Review

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Review

  • First Released Aug 27, 2013
    released
  • PC

Reach for the skies.

Naoki Yoshida's successful reboot of the disastrous Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 into A Realm Reborn back in 2013 was a triumph, not only attracting scores of new players into the virtual world of Eorzea, but also demonstrating that a gorgeous, content-rich and regularly updated subscription-based MMORPG was still a viable prospect. With the release of Heavensward, the question is whether this new expansion can keep players invested and ensure the long-term future of Eorzea.

Heavensward picks up a couple of weeks after A Realm Reborn's dramatic Game of Thrones-style finale. It's worth noting that as a prerequisite to enjoying anything this expansion has to offer--including the three new jobs; Dark Knight, Machinist and Astrologian--you must have finished A Realm Reborn's entire story, including its five content patches. This is non-negotiable. You are prohibited from even entering Heavensward's main city, Ishgard, until the entire prior storyline has been completed.

This may be frustrating to those who enjoyed A Realm Reborn but never worked their way through the narrative. Many MMOs tend to open up expansion content immediately upon release for those at an appropriate character level, regardless of their quest progress, but Square Enix has taken a stricter approach here. However, this makes sense in the context of the game as a whole, since Final Fantasy XIV is one of the most narrative-rich MMOs on the market.

Thankfully, the prerequisite content has been adjusted and rebalanced to ensure that players can get through it and into Heavensward as painlessly as possible with minimal grinding: simply following the main A Realm Reborn quest will now see you happily outfitted in good quality gear by its conclusion, ready to begin your new adventures. (Previously, the game necessitated a certain degree of replaying old content to earn enough endgame currency to purchase this gear, but now main story quests provide you with everything you'll need to survive your first foray into Ishgard and beyond.)

"Heavensward's main story is spectacular, with a series of dramatic moments throughout that are among the series' most memorable."

Heavensward's main story is spectacular, with a series of dramatic moments throughout that are among the series' most memorable. The overall plot deals with themes such as the unquestioning adoption of religious dogma and how that can lead to societal problems such as racism--or in this case, speciesism, thanks to the conflict between the Ishgardians and the Dravanian dragons. It also captures the feel of a traditional Final Fantasy even better than A Realm Reborn had, due to some excellent writing and strong characters, presented with a delightfully theatrical tone throughout, which builds on the substantial lore introduced in the game's previous incarnations.

The writing also boasts strong characterisation, including some deep, detailed exploration of interesting yet tragically flawed characters such as Ysayle, who we only saw briefly in A Realm Reborn. Meanwhile, the ensemble of non-player characters evoke a delightful feeling of going on a grand adventure with a party, similar to that in a single-player RPG. The storytelling is supported by a beautiful soundtrack and voice acting of a considerably higher calibre than that heard in A Realm Reborn--though the decision to recast most of the main voices, in some cases with entirely different regional British accents to the characters' previous incarnations, is a little jarring at first.

Some of the environments look like they're straight out of a Roger Dean artbook, and are particularly striking from the air.
Some of the environments look like they're straight out of a Roger Dean artbook, and are particularly striking from the air.

To help flesh out the game's substantial lore, Heavensward's main narrative is supported by side quests, and there are a lot of them. So many, in fact, that it's possible to level from 50 to 60 using little more than the main story and the various NPCs you come into contact with on your travels. Although grinding dungeons will probably get you to level 60 quicker, following the side quests gives you a much more arresting, varied experience, particularly if you're interested in the game world's lore.

It's practically essential to complete at least a few side quests: certain challenges unlock "aether currents" in the zone you're in, and in order to take advantage of Heavensward's new flying mounts, you have to track down all of these currents, many of which are hidden in tricky locations, making for impromptu environmental puzzles similar to Guild Wars 2's "Vista" system.

The decision to prevent you from flying in each zone until you've discovered all these aether currents has proven divisive, but ultimately it works out for the best with regard to world-building and narrative coherence. The new zones are huge in scale, and you truly come to appreciate the massive size of some of the structures and geographical features by traversing them on foot before being able to simply fly from one place to another.

