From former Final Fantasy developers
Once you get past the beautiful artwork and big names — Final Fantasy composer Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy XII), series scenario writer Kazushige Nojima (Final Fantasy VII) — Zodiac does start to raise some questions.
One such question bursts like a xenomorph after you read, “Final Fantasy meets Valkyrie Profile and Dragon’s Crown” and then read, “in a new online multiplayer experience.”
Zodiac is best played in real time with friends because otherwise your party (three or four) will be composed of AI characters that make their own decisions. You fill your party with any of your friends’ most recently synced character, which gives them experience points when they log back in. While you can hang out with friend data based on whom you like best, you might want to pick someone classed in an element you’re not skilled in. While you can change your class in real time, AI characters will stay at their initially chosen class, so it’s best to have someone actually playing with you.
Of course, you might be less inclined to play with pals once you realize that the party leader is the one who actually moves through over world areas, interacting with NPCs, engaging with enemies, and solving the mild puzzle elements. Everyone else is along for the ride until a battle starts and their turn comes up. Multiplayer is encouraged, but paradoxically a bit less interesting for anyone not in the driver’s seat. This is more Guild Wars than Dragon’s Crown, though, and maybe later info on things like raids, which include multiple groups of parties fighting enemies, will make for some engaging enough, strategic turn-based battles.