Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto is the second downloadable character episode for Square Enix's action role-playing release. Filling in yet another gaping hole in the main game's story, the two-or-so-hour journey plops you in the snow-filled shoes of Prompto as he attempts to reunite with Noctis and the boys after ending up in a frozen wasteland.
Much like the previous escapade, Episode Gladiolus, Episode Prompto tries to inject its pasty hero with some depth. It features a handful of cutscenes that provide a little more insight into the game's most useless party member, and while the featured exposition is disjointed at best, it's what we've come to expect of Final Fantasy XV's storytelling.
Dialogue often feels mismatched and there's still way too much gasping and panting going on, but Prompto at least goes through some sort of character development. By the time it's all over, Prompto's been fleshed out just enough to give you renewed appreciation of his plight and his role within Noctis' party.
Unfortunately, the episode really struggles to offer a compelling gameplay concoction. Gladio's adventure was repetitive and rather dull, but its weighty combat was serviceable and acted as a decent foundation for some exciting boss encounters. Conversely, this episode's mix of unsatisfying third-person shooting, an unreliable cover system, and clumsy melee attacks result in a frustrating mess of mechanics.
Episode Prompto certainly boasts more gameplay variety than its predecessor, but most of it feels half-baked. The scrawny teen can pick up and use various weapons ranging from automatic rifles to rocket launchers, but as alluded, the actual gunplay never really clicks. You can riddle enemies with bullets but they'll barely react, and it doesn't help that many foes have overly large health bars.
The DLC throws in some slightly open exploration for good measure, but again, it's a component that lacks quality. Prompto can hop on and off a snowmobile and partake in a few hastily built side quests, but there are no notable rewards for doing so, and the snowy environment itself doesn't house any particularly interesting secrets.
What's more, we ran into several annoying bugs while riding the snowmobile. Our first involved a seemingly random loading screen popping up as we zipped along, and once the interruption was over, we were pelted with enemy missiles from a foe that hadn't even materialised. On top of that, there was a point where we were unable step off the snowmobile, and we also had an issue where the vehicle got lodged in the ground. We were forced to reload our last save on both occasions.
Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto plugs another gap in the main game's still woefully disjointed story, but a seriously shoddy mix of gameplay mechanics makes it a difficult DLC to recommend.