Travelling on foot can lead to some exciting discoveries too. Follow the river north out of the village of Tailfeather in the Dravanian Forelands, for example, and you come across some dramatic ruins of a lost age; head out in another direction and you might find yourself pondering where the giant craters in the ground came from--that is, until the gigantic Tarasque shows up and requires at least twenty or thirty players to subdue. These discoveries lose some of their impact if you just fly in a straight line from point A to point B, so the game funnels players into seeing most of the world from ground-level before allowing them a bird's-eye view.

Somewhat more controversial at launch are the balance changes that came as a result of the three new jobs and the five new abilities that each of the existing classes have been given. The ranged-damage classes (Bard and Machinist) were both underpowered upon Heavensward's original release, even in good gear at level 60, but at the time of writing, an update has provided both classes with an increase in power to their new abilities, and they're performing much more solidly in parties as a result.

As the story progresses, realistic, believable landscapes give way to wonderfully fantastic environments floating in the clouds.
As the story progresses, realistic, believable landscapes give way to wonderfully fantastic environments floating in the clouds.

Meanwhile, the gun-wielding Machinist is now producing damage numbers that can compete even with the melee classes Monk, Dragoon and Ninja, which are traditionally the most heavy hitters. Elsewhere, Bard players are happy to finally have a damage-dealing Limit Break ability, which is a welcome addition for a class that was unofficially regarded as a support job.

New tank class Dark Knight is proving to be a solid addition to many groups, with its blend of Warrior's heavy damage-dealing and Paladin's damage mitigation providing a fun new play style. New healer Astrologian, meanwhile, provides an interesting mix of both Scholar and White Mage's strong points, with its central mechanic of drawing and shuffling cards to provide the group with various benefits making it a unique take on a support class. Both are challenging to learn if you're used to the older classes, but both are very rewarding to master.

Existing classes have had some interesting changes, too. Paladin, for example, long derided as the most boring but functional tank class, now has several different combos as well as some useful support and healing abilities. Monk continues to be the class of choice for those who enjoy a highly technical play style. Black Mages now have even more of a buff-juggling-act to keep up with. And Summoners, once regarded as one of the weaker DPS classes in A Realm Reborn, have enjoyed a considerable buff thanks to some new abilities and spells, and have become very popular as a result--though at least part of this is doubtless due to the fact that their level-three Limit Break now involves sprouting Bahamut's wings and setting fire to everything. Yes, it's as awesome as it sounds.

Crucially, with the balance adjustments brought about in the first patch, no single class feels significantly better or worse than others; pretty much any party makeup can comfortably clear everything the game has to offer at the time of writing.

"Heavensward is an essential purchase for those who have spent more hours than they'd care to admit in Eorzea."

In terms of content, Heavensward ships with a decent amount to work through. The main story, as previously noted, takes somewhere in the region of 40 to 50 hours hours or so to finish, depending on how thorough you are, and in the process you level at least one class to 60 naturally.

Beyond that, at the time of writing, level cap content includes three dungeons, one of which is officially part of the main story and can be re-challenged as often as you like. There is enough content here to even satisfy the hardcore raiders; there's the story's final boss battle, two Extreme variants on earlier boss battles against the primals Bismarck and Ravana, and the new raid dungeon Alexander, which is set to have a Savage difficulty variant added.

As with A Realm Reborn, content of all levels--not just level-cap dungeons and trials--is designed to be replayed frequently, with endgame currency that can be exchanged for high-end gear on offer for jumping into daily roulettes and helping lower-level players with earlier content as well as simply grinding level-appropriate challenges.

The dungeons are smartly designed throughout the entirety of Heavensward, featuring dynamic backdrops, surprising events, gorgeous scenery and exciting encounters that often demand a lot more of a group than simple "tank and spank"; one dungeon in particular even makes use of simplified forms of the challenging mechanics found in A Realm Reborn's raid dungeon, The Binding Coil of Bahamut. The decision to eliminate mid-dungeon cutscenes has alleviated the problem A Realm Reborn's final storyline dungeon had, where experienced players would charge ahead and start boss fights while fresh level 50s were watching cutscenes, causing the latter to get locked out. This is a change for the better; there's still story content in dungeons, but it tends to unfold either at the very beginning (when all players are unable to move until everyone is ready) or after the final boss has been defeated. In other words, those enjoying the story for the first time can do so without guilt that they're holding people up, and experienced players who are just grinding dungeons can do so without having to sit and wait for newbies.

