I’ve played Final Fantasy XIV on and off over the years, having first got into it when it launched (nearly) alongside the new (then) Playstation 4. It’s incredible to think that the game has actually outlasted that machine and is now on a whole new console! Its longevity isn’t a surprise though; Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is a damn good game…and Final Fantasy XIV PS5?
It’s more than that!
I recently got back into FFXIV just a few months ago, having grabbed Shadowbringers on sale.
Hell, as of this writing, I’m still not done with its main quest. I have 3 level 80 jobs already (White Mage, Bard and Black Mage) but since you don’t get XP after Level 80, I’ve been raising my alternate jobs as I progress in the Shadowbringers main questline.
…but I’m off topic.
Long story short, I was really looking forward to Final Fantasy XIV PS5 to see how it holds up to the PS4 version, which I’ve been playing on the PS5 for the last few months.
Here are the loads I took for different activities in-game.
On first brush, I wasn’t really that impressed.
The loading into the Character Select screen seems to be a tad faster and getting in-game (provided there’s no queue) is certainly quicker. The PS4 version played on a PS5 also offered faster loading than on the PS4 or PS4 Pro, so the new, fast loads native to the PS5 version wasn’t that dramatic a change.
It was only when I started to teleport all over that I started to fall in love with the faster loads.
Whether it’s teleporting between cities or just porting through different local aetherytes, the loading is much improved. What was once a few seconds of loading (on the PS4 version played on the PS5) is now nearly instantaneous. The screen fades to black and almost instantly, it’s back…with you in the new location.
Loading between different areas (like from Ul’dah to the Doman Enclave for example) still takes a few seconds, but it’s still much shorter than before. It all adds up!
Dungeon load times seem to be the similar to the PS4 version of the game (running on PS5) though, as I didn’t really notice much difference connecting to other players for raids, trials or dungeon runs.
Luckily, improved loading is all that’s new on the PS5.
The other big change? 4K support!
It does come with a caveat though; it’s capped to 30FPS, which is a shame. On top of that, it’s not even stable at 30FPS! Get into crowded areas (like the Limsa Lominsa Main Aetheryte Point for example) and there’s a noticeable drop. For the PS5 not being able to deliver better performance on a game that’s nearly 11 years old is puzzling…though hopefully future patches will improve the performance.
On 1440p though, it’s buttery smooth. This is THE resolution to play on.
I’ve done raids and trials on this resolution, and even with massive effects going off, there wasn’t any noticeable slowdown I noticed. The visuals (while not as sharp as the 4K mode) look better too, though the textures are definitely showing their age, especially when you view them in first person mode.
The developers have mentioned their intent to upgrade textures to higher resolution but have said that it’s a time consuming process that’ll take a while to implement. Till then, I guess we’re all stuck with the current textures…which I think were originally meant for 720p displays.
Yeah, sad news on the texture front but great news on the loading times!
So to summarize; Final Fantasy XIV PS5 is damn good. It’s not perfect but if you’ve been playing on a PS4 all this while, the jump in performance on the PS5 version is incredible and most welcome!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to level up my Samurai some more. Since I lost The Road to 70 buff (this should be a permanent thing Square Enix!), I need to grind even more to reach Level 79 so I can continue my Shadowbringers Main Story Quests.