We're just two weeks from the PC release of Final Fantasy XV. Despite a wobbly start on consoles, Square have poured a shocking amount of support into the game, and I admit no small amount of excitement for the re-launch, especially after the benchmark confirmed that my new laptop can more than handle the game on its highest graphics settings at framerates my ageing PS4 can only dream of.
One aspect of it that hasn't really been talked about much is Comrades, a surprisingly beefy online multiplayer expansion which came late to the console version, but will be included as standard with the PC release along with the three character side-story DLC chapters. As part of Square's long-term plans for the game, Comrades is set to receive another chunk of content on the PC version's launch day, March 6th.
New players might want to hold off on launching straight into Comrades. It's set alongside Chapter 13 of the main story, quite near to the end of the primary quest arc. Each player steps in the shoes of a hand-made avatar and, starting at level 1, receive missions from some of the more regular NPCs, sending you and a party of up to three friends out into the world to do all the stuff that the boy-band protagonists are too busy for.
It seems that your professional side-questing force get a few more missions to undertake in this new version, up to and including what looks like the single most unfair encounter in the game: Four Chocobos vs a sodding great dragon. Whether this is betting on the last bird standing, or directly controlling them in the hope that you somehow beat down the enormous fire-breathing lizard is still unclear, but either way, I think it's safe to say that jumbo fried chicken is on the menu.
It also seems that a few big endgame-type bosses from the main story are going to become available for co-op play, and I spot a good range of new costumes based on major story characters, if you want to play as the world's deadliest cosplayer.
Square have stated plans to support Final Fantasy XV well into 2018, thanks to the launch of this new edition. While it seems safe to assume that Comrades, with its open-ended nature, will see the majority of the new content, there's still the possibility of them continuing to tweak and alter the main story arc, as they have done in the past. Alternatively, there's a chance they'll introduce entirely new gameplay mechanics, as they did with party-member switching in the most recent console update.
Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition is out on March 6th, alongside the Comrades update, with an RRP of £35/$50. No plans have been announced yet for further paid DLC or a second season pass, so it may well all be free updates from here on in.