Back to the future
A Realm Reborn takes place five years after the apocalyptic climax to Final Fantasy XIV, where the dragon Bahamut escaped imprisonment and destroyed much of the land of Eorzea. Eorzea's fortunes are dictated by the prosperous Astral Eras and the devastating Umbral Eras, and Bahamut's actions triggered the seventh Umbral Era. Fortunately your player character escaped the destruction by travelling five years into the future.
The story picks up with your player and fellow characters trying to rebuild Eorzea and discover what happened in the intervening years. The military-like Garleans are on the warpath, an evil cult is in turn influencing them, and the Eorzeans are under threat once again. Can you stop the Garleans and restore peace to Eorzea in the face of overwhelming odds?
Brave new world
Wherever the adventure takes you there's something unique to savour, from giant structures reaching into the sky, to lush greenery where creatures roam free, to decrepit buildings destroyed by war or Bahamut the dragon. A full orchestral score accompanies your every move and sounds a triumphant blast whenever you bravely accept or complete a quest.
You even get a say in how your character looks and sounds, thanks to a comprehensive character creation system. Choose your name, race and starting class, then personalise your character by selecting unique options that range from facial hair to tattoos - you can even choose to have bright green skin if you want.
Quest for success
Forge your own path through the land of Eorzea. You can choose to complete the main story, level up your character by earning experience points, or simply exist and make a living.
Packing in a huge amount of options, the Cross Hot Bar control system lets you access player actions, emotes, items and macros, and set target markers to slots so they can be quickly accessed in the heat of a battle.
Finishing the main story involves taking on short quests for other characters in return for items and experience points. There are also sidequests that reward you with experience points, money or items; Levequests, whose difficulty can be adjusted for a greater or lesser reward; and quests specific to the class and job you choose.
Add to all this the chance to change classes by equipping different weapons; the opportunity to craft and repair items; the option to sell items to other players; and the ability to teleport to locations, it's easy to see why A Realm Reborn is a unique experience for every player.
After creating your character and choosing a game world to play on (according to your real world location), it's time to get out there and make new friends. Although you can play A Realm Reborn on your own, it's even more fun teaming up with or battling against other players,and certain gameplay features are tailored to party play.
There are arenas for four vs four or eight vs eight battles, as well as specific areas in the game world for player vs player (PvP) combat. If you'd rather team up with other players than fight them, certain dungeons are for party play only, and many offer rewards for both lower-level and experienced players. There are also FATEs - surprise events such as taking on certain monsters, helping non-player characters through certain areas, or defending a town - that let you join in regardless of your level. They're a great way to gain experience points.
Managing enmity is key to success when playing as a party. Enmity determines how hostile an enemy is towards each player, and who they will attack first, and it is increased by performing certain actions such as attacking or healing. Depending on your role within the party, you may need to draw the enemy's fire by holding the most enmity, or be sure to back off if you aren't a skilled fighter. It's important to coordinate attacks so no one player is overwhelmed with enemies by having high enmity.