During its PAX East 2017 panel, Square Enix revealed a brand new gameplay video for Final Fantasy 15's upcoming DLC pack, Episode Gladiolus. Showcasing the first 15 minutes of the game's first major story expansion DLC, the video offers up a tantalizing glimpse into what Gladio got up to during his temporary departure from Noctis' party partway through the main game, as well as the different combat mechanics involved with using Gladio as the main character as opposed to Noctis.
Taking place concurrently with the main events of Final Fantasy 15, the new gameplay video kicks off with a meeting between Gladio and major supporting character, Cor Leonis, who offers to take the greatsword-swinging enforcer to face Gilgamesh in order to acquire more power. Not only were previously inaccessible caves and dungeons shown off, the video also offers up an extended look at the new combat mechanics involved with using Gladio as the playable character.
In contrast to the varied, fast-paced combat style seen in Final Fantasy 15, Episode Gladiolus' battles are slower and involve far more sword swinging. Replacing Noctis' warp blade options is a "Rage" meter, which increases every time Gladio is hit and allows him to dish out more damage. There is also an Ultimate ability meter, which fills up over time and allows Gladio to unleash his array of Ultimate techniques that were first seen in the main game.
The upcoming Episode Gladiolus DLC pack will be the first of three major story expansions to come, and it certainly appears to have fulfilled Square Enix's promise that it will showcase a new type of Final Fantasy 15 gameplay. As for what fans can look forward to next, DLC packs for Prompto and Ignis are scheduled for release at some point in 2017 but no launch dates have been confirmed yet.
For fans who don't have a season pass or aren't interested in Gladio's side story, a new patch for the main game will also be released on the same day as Episode Gladiolus' late March launch date, which will bring long-awaited story updates to Final Fantasy 15's controversial Chapter 13.
Episode Gladiolus certainly offers up a new type of Final Fantasy 15 experience based on the new gameplay video, which bodes well for the remaining major story DLC packs still to come, and fans won't have to wait long to experience Gladio's side-journey when the expansion is released on March 28, 2017.
Final Fantasy 15 is available now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Episode Gladiolus is scheduled for launch on March 28.