War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius Review
Square Enix’s latest mobile game is a fusion of their gacha game Brave Exvius and their classic Final Fantasy Tactics. War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is a mix of two worlds. However, liking either of the games wouldn’t automatically make you a fan of War of the Visions. It’s the kind of game that you shouldn’t judge until you get to play it yourself. Still, we’re coming out with our review for War of the Visions.
A Brave New World for Final Fantasy All-Stars
Thankfully, this new game tells a story that is not associated with any Final Fantasy story told before. War of the Visions takes place in the same world of Lapis as the original Brave Exvius. However, this story take place thousands of years before that, on a separate continent called Ardra. On Ardra, five rival kingdoms constantly hang on the balance of peace and war, with the story taking place at the start of a conflict between three of the kingdoms.
You play as Prince Mont, the elder prince of the Kingdom of Leonis. Cutscenes that play out in between missions tell the plot. The pacing is good – the missions are just at the right length to keep you interested in both the game and the story. And that’s a good thing, especially since War of the Visions’ story is actually decent. Told through five chapters of around ten missions each, the game’s main story is a gripping story of both politics and personal calvaries.
Deep Mechanics, Light Tactics
Going over the gameplay side, War of the Visions has very deep tactics mechanics. Each character has a wide skill tree that you unlock through a progression system that is typical of gacha games. With that being said, there’s a plethora of items and resources that you have to collect and apply to your characters to improve them. Although your units still gain experience and level up when you use them in battle, most progression is through the application of these items.
However, being a gacha game, you could actually play as any character you have collected through the gacha system in the story. There’s some sort of break in the immersion because of this. After all, you get to collect characters from everywhere in the Final Fantasy series and use them in battles. It’s better if you as the player could disassociate the cutscenes and the missions from each other. Enjoy the tactics part of the game on its own, and enjoy the story from the cutscenes on its own. The game is much better enjoyed that way.
The early missions in the game are too easy that it’s actually more efficient to just have the AI do the auto-battling for you. The real challenge appears in the game’s end-game content. With raids, guilds, and both PvP and PvE battles, your tactics skills will be put to the test against other real players. This is where War of the Visions really shines. You get to explore the game’s full tactical mechanics in the end-game, but only hours after you’ve beaten the main story. As mentioned above, it’s better to treat the story and the game as separate experiences.
The developers at gumi and Square Enix masterfully crafted War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. Its soundtrack by Noriyasu Agematsu gives the game more emotional quality in it. The tactics mechanics are deep and enjoyable, and there’s a load of end-game content that you could sink into for hours at a time. But being a gacha game, War of the Visions is also prey to the genre’s ills: loot box style microtransactions that locks the strongest characters behind paywalls and random chances, and an unnecessarily complicated upgrade system for your units, equipments, and summons.
However, the gacha system is not as intrusive as it usually is in other games. In fact, War of the Visions is very generous in giving you the necessary resources to progress. But the game would have been so much better without the gacha system, regardless of how well it’s implemented. And for that, a solid 5 star rating has to be turned down by a notch.