A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is the second downloadable expansion in the Final Fantasy XIV saga. Like previous installments in the franchise, this expansion of the online-only massively multiplayer role-playing game lets you create a character; venture into a massive fantasy world; interact and team up with other human players, accepting missions; and engage in combat. There's violence, as players use melee and ranged weapons, along with magic, to defeat enemies, and while there's some blood, it's mostly in cut-scenes. The game has some suggestive imagery and dialogue, as well as mild profanity during in-game dialogue. Parents need to be aware that the multiplayer experience is unmoderated chat, potentially exposing kids to inappropriate conversations. There are alcohol references, and characters may slur their speech after consuming lots of alcohol. The game also requires a monthly fee to play.
What's it about?
FINAL FANTASY XIV: STORMBLOOD follows the Warrior of Light to the Far East, where new dangers await in Gyr Abania and Othard. The thousand-year war against dragons in the north has ended. Now, it's time for adventurers to assist in liberating Ala Mhigo from the Garlean Empire, which conquered them 20 years earlier. The Far East opens up the ability to learn two new jobs -- the Red Mage and the Samurai -- and to explore never before seen water areas with swimming and diving skills. The expansion also brings with it new dungeons, raids, gear, and crafting recipes as well as a level cap increase from 60 to 70.
Is it any good?
This massive expansion packs in a ton of content -- from job classes to combat, story to exploration, there's lots to love here. Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood continues the great franchise storytelling tradition to epic proportions, giving new and unique adventures to embark on in the sweeping main story and numerous well-written side quests. Being able to learn more about the episodic characters and where they came from makes you feel like you're reading a book instead of playing a game. That being said, it isn't without storytelling issues, such as when someone that has left the story you're playing suddenly returns from the dead and is present in another storyline.
There are so many great improvements in this expansion that it's hard to list them all. The addition of swimming and exploring the depths of the oceans gives you the opportunity to see some truly breathtaking areas. The look and feel of the Far East is enhanced even further with your ability to pick up the Samurai and Red Mage jobs that are unique to these areas. Stormblood clearly paid a lot of attention to making the battle system run smoother, greatly increasing the quality of gameplay. For those PvP (player vs. player) fans out there, the changes make it a lot easier for you to jump right into a challenge. If you are obsessed with player housing, the furnishing limit increase and the spectacular new residential areas will keep you busy for hours. Dungeon runners and raiders, prepare to be amazed at what's in store for you: The underwater areas will have you in awe. Simply put, this is the best expansion for FFXIV thus far. There's something for new and old players alike to keep them adventuring for a very long time.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in online MMORPGs. Since the focus of violence is constant in these fantasy worlds, do you feel like there's a distinctive break between the game world and the real world in how violence is handled?
Talk about privacy issues when gaming online and how to stay safe when playing online. What information should you not share?
Discuss setting time limits when playing on the internet. Why is it healthy to have a good online and offline balance?
- Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows
- Price: $19.99 - $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid (Game will cost $59.99 if you own none of the previous expansions, if you do own the base Game "A Realm Reborn" you can get this expansion for $19.99 - $39.99. The game requires a subscription to play that's not included with the expansion purchase.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Square Enix
- Release date: June 20, 2017
- Genre: Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses and Fairies, Adventures, Fairy Tales, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence
Themes & Topics
For kids who love role-playing games
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.