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Encyclopedia Eorzea Vol. 3 review — Bringing shadows to light

Despite spending so much time in Final Fantasy XIV’s world, there’s a lot to know about the setting that simply doesn’t make it into the game proper. Whether that be more mundane facts about a culture’s diet or exciting locations that, for whatever reason, the Warrior of Light will never visit. For lore nuts like myself, the Encyclopedia Eorzea fills in those gaps. The third in this ongoing series of tomes releases later this month, but SquareEnix was kind enough to provide me with an early copy for review. So, is this hefty book worth perusing or better left gathering dust on the shelf?

First impressions start off great, with a hardcover almost faux leather binding along with a glossy finish for the gold painted livery and the crystal in the center of the cover. Just like the previous two volumes, this book aims to look like an in-universe encyclopedia, and it does a wonderful job of that. It’s classy and ostentatious in a way, inviting you to learn from its pages. The paper inside has an aged look and feel to it, but is still high quality without being glossy like you would see in an art book. It’s easy to turn the pages while still leaving illustrations, text, and other images looking good.

The contents of the book expands on what we learned in Shadowbringers and Endwalker. You can read a bit about the Convocation of Fourteen, what their jobs and titles were, a few paragraphs on Dynamis, or explore the various cultures of the First. It’s a bit odd to me to have information from two expansions jumbled together like this, but it makes sense given how the book is organized into things like locations and people. Still, I would have preferred things to be a bit more chronological as the book usually places Endwalker info before jumping over to Shadowbringers.

There’s a lot of fun little tidbits to be found in here no matter how it’s organized, like how the little things attached to Reapers’ belts are actually catalysts used for summoning their Voidsent, or how Ryne actually took Thancred’s last name. It’s very cool to read about, especially at a time where the patch cycle has somewhat slowed down to prepare for Dawntrail and isn’t quite captivating to me. Things like this remind me of why I love FFXIV so much, aside from meeting a bunch of cool people through it or experiencing a fantastic story.

The one thing that really bugs me about the book is the stark contrast of seeing illustrations and in-game models and screenshots together. They do try to wash out the screenshots to make them look a bit more in line with the paper, but the same isn’t true for the art which is vibrant and colorful. It makes for less than pleasing presentation, and portraits of NPCs especially look off. I wouldn’t want the illustrations to lose their color, so I’m not sure what a good compromise would be, but there’s gotta be something better than what we have here.

David is the kind of person to wear his heart on his sleeve. He can find positives in anything, like this is a person who loved Star Fox Zero to death. You’ll see him playing all kinds of games: AAAs, Indies, game jam games, games of all genres, and writing about them! Here. On this website. When not writing or playing games, you can find David making music, games, or enjoying a good book.
David’s favorite games include NieR: Automata, Mother 3, and Gravity Rush.

Encyclopedia Eorzea Vol. 3 review — Bringing shadows to light
90

Excellent

Encyclopedia Eorzea Vol. 3

Review Guidelines

Encyclopedia Eorzea Vol. 3 ties everything we’ve learned up to Endwalker together in one great lore book. The organization is a bit strange and in-game screenshots don’t look great, but this is a fun package with plenty of cool information about one of my favorite game worlds.

David Flynn

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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