Meanwhile, crafters and gatherers are well catered to, since all these classes can also be levelled to 60. A couple of new elements feel a little underbaked, however; the airship crafting in the new Free Company workshops simply requires a party of crafters to be present without any real interaction or cooperation required--it would have been interesting to see the equivalent of a "crafting raid", since Final Fantasy XIV's crafting system has just as much depth as its battle system, but sadly, it is not to be. Yet.

And that "yet" is an important point; A Realm Reborn enjoyed substantial content updates and mechanical adjustments at three-month intervals following its launch, and Heavensward is set to follow suit, with the first post-launch patch already released, introducing the Alexander raid and addressing some balance issues. The main story, despite coming to a spectacular (and Final Fantasy fan-baiting) conclusion, is left open for an episodic continuation in the same way as A Realm Reborn, and the game's structure is eminently friendly to new dungeons and challenges being added at regular intervals. Plus, at some point in the near future, the true masochists among us will be able to grind our way through a whole new Relic quest.

Click on the thumbnails below to view in full-screen
Click on the thumbnails below to view in full-screen
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Overall, then, Heavensward is an essential purchase for those who have spent more hours than they'd care to admit in Eorzea. While new players--or those who never beat A Realm Reborn's complete story--may feel aggravated at being locked-out of the expansion until they catch up, there's little denying that Final Fantasy XIV as a whole offers astonishing value for those willing to immerse themselves, and it will only continue to grow and expand over time.

In other words, it looks like Eorzea is unlikely to suffer another world-shattering calamity just yet, and everyone who has made it their home away from home over the last couple of years will doubtless be thankful for that.

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The Good
An exciting, epic and dramatic continuation to A Realm Reborn's storyline
Beautiful audio-visual presentation, particularly with new DirectX 11 support
Stunning environments with an amazing sense of scale
Excellent variety in encounters, dungeons and trials
Post-launch support has already been excellent
The Bad
Some new jobs and abilities need rebalancing
Side quests are often (though not always) standard MMO fare
9
Superb
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn

About the Author

Pete has been playing Final Fantasy XIV since A Realm Reborn's closed beta in 2013, and just about managed to clear the Final Coil of Bahamut before Heavensward launched.
332 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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DarkShrapnel

This had the potential to be the first playable FF game since FF IX. I tried to get into it, I really tried. The dialogue is horrible though. If I want "realistic" (read: low-brow), I'll step outside my door (I live in the middle of a fairly large and well known city). The vulgarity and crassness do not add to the atmosphere of the game, it detracts from it. FF was not created to be low-brow.

I can't bring myself to put anymore time into this game. The creators working on FF since at least IX have really lowered the bar.

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Uedukai

FREE XP Bonus, Aetheryte tickets, Silver Chocobo feathers (exchanged for high quality items). Just use this

recruitment code when signing up for FFXIV! -> JGKHYH89 or EU42AZ7G or 64G4FPUJ or PD59PB37

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zedrummer

I am about to reach the end of the main quests of A Realm Reborn. I have played WoW from the beginning until 2 months ago, spent about a year in Age of Conan and tried 2 or 3 other MMORPGs.

Until now, FF XIV is a great game with a really strong storyline in which YOU are one of the main character. And it's not as polished as others, NPC may say (in the French version at least) "balls" or "sheat" or... what makes it more realistic than a tall and strong guy saying "whoopsidaisies!"...

But what is missing and I would have liked to find in this expansion is mini-games. I mean something different from the find objects/kill monsters/escort a NPC along a path (=kill monsters as quick as possible) standard quests. I know it's not good to refer to another game, but WoW races, plants vs zombies style games, battle pet combats, etc... make this game deeper, and as FF XIV is on its way to prove to get a lot of players, I think that they should work on this kind of improvement to keep them.

Another flaw of the game is the fact that foes look really dumb: you may see 2 (or more) of them talking to each other, you attack one of them and the other one(s) goes on speaking o_O. You'll rarely be attacked by a pack, some foes are linked but it doesn't occur often, even if they are a group.

