Naoki Yoshida is back to talk about Final Fantasy XVI, revealing new details on the anticipated PS5 exclusive coming in 2023. Let’s take stock of what has emerged.
Final Fantasy XVI slowly begins to take shape. Although the game has recently returned to show itself during Sony’s latest State of Play, there are still many points to be clarified on the ambitious new project of the Creative Business Unit III. A few weeks after the release of the “Dominion” trailer, producer Naoki Yoshida is back to talk about the game, revealing a whole series of new details on the game structure, combat system, party, Eikon and much more.
Let’s take stock of what has emerged, summarizing all the news on the PS5 exclusive awaiting arrival in the summer of 2023.
Party, combat system and Eikon
We had already guessed for some time that Final Fantasy XVI intended to break away from tradition and the definitive confirmation seemed to be hidden in the suspicion – now more than founded – of abandoning the party for this new chapter . After all, the communication of the game has always focused only on the protagonist, Clive Rosfield , and all the fighting sequences shown in the trailers had shown only him as a playable character, making us suspect that the main series had in fact abandoned a distinctive element of the its history.
Yoshida intervened to definitively clarify the question and officially confirmed that the party will be there. The members will help Clive in battle, but they will all be controlled by artificial intelligence with the only exception being the possibility of assigning simple commands to ” a companion “, setting them manually or automatically depending on the chosen fighting style.
Final Fantasy XVI, therefore, will have a similar structure to that already seen in Final Fantasy XV at launch, with only one playable character and an AI-controlled party.
A choice that if on the one hand obviously can destabilize the historical fans of the saga accustomed to managing every member of the party, on the other hand it will allow you to have a deep and structured combat system created specifically for Clive. Yoshida also did not specify if and how much party members can be customized in skills and strategies in battle, but even if it was actually possible, it is evident at this point we will not have the same freedoms granted for the management of Clive.
As for the combat system, Yoshida confirmed the focus on the action in real time, revealing some particularly interesting background on the matter. For this new chapter, the team wanted to experiment with a new approach, breaking away from the ideas adopted in previous episodes to embrace a more action-oriented drift.
Having finally identified the path to follow, the game actually took shape only following the arrival of the battle director Ryota Suzuki – who we remember having worked on the combat systems of Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon’s Dogma – who managed to redefine the concept initial, transforming it into the frenetic combat system that we have already had the opportunity to admire in more detail in the latest gameplay trailer.
In addition to having therefore had the support and guidance of Ryota Suzuki , however, the Final Fantasy XVI team also made use of the considerable experience in real-time combat gained by the Kingdom Hearts team which proved to be particularly useful in contributing to the development. real-time battles and boss battles. If you then think that among the main sources of inspiration in addition to Capcom, there are also some masters of real-time action such as PlatinumGames and FromSoftware, you understand perfectly where this setting comes from, more focused on action dynamism and spectacularity. of the clashes.
Furthermore, according to Yoshida’s words, the battles will not only be spectacular and choreographic, but they will be dynamic, leading to clashes that in real time can change in size and intensity. For example, in some moments Clive will be able to fight with a group of lesser enemies and suddenly find himself fighting with an Eikon.
And staying on the subject, another interesting detail concerns the fights between Eikon . In the last trailer we had suspected that there could be the possibility that the clashes between Eikon shown were playable in real time, given the presence of the two HP bars on the screen. Well, Yoshida not only confirmed this possibility, but also pointed out that they will all be different in terms of mechanics and staging. The producer has anticipated that one of these battles will work in a similar way to a 3D shooter, while another may recall a wrestling match. In essence, each battle between Eikon will be unique and spectacular, so epic that in some cases it will be able to transform an entire area into a battlefield.
Structure with areas, themes and DLCs
For the occasion, Yoshida has returned to briefly also talk about the topics addressed in the game. We already know that Final Fantasy XVI will boast a narrative system that promises to be more mature and dark in tone. And it is precisely for this reason that the game will have an “M” rating (our PEGI 18+, so to speak) in almost all countries.
A necessary choice to tell a story characterized by mature themes without any limit whatsoever.
With the exception of the spin-offs Final Fantasy Type-0 and Stranger of Paradise , in fact, all the games in the main series have a rating of T or E (13+ and 10+), so Final Fantasy 16 will be the first to obtain the rating of this type. Yoshida explained that while he believes that restrictive ratings are important to ensure that people are enjoying content appropriate for their age, trying to tell a more mature story without exceeding the limits of ratings suitable for younger people can hinder the creative process and the experience for gamers. For this reason, Final Fantasy 16 will break tradition and aim for a “mature” rating so that it can tell the story without any limitations .
As for the setting, however, the Producer has specified that Final Fantasy XVI will not be an open world title, but will have an ” area structure ” apparently similar to that seen in Pokémon Legends: Arceus , also labeled since its advert as a pure open world. Extremely vast, rich in detail and freely explorable, the independent macro-areas that will make up the game world of Final Fantasy XVI will thus give players an effective idea of global scale despite the absence of an open world setting.
Finally, Yoshida also took the opportunity to point out that the sixteenth final fantasy will offer “a complete experience since launch”. At least for the moment, in fact, it would seem that Square Enix has no plans for any DLC for the game. This does not necessarily mean that the game will not see expansions in the future, but that simply the only priority of the team at the moment is to package an experience that is as complete as possible.
At the moment it is certainly early to make predictions about the future. What is certain, however, is that soon we will be able to take a further look at the sixteenth final fantasy thanks to the arrival of a new trailer, expected in the fall and all focused on the history of Valisthea.
Final Fantasy XVI will be available in the summer of 2023 exclusively on PS5.