2023 keeps on chugging out excellent games, and with Final Fantasy 16 on the horizon, excitement surrounding the action RPG is continuing to grow by the minute. In the lead up to its launch, Square Enix has shown of a great deal of gameplay – some would say a little too much – and new details on the game have continued to trickle out at a consistent pace. Here, we’ve compiled a few more interesting details about Final Fantasy 16 that have recently emerged that you should know about ahead of its launch later this month.
Final Fantasy 16 is not an open world game, which is something that we’ve known about for some time, but with it still promising a journey that will take players to all corners of Valisthea, it’s natural to wonder just how we’ll be getting around, in terms of means of traversal. After all, the series has a long history of letting players move about the world in everything from boats to airships to cars and more- so can we expect something similar for Final Fantasy 16? Sadly, no. As confirmed by the developers in an interview with Game Informer, for the most part, fast travel will be your primary means of getting to different locations in the world, while actual traversal will be done either on foot or by riding around on chocobos.
The vast majority of the reception for Final Fantasy 16 with each of its showings has been positive up to this point, though early on, there was some criticism for its UI, with many drawing attention to how busy and on the forefront it seemed to be, almost as if it was resembling a fighting game. Producer Naoki Yoshida recently touched on that in a recent interview with Final Fantasy Union, and explained that though the development team initially did change the UI in response to the feedback in order to make it blend into the game and its style a bit more seamlessly, they found that it was blending too well, and that the original style fit the game’s needs as an action-heavy RPG much better. As such, when the game launches, it’ll feature a UI that’ll largely be the same as what’s been shown in all of the pre-launch gameplay.
WHY IT ISN’T OPEN WORLD
We touched on Final Fantasy 16 not being an open world game, with Square Enix having confirmed a while back that selecting locations through a world map will be how players will be getting to different locations of varying sizes. But why exactly is it that the developers decided to veer away from an open world approach, especially since Final Fantasy 15 did the exact opposite? Interestingly enough, it’s primarily because of the backlash against the 2016 title. Speaking recently with Game Informer, Yoshida said that the development team wanted to avoid the storytelling mistakes of Final Fantasy 15, and decided to focus first and foremost on telling a complete story. That focus on storytelling, they felt, wouldn’t gel with an open world setting very well. “Rather than trying to take that [journey] and force it into an open world setting because open world games happen to be popular, we decided that, ‘No, we want to tell the story the way we want to tell it and make it a global scale type of thing and this is probably going to work better,” he said. “Once the core development team had seen the story and where it’s going to take us, then there wasn’t really a discussion about [making it open world].”
GOD OF WAR INSPIRATIONS
If ever you’ve glanced at one of Final Fantasy 16’s high-octane set piece moments and sensed a little bit of God of War influence in there, that’s very much by design. According to producer Naoki Yoshida, God of War games – in particular, the older, Greek-era titles in the series – served as an inspiration for Final Fantasy 16’s Eikon vs Eikon boss battles. “The craziness of the boss battles in God of War, when it was a more traditional action game, is just… The game design is so different for each stage, and the boss is so unique, everything is made with power, and you can feel the power,” he said in a recent interview with Push Square. “So, while I personally also really like the most recent God of War games, I look back further to the original God of Wars, and especially the boss battles in those, how the boss battles are all crazy, they’re all different designs for each, they’re all unique, they’re all over the top, and in getting inspiration from that and creating our Eikon versus Eikon battles to kind of have that same feel.”
Game director Hiroshi Minagawa added, “We really looked deeply at the God of War games, looking at all the leaves on the trees and comparing them to what we have to make sure what we have is hopefully better than what they have.”
GAME OF THRONES INSPIRATIONS
Final Fantasy 16’s development team hasn’t tried to hide the fact that Game of Thrones has served as an inspiration for the RPG, which, given its mature medieval fantasy setting, doesn’t come as a surprise. Of course, given how shockingly Game of Thrones went downhill in its last couple of seasons, that might actually be a concern for many. Fret not though, because they pretty much only focused on the good seasons, to the extent where the core development team was made to watch the first four seasons of the HBO show.
“Right around the start of the game’s development back when we’re in that early period is right about when [Season 4] was airing,” Yoshida recently told Game Informer. “We had seen it grow into this television show that was loved around the world, not just by older generations but younger generations as well. So we bought the Blu-Ray box of Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 4, and made everyone on the team watch it basically to get across to developers that this is what’s trending in the world – that this is the type of fantasy that people are enjoying.”
It’s no secret that Final Fantasy 16’s combat is taking heavy inspiration from the Devil May Cry games, what with Ryota Suzuki, a former veteran of Capcom’s action franchise, serving as its lead combat designer. Beyond that though, there were a few other games that the development team looked at as well, as they explained in a recent Game Informer interview. One was, of course, Final Fantasy 14, which is handled by the same studio and also led by Naoki Yoshida. Primarily, the visual cues that FF14 uses in combat were something that the team brought over into FF16, given that it’s a fully real-time action game. Meanwhile, Ryota Suzuki also pulled in his Capcom experience from Marvel vs Capcom 2, with Final Fantasy 16 taking cues from the fighting title’s Assist system in how it lets player issue commands to Torgal during combat.
We’ve had a good look at Cid’s Hideaway in the lead up to FF16’s launch. Essentially serving as a hub location throughout the game, Cid’s Hideaway is set to feature a number of side activities, like picking up side quests from NPCs, learning about monster hunts on the Hunt Board, heading into the training arena using the Arete Stone, and more. Another facility that’ll available in the Hideway will be a personal chamber that Clive will have all to himself. From receiving regular letters from a variety of characters that Clive has met on his journey to being able to decorate the Wall of Memories with mementos and trinkets, there will be interesting things for players to do here as well.
NEW GAME PLUS DETAILS
A New Game Plus mode was confirmed for Final Fantasy 16 a while back, but new details have also now been revealed, and it looks like it’s going to be a pretty feature-rich mode. For starters, players will obviously be able to do regular New Game Plus runs with both Story Focus and Action Focus modes, but if you’re looking for more of a challenge, additional options will also be available. Final Fantasy mode will increase the difficulty in a variety of ways, from enemy types being remixed to monster placements being changed, while Ultimaniac mode will take that even further as far as challenge is concerned.
Square Enix has confirmed multiple times that Final Fantasy 16 will receive a demo a couple of weeks before launch, but exactly how meaty will it be? By the looks of it, it’ll be quite meaty. It will, as previously confirmed, cover the earlier sections of the game, and is set to be roughly a couple of hours long. Meanwhile, players will also be able to carry over their save data from the demo into the full game to pick up exactly where they left off. Exactly when the demo will release remains to be seen, though its listing did recently pop up on the PlayStation Store, so it’s bound to be sometime soon.
Whether or not Final Fantasy 16 will have a PC version has been the source of much confusion for a while now, but finally, Square Enix has made things clearer. Though the game’s PS5 exclusivity window will last six months, it’s going to take longer than that for the game to come to PC, with the development team requiring more time to properly optimize it for the platform. Given how many sub-par PC ports we’ve seen in recent months, that’s ultimately a good thing.
Speaking recently with Japanese outlet ASCII, Yoshida confirmed that once the game is out on PS5, the development team will begin working on a PC version. How long it takes for it to release for the platform after that is anyone’s best guess at this point.