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Uedukai

FREE XP Bonus, Aetheryte tickets, Silver Chocobo feathers (exchanged for high quality items). Just use this recruitment code when signing up for FFXIV! -> ZHJVN4YE

Avatar image for marich7
marich7

I came back to play Heavensward after months of no play. Hard to play when you're in school and working part time, but I digress. Finding out that I had to do the quest before the Expansion was indeed a blow to the feels, but I bit the bullet. Now I'm on the last Main Scenario quests before Heavensward and I'm i111 now. I started out i91. I have on gear now, that almost a year ago, (that's when I last played before now) was only obtainable through dungeon grinding. The incentives for doing the main scenarios quest are well worth it. Almost a year ago, i110 gear from main scenario quests was a dream, and now you can clad two classes in now decent end game gear. Bite the bullet peops, and chill with the complaints. It's not that bad, and it's only going to get better. Happy gaming, everyone.

-Damn right I drank the koolaid! It's purple, and that's my favorite flavor.

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MaddenBowler10

Going to give the base game a try with the 14-day free trial. This MMO has def peaked my interest. Wish me luck.

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Goron24

@MaddenBowler10: If you decide to buy it, get it through GoG and look up Mrhappy on youtube he has a 20% off code. I got mine for $16.99 (base game). No joke

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Acillatem1993

@Goron24: Well its 10€ on steam.

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xiViaarksman

@MaddenBowler10 good luck:

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No_one

Never been into online games. I like epic JRPGs, but have no idea if this would interest me. Anyone wanna share their opinion. If it is just a chore of a game e.g. killing 10,000,000 wild boars to upgrade a level, not interested. Casual gamer. Haven't got all the time in the world or the patience to grind like classic online games.

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Runock

@no_one: I wouldn't suggest this for you because it doesn't seem you have the time for it. To really get things done requires 2-3 hours a day of play time. Otherwise you'll just end up doing some quests and log off which wouldn't be much fun and wouldn't be worth a sub.

If you get time in the future though it's easily the best MMO on the market today and a-lot of fun.

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marich7

@no_one: My good sir, this game is the best subscription mmo out to date, and that is no exaggeration. Not to mention, if you're an Final Fantasy fan, it just may very well make you weep tears of joy. I stopped playing Guild Wars 2 completely to play this game, and Guild Wars 2 is both free and a really good mmo. Grinding is not a choir in FF XIV, especially for your main class and job. 2.5-3.5 hours a day with main story quests and a little dungeon running, and your first class and job will be done in 20-25 days tops, with plenty of main quest to spare. I kid you not. It's probably faster than that actually. The story is really good. The battles are awesome. The world of Eorzea is breath taking. The musical score is enchanting. The game is immersive in the way games were immersive when you first starting playing them, and they just got better the more you played. In all honesty it's the best game I'm playing right now.

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No_one

@marich7: Thanks... did you say you have to play 2.5 - 3.5 hours a day... that is a lot of gaming.

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Alien-Ouy

@no_one: Its simple the game has to be long since for them its important to have you as a member. The more you play the more you pay! Its no use having a mmorpg that coasts more than 50$ with monthly fees if you ask me. To some people these things get predictable and annoying , the game can't be compared with the AAA FF games anyway. For example where is the voice acting and why the characters look outdated ?

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marich7

@no_one: I wasn't including weekends actually, so it's basically 12.5-17.5 hours a week, the difference being 1-2 more dungeons a day depending on who you run them with. The subscription is 30 days at $13 a month. I typically try to play at least 20-25 of those days. You'll honestly be surprised how long you can play this game. If you have other stuff going on, it's best to play it during the week, because I've personally lost weekends in this game. Best to have a schedule.

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McGuirex3

Wow Susan Calloway what fantastic voice work indeed at least for this song anyway! It's the first time I've ever heard her sing.

Avatar image for McGuirex3
McGuirex3

@Avantyr said:

There is a movement asking Sony to improve their PSN.

Please head over to:

http://www.betterpsn.com/

To read more.

Hi there Avantyr. Are you talking about PSN on PS3 & or PS4? Cuz I only have last-gens PS3 and not sure if and or when I be getting an PS4. Anyway if PS3?PSN than man Sony really needs to do some work on it. But I kind of doubt they'll be doing much if anything because understandably to a point anyway, it's all about the PS4 now right?!

