FFXV DLC; Episode Gladiolus: Not Adding Much

I’m finding it difficult to be positive about much relating to XV. While the game was fun to play, as I pointed out in my review of the full game, most of the story felt weak, half-assed and broken. Episode Gladiolus was the first in a series of DLC (the second if you count the Choco-Mog Festival) that fill in the gaps in the main story with regards to Noctus’ companions.

In case if wasn’t blatantly obvious from the title, this one follows Gladio during the time he randomly decided to disappear from the party for reasons unknown. Things weren’t exactly chill at the time he decided to leave either, but for the King’s Shield to just decide to up and leave, you figure it’s probably pretty important.

Wrong. After getting beat down by Ravus, Gladio decided he wasn’t strong enough and decided to go take on a previously unbeaten challenge for bodyguards of the King, the Trial of Gilgamesh. So he meets up with Cor, heads over to the challenge and fights things. End of summary.

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Yea, it really is that bland. This DLC added virtually nothing to the character or the story, beyond providing an explanation for why Gladio bailed on you in the first place. Which is insane. Think about it, you’re the bodyguard for the heir to the throne of your conquered homeland. He’s busy with some fairly dangerous shit. And Gladio decides to not only leave his charge alone with really only Ignus for protection (if you’ve ever watched Prompto jumping and diving across the battlefield trying to take FUCKING PICTURES INSTEAD OF SHOOTING THE ENEMIES you’ll know why I place no actual faith in him), but to go and undertake a more than likely fatal trial. Great work ethic there buddy.

Points of logic aside the game offers very little. It’s basically nothing but combat, and boring combat at that. Gladio offers little in the way of interesting mechanics compared to Noctus. His moves consist of: dodge, block, counter, swing big sword. With a few ‘special’ attacks thrown in when he builds up enough valor. Dialogue between him and Cor offers minimal insights into either of them and feels disjointed and uneven. Kind of like different people wrote each of their dialogue with an idea of the conversation they were supposed to be having, but then didn’t bother smoothing out the two halves afterward.

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This is literally every rest stop…they just…sit there…staring at the ramen…

I’ve seen a few people say the fight with Gilgamesh was challenging at least, but I can’t even give the DLC that as a success point. The fight was both boring and uncomplicated, consisting of nothing but dodging his attacks, poke him a few times, dodge, maybe use a special, rinse and repeat.

Honestly I’ve got nothing to recommend this for. Episode Gladiolus did nothing to reduce the mountain of disappointment I feel surrounding this title.

What do you all think, am I being uncharitable, or judging them to harshly? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, happy gaming!

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