The premier video game series for fans of Dungeons and Dragons–style gameplay, science fiction themes, and impractically stylish protagonists is back with its latest masterpiece: Final Fantasy XV.
What separates developer Square Enix’s games from other fantasy canons is that practically nothing links one entry to another. Final Fantasy IX takes place in a fictional medieval realm with steampunk elements, while Final Fantasy X involves completely different characters battling a religious cult in a technologically advanced water world.
This time around, players take control of Noctis, a magically gifted but melancholy prince who must save his father’s kingdom from the surprise invasion of an evil empire. Noctis is accompanied by his three best guy friends, who escort him around the world in a black convertible. Sometimes they just cruise the countryside eating hamburgers and talking about life. Other times they kill monsters using goofily-named spells like Firaga and Blizzaga. (The latter is, in fact, a mainstay of the series.)
This bro-tastic action distinguishes Final Fantasy XV from the series’ previous entries, most of which included playable characters who were female (and dressed like strippers). Anti-GamerGate feminists such as Brianna Wu were predictably outraged about the all-male cast, but might find much to like about the game if they looked closer; the action centers around human relationships instead of just brawling in bikinis. It’s just about the opposite of toxic masculinity.