Final Fantasy XV’s lesser-known sequel appears to finally have a shadow-dropped worldwide release
Did you know that Final Fantasy XV has a spin-off game that barely anybody has heard of? No, I’m not talking about Justice Monsters Five, the ill-fated in-universe game that was released and shut down in record time. Nor am I needling at Pocket Edition or Comrades.
I’m not even referencing A New Empire, the truly awful mobile game that we played so you didn’t have to. Although, this new game does have a mild connection to that title - it’s technically a sequel, coming from the same mobile gaming company as that notorious stinker.
Enter Final Fantasy XV: War for Eos, evocatively described as “a strategy game that will take you on a long adventure”. This actually shadow-dropped into limited territories like the Philippines and Indonesia back in March of this year as a sort of early-access, testing and tweaking deal - but over the last month or so it appears to have quietly been pushed out onto all app stores and territories - and we’ve even begun to see ads for the game popping up fairly aggressively on Instagram and YouTube.
So what is it? Well, here’s the official description of the game:
Final Fantasy XV: War for Eos is a strategy game that will take you on a long adventure. You will have a chance to build your dream kingdom, collect magical resources by traveling to other realms and reign your strong empire together with your friends. You will fight in a war with other cartels to defend your kingdom and your friends. But first, you should choose the right strategy to win the war, protect the Crystal and reign the Realm.
With FFXV: War for Eos, you will feel like a hero of a movie and will be able to create your own scenario and plan the desired termination. There are no rules in this game; all is done by magic. Build a powerful Empire in the world of warfare with unified strategies and structures to win the wars. The content and features are brand-new and updated periodically, so more bonuses can be granted during the game.
- Start creating your empire with a preferred character (Noctis, Cindy, etc.).
- Travel to other realms, collect resources, fortify your kingdom, and build a strong army.
- Strategize the epic wars to conquer the battles and take control over the Crystal.
- Create the ultimate Guild or join up with already-powerful forces
- Become a legend by taking control of the Crystal and ruling the Realm
It is your time to make history! Your journey starts now in FFXV: War for Eos!
Trailers and screenshots depict two core styles of gameplay - a strategy layer that looks like a dubious nineties Age of Empires knock-off, and a combat layer which appears to make reuse of original FF15 3D assets like character models and animations, pitting a team of heroes from the FF15 universe against enemies ranging from Magitek Soldiers up to a Behemoth.
There’s weapon upgrades and the like, a roster of heroes to collect, and honestly it all looks pretty much familiar to anyone who knows the work of Machine Zone, the mobile development powerhouse responsible for the game.
Even if you think you don’t know them, you’re probably still vaguely familiar with their work - Machine Zone is responsible for games like Game of War and Mobile Strike, those phone games that get lavish Super Bowl ad spots starring the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mariah Carey. Their ads are also the origins of the “we are fucking under attack!” meme - in fact, the template for that meme is from a FF15: A New Empire advertising campaign featuring model Alexis Ren in sort-of Luna cosplay.
Usually, bluntly, a lot of these games are pay-to-win garbage. In the case of A New Empire, RPG Site paid a contributor to play and spend money in the game - and she discovered an in-game economy built so that those who pay will pretty much always win. “The few that decide that they want to be the best at A New Empire will pay the toll,'' she concluded, “and free to play players will anguish as their empires are constantly stripped of goods and resources.”
The FF15 deal between Square Enix and Machine Zone initially seemed like it was a one time thing, but apparently not - either that, or Square Enix decided to re-up their commitment. A New Empire was a strange game, carrying the FF15 name and reusing many assets from the core game, but otherwise unrecognizable as a Final Fantasy product. It also had some touches that were decidedly unlike Square Enix’s laser focus on how it presents its properties - including the use of photoshopped FF13 assets, and a few assets from when FF15 was Versus. Why Square Enix would let Machine Zone run roughshod over how FF usually operates is pretty obvious - but for the avoidance of doubt, RPG Site understands that the rights deal between the two that led to A New Empire was lucrative enough that it significantly offset a large amount of the main FF15’s development costs. As Noctis once said: "the money".
This title does at least warn how far this particular apple falls from the FF15 tree, noting that the game "proceeds in a parallel world" to the original FF15. Because, honestly, these two universes have little in common. However, at least Luna actually has a role to play in this game. Every cloud has a silver lining, and all that...
If War for Eos is any different in terms of quality as a game remains to be seen, though signs point to it being similar. After all, the structure and style of the game both seem quite similar to A New Empire, which isn’t the best of omens.