Not perfect, but damn good
Final Fantasy XV‘s PC version was delayed to make it the best PC version it could be. If you’ve been playing games on PC for long enough, you’ve heard this song and dance before. Square Enix has had a good track record recently with their PC ports…and then Chrono Trigger came out on Steam. So yeah, any confidence in the company to create a solid PC port stays way up in the air where it belongs.
Enter Final Fantasy XV. Oh sorry, need to respect the branding here.
Enter FINAL FANTASY XV WINDOWS EDITION.
Tested on: Intel i7-4770k 3.50 GHz, 8GB of RAM, GeForce GTX 970, Windows 10. Framerate measured with in-game tool and Nvidia’s overlay. The 4K texture pack was not used.
First of all, this game is a real space hog: 85 GB without the high-resolution texture pack, which adds an extra 70 GB or so. I did not use this texture pack, because holy shit my computer would explode. Maybe once graphics cards make their way towards being actually affordable again, I’ll be able to upgrade. But until then, I’ll stick with my regular-k textures. The pictures of food still look great, though!
With the graphics only set to “Average,” the game still looks great. Best of all, the graphics are completely customizable. The game ran at a near-perfect 60 frames per second on Average — it would always dip while driving. I was also able to get FFXV to run at 55-60 FPS by tinkering with the graphics options and still having high-quality model textures. Who needs high-res shadows anyway? There’s also some intense Nvidia options like HairWorks and TurfEffects, but god damn man I’m dipping under 60 on Average. I don’t even want to know what kind of PC can run all of these options maxed out. In fact, I’m not completely sure there is one, yet.
The PC combat controls are serviceable, but the game’s design just lends itself more to a controller. While I did feel like I had better timing with my dodges and parries using the right mouse button, just about everything else felt way more comfortable with a controller. Luckily, the game auto-recognizes any controller input and will change the on-screen prompts to match the most recently-used control style. They’ve even avoided the “Always using prompts from one console” issue by showing a button location on the controller as a prompt. It’s a smart workaround that also looks elegant.
The biggest issue I had in combat on a mouse and keyboard was when I wanted my teammates to pull off their techniques. While on a controller you simply hold the left bumper and press the d-pad in the direction of the move you want to use, the PC controls use mouse direction. So to select the technique on the top, you need to move your mouse upwards. The problem is, you are likely already doing this. I lost count as to how many times a teammate’s technique was used instantly because it read my already-occurring mouse input as my intended direction.
The PC menu controls are absolute trash. Like, don’t even bother. Even if you enjoy/prefer the PC controls in combat, have a controller connected just to navigate the map. There is no mouse support in the menu, other than the ridiculous mouse-direction shit I mentioned for the techniques, which is also useless here. When the map is up, since WASD and the arrow keys do other things, you need to use the super-popular IJKL keys to navigate the cursor.
There is no Borderless Fullscreen option, and alt-tabbing messes things up quite a bit. Every time I alt-tabbed out and came back in, the game was no longer in fullscreen, and instead it was windowed but at my native resolution — something many PC players have likely seen before. It’s just a matter of heading back into the options to fix it, but it is frustrating. I’ve also had the game crash twice on me: once when I was playing with the options in the main menu, and once more while setting up camp. The latter scenario was particularly frustrating because it came right before a save, so I lost a bit of progress. It hasn’t happened since, but I have been saving much more frequently just in case. There were also reports of summons absolutely tanking the framerate, requiring a restart to fix, but that has already been patched. That’s right, FFXV has already received more patches on PC than NieR: Automata.
I’m honestly shocked at how well Final Fantasy XV runs on PC. I knew Square Enix was capable of good things, but it seems like a roll of the dice as to whether or not it will deliver. Hopefully, this is the benchmark moving forward with its ports, because it’s absolutely stellar, despite some odd oversights.
[This PC Port Report is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]