Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus Review (PS4)

Final Fantasy XV was finally released at the end of last year after a long wait and now the first story DLC featuring the muscular ‘Shield of the King’ Gladiolus as a playable character has also been released. Surprisingly, this DLC also carries a rather cheap price tag leading to the question, is it worth the investment?

Now that Final Fantasy XV has been out for a while and it is a critical and commercial success for Square Enix, the developers have released their first episodic DLC for the game. This DLC is focused on one of the three party member, Gladiolus, and it further explains the backstory of some of the key characters in Final Fantasy XV.

Episode Gladiolus features a new playable character, multiple new boss fights and a whole new set of enemies to kill, in addition to exploring a brand new dungeon. However the DLC is rather short in length and mostly set in a linear location that makes it feel a bit cramped compared to the rest of the game. On the other hand, the visuals and art style are top notch and make the exploration in these linear segments enjoyable overall.

Even though the main game featured just a single playable character, which was Noctis, this story DLC has finally made Gladiolus playable and he seems to pack quite a punch. Not only Galdiolus is able to use his great sword to annihilate and obliterate the enemies, he can also throw them with his strength as well as pick columns to smash them. This adds a fun dynamic combat system that might lack the warp strikes of Noctis, but more than makes up for it with the addition of the block, parry and hard hitting attacks of Gladiolus.

Unfortunately while the gameplay is fun, the length of the DLC is rather short and it is quite possible to finish it within 2 hours – infact it can actually take you less. However this DLC also includes two different modes that are unlocked once the story is completed. One is the ‘Score Attack’ mode that is essentially a time trial that tests the combat capability of the players. It offers rewards for attaining a set amount of points which are counted by the amount of combos chained and enemies killed. The other mode is labeled ‘Final Trial’ and it is an extremely tough boss fight against Cor. If you are interested in challenging him out, you can try your luck and skills in this mode.

Some of the rewards for completing this DLC include new weapon for Gladiolus, new type of special moves as well as a completely new costume that can be used in the main game. So in addition to digging further into the backstory of Gladiolus and Cor, the DLC also adds these neat extras to the main game. The replay value depends on how far you can go to tackle some of the challenging trophies including defeating Cor and attaining 1 million points in Score Mode.

Episode Gladiolus is a fun experience and a nice distraction from the main game, however if Square Enix needs the fans to take these story DLCs seriously, they need to put in more work and make sure the length is reasonable for the upcoming content.

Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus Review (PS4)

Game Reviewed on: PS4

Game description: Episode Gladiolus is the first story DLC featuring one the main party member in Final Fantasy XV. It is a part of the Season Pass for the game or available separately on the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live for $4.99.


Episode Gladiolus might be short in length but it incorporates some nice gameplay mechanics and since the price isn't overly expensive, if you are starving for more Final Fantasy XV, you can enjoy your time with this DLC while also unlocking new costume and weapon for Gladiolus in the main game.


Muhammad Ali Bari

Reviews Editor at GearNuke

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