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Goron24

@McGuirex3: I believe its PSN in general so PS3/4 and Vita. Its all the same service

Avatar image for McGuirex3
McGuirex3

@Goron24 said:

@McGuirex3: I believe its PSN in general so PS3/4 and Vita. Its all the same service

I see & thanks for the response. So I guess one shouldn't just assume that just because the screen is different that doesn't mean it's in part whole better right?! Happy gaming!

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Jjinne

This is a fantastic game. I played 1.0 from the Alpha. I won't lie. I hated it. I hated the play, the casting, the story set up, how buggy it was....Then quit two months after launch. Yep. Went back to playing another game for a while. Then another. Then another. Meh. I came back in 2.0 and was glad I did. It's the best MMO I have ever played. This newest addition is stunning. The story is interesting. The new jobs are exciting, and the game play is fun. I'm not going to whine about sub fees. It's worth it. Much more money gets spend on entertainments that are far less fun to me. I'd rather give SE the cash,... which amounts to a martini and a half in Boston..... Seriously. It's short money. If you can't afford to pay that little, you shouldn't be gaming. It's an pricey hobby. Being angry at others because they can is just silly. I won't complain about grinds... it's an MMO. MMOs grind. It's not a game designed for instant gratification. It builds and winds and twists and there is always something new and interesting around every quest's corner. I play on a computer, my other half plays on PS4. They each have their merits. I don't have lag issues in large crowds though, he does. However, he gets one of the big screen TVS to play so... I want one too. LOL. Crafting is rewarding. Hell, everything is rewarding if you keep at it, and I like that. It's a great game. If you don't like it. Ok. I do though. So Kudos to SE. You win all of the awesome.

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Kashmiro

I enjoyed FF14 when played closer to its re-launch. However, after spending 10 years on WoW I just can't get into another mmo.

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Jjinne

@Kashmiro: So, go comment on the wow board instead?

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Kashmiro

@JjinneNothing of what I said referred to comparing WoW and FF14 or if I preferred one over the other. I was simply stating that FF14 was great, I just don't have the time required to get into another mmo. Also, this is a review, not a board. I don't know why people are getting so defensive over FF14.

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McGuirex3

@Jjinne said:

@Kashmiro: So, go comment on the wow board instead?

Indeed!

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Kashmiro

@McGuirex3: People are so touchy.

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McGuirex3

@Kashmiro:

Indeed we all can be at times, more so now a days big-time!

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BigDawgSteve420

How is the game on PS4??? Both with communication and overall playability?

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Intrumental9

@BigDawgSteve420: It's play pretty well, and looks good. There's sometimes framedrops in big areas or when there's a ton of people around.

Communication isn't so great though, unless you attach a USB keyboard. You can always use PSN party chat if everyone you play with is on PS4, but most playstation users have to use a phone/tablet app (like mumble) or something if they want voice chat with PC users.

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metalmoog

Drop the sub fee and I'm in.

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Code-Llama

@metalmoog: Well, I for one would rather they don't. I hate the communities in F2P games.

Also, the subscription allows them to pump out new content every 3 months at no additional cost. Heavensward was the first paid expansion, before that we got a new class/job, new raids, new gear, new dungeons, new primals all added in at no additional cost. And it will keep on going this way.

Every 3 months or so: new big patch with new content. Every week there's also maintenance with smaller patches that keep the game balanced and fun. It's an amazing game, with an amazing community, and well worth the subscription considering how many hours you can put into it without feeling bored every month. Compared to other games I've played, this game has given me over a thousand hours in half a year. So over a thousand hours for a total of 77.94€ (or around $90 for the US)? Not many games can say the same.

I truly recommend it to everyone. It is the best PvE I've ever played in a MMO, and I've played quite a few.

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keech

@metalmoog: I take it with a grain of salt, but Square-Enix has said they would shut the game down before they ever let it go free to play. Given that Final Fantasy XI is still active, still a subscription game, and still making money, It's safe to say they aren't changing their business plan any time soon.

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indzman

NEXT: FF XV 10 / 10 on gamespot XD

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JavanC

just wondering, should i play this on PC or PS4? I think graphics of ps4 work fine for me.... any other considerations??

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spoonybard-hahs

@JavanC: It honestly doesn't matter aside from DX11 support. The only draw back is if the PSN has to go into maintenance, then you can't play until the PSN servers are back up.

