Other than a cheeky MMO here or a fighting spinoff there, Final Fantasy has always been a series focused on delivering a massive, single-player RPG. Final Fantasy 15 is no different, but Square Enix recently decided to add an all-new co-op mode to the already sprawling game. Final Fantasy 15: Comrades allows players to team up and enjoy the game’s real-time battle system with friends.
In Comrades, which comes included for free in the PC version of Final Fantasy 15, you create your very own Final Fantasy character and take on the role of a member of the Kingsglaive, an elite fighting unit. Towards the end of the main game’s story (massive spoiler alert), time skips forward ten years. This expansion fills in that gap in time, where monsters are attempting to overrun Eos. Can you and your friends hold them back?
If you love creating your own characters in games, expect to get lost in this for a long time. The character customisation is in-depth. You can tweak your character’s hair, race, gender, body type, and facial features. You can make a character in your own image, or create an outlandish anime avatar - the choice is yours. You can even choose their personal background and create your very own headcanon for their story.
Comrades’ main loop sees you fighting monsters and collecting resources, from money to materials, and all of it feeds into a base building system that lets you build Eos back up again. You can also buy better weapons or new tattoos for your character, the former allowing you to take on bigger foes and earn better rewards, the latter making you look cooler than your pals. Meteorshards collected on missions are what let you bring power back to the world and unlock new regions, so your actions have a visible impact on the world around you. This creates a gameplay loop you will find it difficult to escape from.
You can play through all of this with up to three friends, or even with AI partners if you prefer to play alone, tackling escort, hunt, defense missions, and more. In one mission you might be fighting a giant boss, and in another you could be keeping a convoy safe from a massive swarm of enemies.
As well as being free to make your character look how you want them to, you will also have a lot of options for how they play. Do you want to be a nippy, dagger-wielding assassin, or do you want to swing a mace at your enemies and rely on raw power? Each weapon has a level cap, and there’s a layer of strategy in imbuing the right amount of materials into the one you are using before moving on to bigger and better things.
Comrades is the perfect excuse to revisit the world of Final Fantasy 15. It is a game for people who love the combat of the main game, but it also provides something for those who love the story, filling in that aforementioned missing gap in the timeline. If you do care about the story, however, we would suggest you play through the single-player first. So grab some friends, get your best anime haircut, pick up your favourite weapon, and head into combat in Comrades now.