The release of the newest game in the legendary JRPG franchise, Final Fantasy, is just around the corner. The excitement of gamers is palpable; reviewers are already itching, and Square Enix just couldn’t help but tease more. Everyone is just eager for Final Fantasy XVI to finally hit store shelves!
So, what do we know about the game so far? Why is it that everyone is feeling positive about the new FF entry? Read on as we share all you need to know about Final Fantasy XVI ahead of its impending release.
The Evolution of the Core Final Fantasy Gameplay
The series has inched away from the traditional JRPG genre for years now. That said, Final Fantasy’s new game may just be the series’ largest leap away from it yet. Final Fantasy XVI is a full-fledged action RPG akin to Square Enix’s other successful franchise, Kingdom Hearts.
According to the game’s director, Hiroshi Takai, XVI aims to bring evolution to the core gameplay of FF games. Long gone is the traditional turn-based battle system. Now, everything is fast-paced and in real-time—players no longer have the luxury of time in their hands. XVI intends to make the gameplay more reactive and quick, emphasizing action spectacle over number-crunching.
In addition, it has been announced that FF XVI wouldn’t be an open-world game. While players can travel across several varied and sprawling locations throughout the game, they would be large open hub areas instead. Moreover, the gameplay itself can change in certain sections of the game. For instance, Eikon battles will be significantly slower than normal battles. As per Takai, such would resemble a wrestling game.
It is also worth noting that XVI wouldn’t have the series’ trademark party system gamers grew to love. You’d spend most of the game with the focus on only one character, the game’s main protagonist, Clive Rosfield. This is a drastic change of approach for the series. The majority of its previous titles had focused on friendships and letting players control multiple characters that fight toward a common goal.
That being said, Clive wouldn’t be all alone on the entire journey. Despite the absence of the party system, the developers noted that Clive will have friends fight alongside him on certain sections. Notably, it is yet to be determined whether XVI would allow players to control other characters other than Clive.
The Medieval Story Setting is Back…and Stronger than Ever
The past few FF games had their stories set in a modern fantasy world where magic and technology both thrived. FFXVI breaks that mold as well, opting to go back to the series’ roots—a true medieval fantasy setting.
The game is set in Valisthea, a land asunder by six conflicting realms. Much like old FF games, Valisthea is dominated by a single source of magic, the mountainous Mothercrystals. Wars began as the six nations fought for dominance over it.
Another interesting thing XVI did to spice up its story is to change up the series’ trademark summons (called Eikons in the game). In this game, they are giant mythical beings that the nations use to change the tide of war in their favor. They reside in certain characters which are called Dominants giving them outrageous power.
All in all, fans are eager to see the FF series go back to medieval times. And based on the released story trailers, we may be on the precipice of a wonderful, gritty tale.
Final Fantasy XVI Platforms and Release Date
Final Fantasy XVI is set to be a PlayStation 5 exclusive title, at least for the first six months. After that period, the game is expected to come to PC. While this may sound excellent to PS fans, Xbox and Nintendo Switch gamers are left in the dark.
Nevertheless, the FF series itself thrived the most on PlayStation, so it isn’t all that surprising to see it be dedicated solely to the system. Expect Final Fantasy XVI to hit the PS Store and physical store shelves on June 22, 2023.