Final Fantasy 16 and Why I’m Being Cautious

Final Fantasy 16 is making it’s way to us at a very slow rate. We’ve had a number of sequels and remasters since Final Fantasy 15. It will be the first Final Fantasy to be released on the newest generation of consoles. So let’s take a look at what we know already.

Will Final Fantasy 16 Be Open World?

No, it won’t. Square Enix are focusing on bringing interesting level design to Final Fantasy 16 rather than a bland open world that has limited the previous games story telling. If it’s anything like the Monster Hunter series (pre-Worlds) then it’s no small loss.

Even Final Fantasy X (Which is my favourite of the series) didn’t use a open-world, rather limited the world to select areas. Which made it far more interesting and the levels better designed. But Final Fantasy 13 was very limited and felt very restricted.

The Trailer

Final Fantasy 15 had a huge world, which had a lot of areas that were very bland and uninteresting. You spent more time travelling to and from areas than you did actually enjoying the story. Though the car radio aspect did make it slightly more interesting. Hopefully with smaller environments, Final Fantasy 16 will be able to bring us more interesting biomes that will make each area feel very different.

Who are the Characters of Final Fantasy 16?

Core to every Final Fantasy is it’s characters especially the characters within the player’s party. There is very little detail on each character. With only 3 characters having any details at all. This is what we know so far.

Clive Rosfield
An older Clive Rosfield

Clive Rosfield is son of the Archduke of Rosaria. Which is one of the main areas of FF16. He is tasked with defending his younger brother Joshua who inherits the role of a ‘Dominant’ of Phoenix. ‘Dominants’ seem to be very similar to the summoners of FFX, except each Duchy has their own summoning controlled by one ‘Dominant’.
We see two versions of Clive, a young man and a grizzled vet. Between these two time periods an event befalls Clive which changes everything. Possibly Joshua dies?

Jill Warrick looks like the female lead which was missing from the boys only club of Final Fantasy 15. She has a difficult past, yet sees the Rosfield’s as family even though they were a cause of her difficulties. No word yet of if she will a love interest in the game.

Joshua Rosfield is a ‘Dominant’, a person who host’s Eikons. Would this be similar to the Jinchūriki in Naruto. For those that don’t know, people in each village in Naruto are forced to host a nine-tailed beast which is equivalent to a WMD. From what we can see in the trailer there isn’t much to go on. Would the Dominant have a relationship with the Eikons? Or will it be like the other Final Fantasy’s where they are just there to do the users bidding?

Also where is Joshua during the fight sequences? Clearly Clive is older in the sequences, so does that mean Clive becomes the new ‘Dominant’. Or is a case of showcasing the combat without any distractions? Only time will tell.

In the above trailer the voice acting is clearly British actors. Though from this interview with the producer Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida, it looks as though there will be no American accents and purely European voice acting.

There are at least one or two characters in the trailer that we don’t know about, such as the female commander and also the captain. Hopefully we will know more as both seem to be very powerful individuals.

The Plot

Final Fantasy 16 is based in a land called Valisthea. Magick is blessed upon it’s people through the Mothercrystals. Great civilizations have grown around them providing them an easy and long life for its inhabitants (Sounds a lot like FFX and Machina). Each empire contains a ‘Dominant’ that is able to summon a beast to do their bidding. Which protects each realm from all out war. But even so, during the events of Final Fantasy 16, it appears even this cannot stop the inevitability of war.

The world is set in a Medieval European theme which explains the choice of voice actors. Which is clearly shown during the 4 minute trailer above. Which is a nice departure from the generic American accents we had received in the previous games. Which could be this game’s saving grace.

Final Fantasy 16 Ilfrit
He looks amazing.

With the return of Summons, Shiva and Ilfrit are at the forefront of the trailer. With Ilfrit looking way more powerful than he has ever been in a Final Fantasy game. Usually he is one of the first to be unlocked, but in the trailer he looks like a juggernaut of power. The battles between these summons look amazing and dramatic. They look amazing even outside cut scenes, and will hopefully be at the centre of the combat later on.

Final Fantasy 16 Game-play

We do not know yet how the battles will unfold in Final Fantasy 16. Though I doubt that Square Enix will return to turn based combat from their Golden Era. Summons will be intertwined with the battle with their actions chaining with the party’s actions. The companions will also be AI controlled. Let us hope that there is some level of control you can have over them or that the AI is smart enough to ‘think’ for itself.

Final Fantasy 16 Combat
Combat looks fast paced.

From the trailer it looks very similar to FF15. With the ability to instantly teleport across the battlefield to either dodge or attack the enemy. There appears to be no HUD but that may be due to being a trailer or the HUD hasn’t been finalised. Though it would be pretty cool if there was an option to hide it. The magic can also be cast instantly which makes them seem weak and not as epic as previous games.

The Big Issue

Final Fantasy 16 will so far only be coming to the PlayStation 5. Neglecting the older generation consoles would be fine, if getting a hold of a PlayStation 5 wasn’t so difficult. There are few games on the PlayStation that warrant a purchase and even they are coming to PC. The Xbox Series consoles are in plentiful supply, and Square Enix are missing out on a huge user base if they don’t release on them too.

But, focusing on one platform isn’t always a negative. The quality of First Party games is amazing. With The Last of Us and God of War pushing the limits of the PlayStation 4. Square Enix may not have the same tool set available as Sony would. But they can pool their resources into making it the best game they possibly can. Without having to worry about porting the game to another platform.

The Look of Final Fantasy 16

As graphics continue to improve the jump from one generation to the next will not seem like such a huge jump in visual quality. Looking at the images and the trailer so far the game looks beautiful. With the scene of the camp-fire reflecting in Clive’s eye. To the summons themselves being rendered in so much detail. Lighting effects seem to have improved the most compared to Final Fantasy 15.

No news on whether the game will be running at 60 frames per second. But considering the fast pace action of the combat this will be a must. This may mean the graphical detail will take a hit. But most people won’t notice it and those that do, would probably prefer smoother game-play.

What is the Fan Base Saying?

I took a quick look at the sub reddit for Final Fantasy 16 and found the below post:

The poster highlights what I said before. How will characters stats progress through the different stages of the game. From what EzyStevey has said there is actually 3 different stages to the game. Teen, 20s and 30s. There are many different theories so I recommend checking out the above. But if you have any ideas please add them to the comments below.

In another post, reddit user /Soul_Removal, looked into whether we will be getting any additional lore such as novels, movies, animations such as we received for the previous game:

Now this could seem like a negative point. But for me, it means all the media you need to consume to enjoy the game is just Final Fantasy 16 game. At least initially. If the fans love the world, I’m sure more media will be added which will support the lore of the game rather than add to it.

Will This be my Final Fantasy?

For me Final Fantasy has always been the RPG that would push the mould. And Final Fantasy 15 and so far 16 are definitely doing that. But I miss the turn-based systems and the larger parties of around 6 or more. The themes of the latest games are also very similar with them all being about large empires waging wars on one another. Rather than a big baddie and his horde of kin. For now I will be optimistic.

Maybe this one will hit all the right notes that other Final Fantasy games have missed. In the meantime I’ll go back to the earlier titles as I’ve still yet to complete 2 – 8 and I know I’m missing out on 7.

What’s your favourite Final Fantasy?