while in, it does little to inspire interest in where the road leads. Fans of previous games can look forward to Gilgamesh entering the story via this chapter.
The Gladio expansion looks to offer more story to the overall lore of Final Fantasy XV and fans of the core game will have more to digest here, but don’t expect the formula to be too different, at least not for this first expansion.