Poor old Iggy was starting to feel a bit left out; the rest of the ‘Chocobro’s’ had all had their story DLC released and even the Multiplayer addition was out before it was his time in the spotlight. Thankfully he only needed to wait a few more weeks, and so did we, for the best piece of DLC for Final Fantasy XV to date.
Where Episode Gladiolus was just an additional dungeon to explore, and Episode Prompto tried to explain a completely unnecessary plot point from the main game, Episode Ignis feels – for better or for worse – that it was lifted straight out of the main story. Or at least, the standard ending does. There is an additional ending you can unlock after playing the last chapter a second time, but I am not sure what exactly that offers, other than a hugely non-canonical ending that attempts to offer something happier than the main game’s melancholic finale.
Episode Ignis begins right after Noctis has completed The Trial of Leviathan from the main game, as Ignis attempts to traverse Altissia in order to see if his mate is ok. The city of Altissia was underused in the main game so to return to it now is a welcome inclusion to the DLC. Even if the city has been totally battered by the battle happening all around it.
Ignis must battle through the city by using daggers imbued with either ice, fire or lightning. Each of the different magics gives a different type of attack – ice for area of effect attacks, fire for single enemies and lightning for long-range enemies – but most of the time I defaulted to ice and had much the same affect, except for the bosses when I changed to fire.
The DLC is split into three chapters, and as mentioned previously the third chapter can be replayed for an alternate ending. The first is also designed for replayability as it introduces new elements that are not featured in the main game.
Altissia, as it stands, is vastly overrun by Imperial forces, and is split into different sections on the world map. As Ignis, you can either rush through to where you need to go by following the objective marker, or you can take your time and re-take all the sections where the Imperial forces still control. Your reward for doing so is a slightly longer piece of DLC, but as Ignis’s fighting mechanics are the best out of all of the add-ons, I appreciated the chance to use the mechanics longer than simply following the plot allows.
That’s because this new piece of content is, again, another very short one. It took me less than 90 minutes from start to finish to take in its entirety, and this is with a few lengthy cutscenes as you get closer to rescuing Noctis.
During these cutscenes, returning characters are brought back and you feel that Episode Ignis is the most connected to the main story. Noctis is lying alongside Lunafreya after their battle with Leviathan, so Ravus offers his assistance to come to their aid quicker, uniting frenemies together for a common goal. As with what happens at the end of chapter 9 in the main game, Ardyn is also not far behind and makes an appearance in the DLC.
Once the DLC is complete it offers up another 1v1 duel against a character featured in the new content. Gladiolus had Cor, Prompto had Arenea and once again Ignis has the best duel out of the three.
With this final piece of 2017 DLC for Final Fantasy XV, the Season Pass is complete. Looking back at the Pass as a whole I wouldn’t recommend you go out and pick it up at the same time you buy the full game if you haven’t already, but I would absolutely recommend you pick up Episode Ignis. Its connection with the main story makes it the best piece of DLC for the game by far, and the spelldaggers that Ignis wields may well be my favourite battle mechanics of the entire game. Thankfully these are now transferred into the main game, as I would happily use these over controlling Noctis.
I say 2017’s DLC is complete, as, even with nothing else coming from the Season Pass, Hajime Tabata and the rest of the development team have confirmed additional episodes for 2018, with Episode Ardyn one that’s confirmed. Anything else though will have a tough job besting this episode.