Final Fantasy XV has just released its very first character downloadable content (DLC) in the form of Episode Gladiolus. However, the side story fails to add anything substantial aside from a new battle system and a linear storyline.
Gladio takes the spotlight in the first side story that supposedly adds more depth to the characters and the overall plot, while including some new gameplay mechanics. In his case, he left the group midway during their journey to undertake some sort of trail only to come back with a large scar on his forehead. While fans might have thought that he was off on an epic adventure, The Verge reports that his personal journey felt rather lackluster instead.
The Episode Gladiolus begins with the four protagonists relaxing around the campfire in a typical Final Fantasy XV moment. Following the bonding scene, Gladio meets up with Cor before undertaking a certain trial to gain more power. Here is where the main meat of the DLC takes place as Gladio must trudge through linear caves while fighting enemies before facing against a box. The DLC's formula is simple enough with combat being one of the few changes that slightly deviates from the main game.
Unlike Noctis, Gladio is more headstrong and relies on heavy hits rather than teleporting around the field. The whole process is still somewhat similar enough as players can just spam the attack button while occasionally avoiding attacks. One fun thing the character can do is grab pillars and swing them around the battlefield.
However, the game suffers from frequent frame drops (via Kotaku) and lacks character development or interesting choices, which are rather strange seeing as how these episodes are meant to expand the game's lore. Everything also gets a bit repetitive due to its strict linear fashion and fails to have an actual impact of Gladio himself.
Square Enix has gone with a rough start for the future content they plan to release later within the year. In spite of this, the trailer for the upcoming Prompto Episode shows more promise in terms of plot relevance and might give more justice to his lackluster role. Fans can play the Final Fantasy XV Episode Gladiolus now on the PS4 or Xbox One.