Do You Miss Final Fantasy Tactics? Give War of the Visions a Go
War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius is the latest Square Enix game to release on mobile, and one of many based on Final Fantasy. However, like each of the games based on the IP available now, War of the Visions (which I’ll now refer to as WotV) tackles a different playstyle entirely. Inspired by the Final Fantasy Tactics series of games, WotV offers turn-based, grid-based battling, featuring some of your all-time favourite Final Fantasy characters, and a slew of charismatic newcomers.
Set in the distant past of Brave Exvius’ story, WotV takes us to Ardra, where five warring nations are fighting for supremacy. You begin your journey with the Kingdom of Leonis, where Mont Leonis, the heir to the throne, fights despite his wishes that all the kingdoms could get along. His brother, Sterne, is the public’s favourite to ascend the throne, and he has the skill to do so, which teases a growing conflict between the two siblings who can’t quite see eye to eye.
Similarly to Tactics, WotV has its roots in military conflict, where a group of well-meaning characters each have their own reasons for fighting, and their own wishes to be fulfilled. If you enjoyed Tactics’ Ramza’s tale of being a naive, noble knight who grows to become an unstoppable force of good, you’ll enjoy beginning your journey with Sterne. Of course, WotV is on-going, so we can only guess where the story will take us, and how the characters will grow. So far, Square Enix are doing a wonderful job with the game’s large cast.
As mentioned earlier, the gameplay is inspired by Tactics. You move your party of five across a square grid, and each character comes with specific strengths and weaknesses. It’s all about positioning, and ensuring that you have the right party for the mission ahead, as the wrong line-up could easily be crushed by the opposing army. Magic users sometimes need extra turns to charge a spell, whilst some melee characters may lack the range to effectively tackle multiple opponents. There’s a lot of foresight needed, but thankfully, as I’ll touch upon soon, there are many options to help you along the way.
Each character has different job roles, varying from Black Mage, Knight, Cleric, Dragoon and more than a dozen others, meaning you’ll be at a slight disadvantage if you choose your party solely based on favourites or character designs — I know, I know, it’s sorely tempting, but it’s worth mixing up the job roles and leveling up those characters. You can auto-set a recommended party, too, which has been a great help. This also works on Vision Cards, which grant your selected unit with unique special effects and party abilities, with the latter aiding your entire team in battle.
I pre-registered, so I was able to participate in the launch events, including one based on Tactics itself, including Ramza, Agrias, Orlandeau and more. This means I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some powerful characters in the UR and MR (SSR equivalent) ranks, and Y’shtola from FFXIV.
WotV has been very generous to me in terms of summoning characters and earning Visiore (in-game currency) to do so, and I haven’t yet felt forced to spend any real money. Similarly to Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia, I’ve been content with what I’ve earned in-game, excited to do my daily log-ins, and I’m generally happy to wait for my NGR to refill — this is similar to energy or stamina as seen in most mobile games on the market.
Two specific features I’m really impressed with outside of the story and gameplay is that the game features dual-audio, with both English and Japanese options. The casts for both languages are amazing too, featuring the likes of Bryce Papenbrook, Erica Mendez and Amber Lee Connors. As someone who adores the art of voice-acting, I’ve really enjoyed this element of WotV.
Secondly, is the inclusion of Espers — otherwise known as Summons or Eidolons. Summoning one of these in battle grants a brief CGI cutscene, which sees Square Enix push mobile technology to the limit once again. You summon Ifrit very early on as part of a tutorial battle, and it is evidence of a reasonably high production budget. The game, in general, looks fantastic.
WotV feels like a love letter to Final Fantasy fans — not just Tactics fans. The Espers, Limit Breaks (as in to break your level limitations, as opposed to a flashy attack), a wide range of Jobs, and a few familiar faces means that any Final Fantasy fan can pick this up, and the story is self-contained enough that you can jump right in as a newcomer, too — you don’t need to have played Brave Exvius, but you should because it’s very different, and equally as good.
For those who are struggling, or simply want to enjoy the story without playing the game, you can use autoplay to let your party do its thing — it’s very competent! I’ve done this a few times, as it’s a great way to see the optimal way to approach a battle, and well, uh, maybe I struggled sometimes!
If you’re yearning for a new Final Fantasy Tactics game, this is currently the closest thing available right now. It’s very early days for the game, but I’ve been enjoying my time with it, and I recommend that you check it out for yourselves.