Square Enix saved the best party member episode for last with Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis. The latest add-on is another two-or-so-hour romp mostly made up of combat, but it slots into the existing story of Final Fantasy XV a lot more naturally than its predecessors. What's more, Ignis probably has the most enjoyable fighting style of Noctis' three companions.
The episode takes place near the end of the base game. We won't go into any details for fear of spoilers, but the gist of it is that Ignis is hellbent on finding and protecting Noctis amid a chaotic battlefield. The entire scenario unfurls across this single location, but there's a good tempo to the episode thanks to how hectic everything is.
Where previous character add-ons plodded along away from the main story, Episode Ignis is right in the thick of it, offering a different perspective on one of the title's most important chapters. It successfully adds some extra weight to proceedings, upping the dramatic tension. Plus, we get to hear Ignis say "bloody hell!" in his completely over-the-top English accent multiple times.
The episode is linear for the most part, but there is room for some slight exploration near the beginning. The war-torn city is divided into districts, and you can move freely between them, retaking areas that have been captured by the enemy. To do so, you'll have to take on waves of foes using Ignis' dagger-based martial arts.
Combat's good fun, as Iggy has access to a selection of cool attacks and combos. You're tasked with switching between three elemental styles depending on the situation; fire daggers are great for one-on-one encounters, ice daggers can hit multiple enemies, dealing area of effect damage, and electric daggers allow Ignis to zip across to distant enemies. Swapping between the three styles feels fast and fluid, and racking up huge combo chains is entertaining.
To top it all off, Ignis has access to a counter-attack mechanic, and what is essentially a super move called 'clarity'. When activated, he lets off a powerful technique that varies depending on your currently equipped element, and it all looks super stylish. The inherent clumsiness of Final Fantasy XV's overall combat system is still present, but for what it's worth, we reckon this is the best action you'll find outside the core campaign.
It's a shame that Episode Ignis doesn't last a bit longer, but as mentioned, it manages to complement the main game a lot more effectively than either Episode Gladiolus or Episode Prompto. And as a bonus, a second playthrough of the episode will give you the option of seeing an alternate series of events. For those invested in Final Fantasy XV's lore, it makes for an interesting spectacle.
Last but not least, we need to give special mention to the soundtrack, which is a treat for the ears. The new battle themes are top notch, and the sense of urgency that the music instils really helps set the tone for Ignis' one-off adventure.
Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis is the most impactful character episode yet, and it's easily the most essential. Those already invested in Final Fantasy XV should find a lot to like in terms of additional story elements, and Ignis' flashy, fast, and fluid fighting style keeps enemy encounters engaging. Here's hoping that future episodes build upon what this latest scenario gets right.