Final Fantasy XV Royal Pack is a DLC expansion for the main game. It completely overwrites the end game section to add a new dungeon set in the ruins of Insomnia. There are other new additions to the game as well including a Royal Yacht that you can take out to Sea. It can be accessed when traveling from Cape Caem to Altissia. It allows you to travel the open sea section between Altissia and Cape Caem while manually controlling the boat. You can also do fishing in the boat by locating the fishing spots for them. Plenty of new gear can also be found now that makes the game a little easier. Overall, there is a good chunk of content for an expansion but my main issue is with the price, and how this content completely undermines the base game owners.
Insomnia City Ruins is a huge dungeon that was added with this expansion and it has now completely changed how end of the story plays out in the game. One major section of the story was also essentially retconned now with this expansion so looking back, it feels a little disingenuous to the base game owners that they have to pay money in order to get the improved end game content. The price of the expansion is also something that feels a bit steep next to the Episodic DLC chapters that were released as part of the Season Pass, each of which cost $4.99 compared to the price of $14.99 for the Royal Pack. They also added almost similar amount of content with 2 to 3 hours of gameplay focusing on events surrounding Ignis, Gladious and Prompto during the main game.
Getting this out of the way, what about the new additions with Royal Pack. If you can pay the price to get Royal Pack, there is plenty of new content to be had here. The Insomnia Ruins are fun to explore and are full of powerful enemies and exciting boss fights. The lead up to the end-game has now several new boss fights including a complete surprise that has a big relation to the main villain. New cut scenes help explain what happens to some of the key characters so if you were wondering about their fate, this should help clear out their story. Despite that, there are a lot of characters that were still missing near the end game so this doesn’t completely explain their absence, but I had no issues with the original end game and enjoyed it thoroughly, so this feels like a neat expansion of the same content which I already loved at launch. If you fancy driving Regalia in Insomnia, there is a side quest that can be triggered to get it as well. It feels a little weird but considering the size of Insomnia City Ruins, it helps in getting from one point to the next easily.
One problem with the new content is that while it is possible to play through it by utilizing the chapter select mode, it overwrites the data for side quests and world map so if you do this and then complete the game again, you will basically lose majority of your important progress. If you just load your data that you had when you finished the game, then you won’t be able to enjoy all of the content. This is a terrible design choice which needs to be fixed in a future update, but as it stands, the best way to experience the Royal Pack is to either start a new game or use the new game plus mode. In fact the ideal way to experience the Royal Pack is through the new game plus mode since it keeps all of the essentials aside from the side quests, but you will be able to experience the game as intended by the developers. I can’t help shake the feeling that this content was meant to be for the Royal Edition owners, or basically those who are playing the game for the first time. It is a bit sloppy to enjoy in a normal way if you have already finished the base game.
The highlight of the Royal Pack are the new cut scenes, boss fights and final dungeon. Insomnia City Ruins now has a hub where you can undertake a couple of quests from the surviving glaives. Completing all of them will get you some nice gear for your party members and this can take between 2 to 3 hours if you have a decent level. There is an optional boss fight with the Omega Weapon that is extremely challenging, although it is more of a frustrating challenge than something that tests your skills. In order to beat him easily, you will need to find the newly added Armiger Unleashed ability for Noctis which is only possible if you play through the new game plus mode.
I will conclude this review by talking about the first person mode. It feels like such a weird addition to me, at least on consoles. The combat is a mess when you use this mode and it is mostly great for exploration, no doubt. I was surprised to see that how closely it keeps the warping mechanics intact but I had hoped for a better combat experience, which this doesn’t really offer. It is a more of a novelty factor than a good addition to the game and will come handy when taking screenshots after all the open world of Final Fantasy XV is gorgeous and ripe for plenty of good screenshots.
Final Fantasy XV Royal Pack Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: FINAL FANTASY XV ROYAL EDITION brings the acclaimed epic to new heights, packed with add-on content and new features. Join Prince Noctis and his closest friends as they fight against the empire in an effort to take back their fallen kingdom.
Final Fantasy XV Royal Pack expansion feels like a significant addition to the main game by improving its end game content, but it comes at the expense of alienating a major portion of its audience who now have to pay for it in order to get the same experience as the newcomers with Royal Edition.