Final Fantasy XI - PC - Preview
E3 2003 - Hands On
The Final Fantasy series comes online with Final Fantasy XI, the first massively multiplayer online-RPG for both Final Fantasy and for Square-Enix. You create a customized character from one of five different races, select a job class, and then make your way through the enormous world of Vana’diel. Being a massively multiplayer online game, Final Fantasy XI makes interaction between you and other players in the universe integral to the game, so you’ll need to form friendships in order to get a full party.
Taking a franchise like Final Fantasy into an MMORPG universe is quite a bold move, and many may already be turned off to the idea. However, Final Fantasy XI stays extremely faithful to the well-established Final Fantasy universe. Many little nuances present in nearly every Final Fantasy game make a showing in this title, like chocobos, mages, certain enemies etc. The game makes great use of the job system, making it so you can customize your character and change his or her selected profession on the fly. The music and artwork are on par with the series and, although the game has been out in Japan for a year, the graphics look fantastic. The lighting effects look excellent and little details like your character’s tail (should he have one) wagging as you stand there look great. As an added bonus, all forms of Final Fantasy XI are connected online, meaning PC gamers will be able to play with PS2 gamers and Japanese gamers will be able to play with American gamers.
Final Fantasy XI hits on the PC this winter and the PS2 launched date has yet to be determined.