March 28 is fast approaching, and with it the Episode Gladiolus DLC for Final Fantasy XV. Siliconera was fortunate enough to get a little time with Gladiolus at PAX East, finding out just how different he fights than Noctis.
Gladiolus is pure power in combat – an offensive powerhouse that feels very different compared to Noctis’ more mobile, quick style. Players will use slow, but highly-damaging swings with Gladiolus’ weapon, building up energies that can be channelled into punishing AOE attacks and other useful powers. He hits slow, but for raw damage output, Gladiolus can put foes down fast, constantly growing more powerful over time.
Players might assume this will make him soak up a lot of damage, trading blows in order to pull off his slower attacks, but the developers have added an additional aspect to his character that rewards careful defense. Gladiolus can guard against oncoming attacks, and protecting himself allows him to build up his rage meter, which adds a multiplier to his already-high damage. This can increase to several times his normal output, and considering you’re taking less damage or negating it outright, it’s a worthwhile ability to practice.
Pounding rock/metal tunes will keep players wanting to hit their enemies as well. Much of Final Fantasy XV had a wonderful musical style to it, and the main game’s battle track does wonders to psych the player up, but this heavy, aggressive metal music feels perfectly suited to Gladiolus’ in-your-face combat style. It’s a departure from the game’s orchestral style, but it drives home that need to smash Gladiolus’ sword into enemies.
The enemies are welcome targets, as well, leaning towards frightening horrors that would be at home chasing someone in a horror game. Strange, spectral creatures and otherworldly monsters will continually attack Gladiolus, giving him many opportunities to put his powerful style to work.
For players looking for a more aggressive style based on pure offense, or even just a new twist on Final Fantasy XV’s battle system, the Episode Gladiolus DLC has much to offer. With a showdown with an enemy the player won’t want to miss, a combat system that rewards hard-hitting, yet careful, play, and its sharp metal soundtrack, it has a lot to offer, and sets a high bar for the next few episodes to match.