*slight spoilers for Final Fantasy XV*
In the third episodic character DLC for Final Fantasy XV, Episode Ignis centers around Noctis’s longtime friend/right-hand-man/personal chef Ignis and his point of view during the catastrophic events in Altissia in the main game. As many players who have finished FFXV remember, during the trials in Altissia, buildings were torn to pieces, a deep and wide chasm of water surrounded the city, the Empire’s fleet was closing in for the attack, and the future king Noctis was left unconscious on an altar in the middle of it all. When Ignis gets separated from Gladiolus and Prompto, it’s up to him to make it to the altar to save Noctis and fulfill his duty as the king’s right-hand-man, and most importantly, his best friend.
All in all, Episode Ignis offers the best story in the trio of DLC. Ignis was always a laid back, “I’ve come up with a new recipehhh!”-centric kind of guy who was always loyal to Noctis. We sensed and felt that loyalty in Final Fantasy XV and get more of it in this DLC. There are some worthwhile moments to be seen, especially for those that love following these characters.
The main story will take you around an hour and a half to two hours to complete. While we know the outcome for Ignis, I loved seeing how it played out. To boot, the DLC even includes a second, non-canonical ending that is so bittersweet given what actually happens in the main game. It felt like it was a way for the developers to say, “This is what could have happened if Ignis did THIS instead of THAT”, and I liked it. Plus, replay value.
With Altissia in rubbles, I expected pathways to the next fight sequence or cutscene to be linear, but I couldn’t be anymore wrong. The team played around a lot with verticality, which was a nice change from the prior episodic DLCs. As Ignis would zip line and jump from roof top to roof top, he would have the opportunity to recover Empire-occupied sections of the city, allowing the player some practice with the combat.
Speaking of which, the gameplay in Episode Ignis is the funnest I’ve had in all of FFXV‘s DLCs, and the most similar to Noctis. While Noctis was able to switch between weapons of any kind, Ignis can switch between magic with his daggers. Fire attacks were great for close range hits on single enemies, blizzard attacks were more for AOE, while thunder made Ignis’s attacks slice through enemies. Landing attacks built up a meter bar you could use to unleash a devastating move based on your element. At the same time, you do have access to some of Ignis’s personal moves such as High Jump and there’s even a counter attack mechanic thrown in there. All of it together made combat the same way I felt about FFXV‘s combat system: engaging, exciting, and flashy.
My one gripe however, is the extra friendly match with Noctis unlocked after completing Episode Ignis. Sadly, Ignis’s friendly match with Noctis is the same as Prompto’s friendly match with Aranea in Episode Prompto: drawn out, cheap, and quite boring. I understand it’s meant to be a challenge for players, but it just got annoying replaying the fight two or three times and spending 15 – 20 minutes every time getting Noctis down to slivers of health to have 1 hit KOs bring you down. The development team should probably take notes from NieR Automata on how to make challenging fights fun and epic.
Lastly, the music in Episode Ignis is absolutely fantastic. Yasunori Matsuda hits home with this one and it shines bright as you play. When music automatically makes you feel an emotion or brings you back to a certain scene in which it played, then you know it’s something truly special. Be sure to check it out after reading this review.
Episode Ignis is the best episodic DLC that Final Fantasy XV has to offer. The music, story and gameplay hit all of the right beats when they need to and don't over extend. You'll definitely enjoy your time more with this one than Episode Gladiolus and Episode Prompto.