My first reaction to the news of an Assassins Festival in FFXV was “that sounds awful”. I even thought that perhaps the cross promotion of things in game had gone a bit too far. I wasn’t bothered by the Coleman gear or the hilarious inclusion of the Cup Noodle quest; but this was different. Elements of a completely different and unrelated game franchise being forced into FFXV felt ridiculous. My skepticism regarding this event was so bad I waited until this past weekend to play it. Considering the fact I normally can’t wait to play anything new in FFXV waiting a full six weeks on this was a big departure from the norm. I’m happy to say despite expecting to find a whole lot of awful I found a ton of fun.
I was quite surprised to discover the Assassins Festival has a real storyline included with it. Obviously, the story is very light and has absolutely no impact to the main game, but it was integrated into the world well. The love of the Assassins Creed games is what draws Noctis and Prompto to the festival while Gladio and Ignis are mostly just there because the other two wanted to go. The Festival itself exists because The Assassin is a historical character of legend in Lestallam and is a vigilante hero who fought against oppression in the city long ago. The festival gives the local citizenry (and our boys) the chance to try out their best Assassin moves and attire.
However, before too long the empire shows up with Loqi Tummelt in command and looking for the wayward Prince. If you don’t remember Loqi he was the guy who showed up with a large mech after Noctis helped Cor clear a base. Shenanigans ensue and of course it’s up to Noctis and crew to run them off, though most of the time it is just Prompto and Noctis running around together with the others helping at various parts. The story didn’t take too long to get through but it was fun and entertaining.
Additionally, the integration of AC game mechanics and FFXV game mechanics was done well. There’s a stealth aspect to the whole festival where running around or jumping/warping around will call attention to Noctis if he does these things around the MTs. This wasn’t always quite accurate though because there were a couple of times where I was standing right in front of a MT and warped away but it didn’t trigger a chase. Speaking of chases, after being spotted the only way to get away was to get out of sight of the MT. Then I had to hide in a doorway, haystack, or dumpster until the danger passed. These hiding spots are also use spots to wait and assassinate nearby MTs. Honestly assassinating the MTs in various ways was a ridiculous amount of fun so I did that whenever the opportunity presented itself.
One aspect of the Moogle Festival which SquareEnix carried over is having tokens to be earned and traded in for prizes. However, there were a lot more sources of these tokens and as a result I didn’t have to grind out tokens playing the mini games at all. The mini games are pretty much the same as moogle fest so not having to do them again was a fantastic bonus. My main sources of Assassin Tokens was from doing the main story and then doing all of the side quests. I did do a couple of the mini games just to check and see if they still annoyed. They did.
One thing to be aware of is you can only have a max of 99 Assassin Tokens at one time. This seems obvious if you’ve ever played any Final Fantasy game but I was inexplicably surprised by it. So it’s worth buying things as you go instead of trying to hoard all the tokens.
Overall, I’d say if you generally like the Assassins Creed games this festival is worth taking part in. If you’ve never played an AC game before don’t worry, everything is explained well and is intuitive. The only people who should really skip this festival are people who really do not generally like playing AC games. SquareEnix did a masterful job of capturing the feel of AC while keeping solid footing on what FFXV is but not liking either of those elements will ruin it for you.. This festival will be running until January 31st2018 and is a free DLC for FFXV.