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Jjinne

@JavanC: If you're a stickler on speed, clear graphics, no lag, play on a decent PC. If you don't care about any of that so much, PS4.

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malspaugh

@JavanC: i have been playing on my ps4 and have never really experienced anything negative. the only thing that was annoying was that it took forever to type with the controller so I got a keyboard to plug into the ps4 and now there is practically no difference.

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pcmodem

@JavanC: I often play on my couch with my xbox controller for the PC, If I had to be restricted to the console I would probably have a keyboard for it at the very least, however. Realistically the target switching on the console is a bit cumbersome especially if you come from a traditional PC MMO background. Otherwise, PS4 is a great platform and equivalent to the PC - If your just looking for a relaxed DPS experience and don't plan to chat much, PS4 all the way.

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googleli

Is this the highest score given to an MMORPG by Gamespot, ever? I mean WoW was just like 8.5. But if it is, I kind of agree. Coming way back from UO and EQ, to WoW and all its expansions, LOTRO, Age of Conan, Rift and ESO, I do feel that FFXIV is the best MMO experience I have ever had as a whole - it may not be the best in every aspect, but the combination of its storytelling, sense of greatness of the areas especially in the expansion, job variety, graphics and music has made it the best MMORPG ever to date - as least to me. The final moments of the Heavenward story is certainly comparable to those in the best FF games - and it is exactly that which makes FFXIV ARR such a great game.

I wish they put a bit more thoughts on the side quests though. There is nothing wrong about them as they currently are, but there is nothing spectecular either. If the developers are watching - the side quests of Witcher 3 should be a good reference point - every one of the quests in Witcher 3 had a good story behind it and is not just 2 paragraphs of narratives.

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rzaartz

I just wish the subscription could be based on time played and not perday. I got tow months subscription and played the game only weekends the got my character to level 30 on both ninja and tank class spent just 30 hours playing a game i $20 for 3 months. Do they think we are so jobless that all we do is play games. There are people out there who work and dont have enough time to play the game every single day.

Let them change the subscription to time based and not daily. Then they can have my money.

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spoonybard-hahs

@rzaartz: I can't think of anything on earth that actually works like that. And even then, if some service actually did, it would end up being cheaper to subscribe for longer periods of time than just "when you need it."

Avatar image for keech
keech

@spoonybard-hahs: Too true, It's kind of the same logical fallacy that cause people to fall for "free to play" MMO's. The kind that invite you in, then ask you to pay to use a mount, unlock a fun class, be able to use this cool ability set, wear this neat looking armor, get more inventory space, be able to hold enough money to actually buy items in game, ect.

Maybe it's just me, but I would much rather pay my $12.99 a month and get unlimited access to the entire game. Rather than being brow beaten by a game constantly trying to pressure me into spending just another $5.

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Nissemean

@keech:

Upgradeable Gear with a chance of failing.

Oh you dont want to spend money on it? Well enjoy being useless forever because the in game money ones got such a low chance to succeed its stupid, and might in wore case scenario of f2p games destroy the gear piece.

Worst cancer to ever exist in any f2p mmo ever.

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Dehryll

LOL that vfibsux guy is on the longest salt spree I've ever seen, literally replying to every comment about how much he can't wrap his head around this game.

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vfibsux

@dehryll said:

LOL that vfibsux guy is on the longest salt spree I've ever seen, literally replying to every comment about how much he can't wrap his head around this game.

You know what is annoying? People who do not know how to use the words literally vs. virtually.

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MaynardKeenanX

@vfibsux: and grammar nazis

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Teretzify

Alright, FFXIV is a story driven game. Therefore, you have to finish the story quests before you can begin the expansion content. If you think the story quests are bad, you SHOULDN'T BE PLAYING THIS GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE.

STOP COMPLAINING.

Final Fantasy XIV Online: A Realm Reborn More Info

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  • First Released Aug 27, 2013
    released
    • Macintosh
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • PlayStation 4
    After a tumultuous launch, an entirely new team at Square-Enix has completely redesigned and rebuilt their second MMO, Final Fantasy XIV Online, from the ground up.
    8.1
    Average Rating515 Rating(s)
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    Developed by:
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    Genre(s):
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    Theme(s):
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    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
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    Language, Mild Blood, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence