Final Fantasy 16 – Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming RPG

Perhaps the biggest mainline Final Fantasy title to date launches on June 22nd. Here's what you need to know before buying in.

Posted By | On 02nd, Jun. 2023

Final Fantasy 16 – Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming RPG

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 16 is just a few weeks away but is already one of the most hyped games this year. The more mature storyline, dark fantasy approach, real-time combat and gorgeous visuals have only fueled that hype as the months have passed. It’s finally out on June 22nd worldwide for PS5, but some new details are already available courtesy of various previews, not to mention the latest trailer from the PlayStation Showcase. Here are 15 new things you should know before jumping into the RPG.

Demo Details

Square Enix has already confirmed that a demo will release in June about two weeks before the game is out, with progress carrying over. The recent previews are based on that same demo, which covers the opening hours. In addition to introducing Clive, and the world at large, it will also flashback to his teens in Rosalith, showcasing his relationship with his brother Joshua. Of course, we’ll also see how he awakened the power of Ifrit, what caused the downfall of Rosalith, becoming Branded and more.

Crystals and Blight

A new trailer debuted at Sony’s PlayStation Showcase, and it revealed some surprising implications (spoilers, so beware). It seems that Mother Crystals aren’t the reason the world of Valisthea is alive, but rather why it’s dying. Though it wasn’t outright stated, they could be the reason for the Blight. Clive and his friends thus decide to change their fate and potentially destroy the Crystals. The other Dominants (aside from Cid) seem to have mixed reactions to this, so how things turn out remains to be seen.

The Burning Thorn

During the demo, we’ll learn more about a weapon called The Burning Thorn. It’s one of the seven swords forged in Mt. Drustanus, and though Clive doesn’t exactly wield it in the opening hours, players will be able to try it out in a different way. Furthermore, the fact that there are seven could point to it being post-game loot or even available in New Game Plus. Time will tell.

Starting Combat Options

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There are a lot of different Eikonic abilities that Clive will learn and customize throughout his journey. However, your options are limited early on, with only a few moves available. Clive can attack and fire from a distance, jump in the air and Phoenix Shift towards foes. As time passes, he’ll gain abilities like Rising Flames to launch enemies, and Heatwave, which unleashes fiery slices. Eventually, you’ll gain some skills from Garuda and can unleash a quick flurry of attacks or drag them down for an opening.

Training Settings

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Upon entering the Hideaway with Cid in the main story, the game opens up, providing more side quests and facilities like the Arete Stone. It’s where you can access Arcade Mode, Mission Replay and whatnot. But perhaps the coolest part is the training mode. You can fight against enemies and bosses to figure out their timing; adjust the speed, enemy density and damage; and toggle invincibility. It’s a way to practice against enemies that are giving you a tough time.

Tons of Different Bosses

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If all the gameplay with the Eikons and Dominants didn’t convince you of the encounter variety, there are also many other bosses with unique mechanics. There’s Fafnir of the North, which players fight with Cid’s help, who uses claw swipes and body slams but also rolls on the walls before launching itself at you. Clive battles a Control Node firing lasers at another point, and then a hulking Aurum Giant with a sword and shield. In another fight, you have to deal with Liquid Flame and Barnabas, the former attacking with flame familiars and the other using a massive sword that fires energy waves. It’s a lot to experience.

Active Time Lore System

Final Fantasy 16 has a lot of characters, regions, kingdoms, factions, Dominants, etc. Keeping track of everyone is tough, but fortunately, there’s the Active Time Lore System. It’s a compendium of the in-game history and characters, and their relations to each other, which is accessible any time during gameplay or cutscenes to get up to speed. There are hundreds of entries, but if you want to ignore them entirely, you can do that too.

A Complete Story

Final Fantasy 15 has its supporters to this day, but most fans could likely agree that the story wasn’t exactly the most complete at launch. It required DLC to flesh out events off-screen, to say nothing of the animated YouTube series or awful Kingsglaive film. Final Fantasy 16 won’t be making that same mistake, though. Producer Naoki Yoshida confirmed to Easy Allies that it will tell a “complete” story “from beginning to end.” Yoshida also wants this to resonate with “all types of players – the older players like me but also younger players – to have something that players are going to be able to understand and have fun with.”

No DLC Plans

Final Fantasy 16

There are also no plans for DLC, further feeding into that urge to deliver a complete story. Yoshida told Game Informer that Final Fantasy 16 is a “one-off game. We’re asking players to pay the full price for this experience, and so we want an experience that’s going to equal the amount of money that players are going to be paying, and we want them to have satisfaction equal to what they paid or even more than that.” While DLC isn’t off the table for later, Yoshida said, “We want to see if Valisthea and Clive are things players around the world want to see more of and then make that decision.”

Playtime

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Even if you’re in for the story, Final Fantasy 16 will demand a sizable chunk of time. It will take 35 to 40 hours to complete, says director Hiroshi Takai. However, if you delve into the optional content, it could take about 70 hours, but likely not including any completionist goals (like finding all the collectibles). You can also earn high scores in Arcade Mode, compete with other players worldwide, and engage in New Game Plus, which features new bosses and rearranged enemy positions.

No Optional Dungeons

final fantasy 16

Final Fantasy 16 isn’t an open-world game, but it has four massive zones about 2×2 kilometers in size, with new areas being added to the World Map that you can revisit later for new quests. However, there won’t be any optional or hidden dungeons off the beaten path for players to discover. Director Hiroshi Takai said the team wanted to focus on the main scenario and “not have this feeling that you have to go to this area and clear this area.”

That doesn’t mean there aren’t any dungeons at all. They’re located “off the field” and “connected in some way to the story.” Takai also affirms that “they’re all expertly crafted dungeons. We created these as great places, we want players to go there, so we’re going to give reasons for players to go there. We didn’t want to create something that most players may not even find.”

11 Hours of Cinematics

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Whether you’re engaged with the story or delving into side content, you can expect a ton of cinematics. Yoshida confirmed there are “over 11 hours of cinematic cutscenes” in the main scenario alone. They’re “all seamlessly interwoven into the game experience, playing in-engine in real-time.” How extensive the cinematics will be for the side content is unknown, but either way, you’ll be watching almost as much as engaging with the story throughout the main quest.

Photo Mode

What would a PS5 exclusive, even one that’s only a timed exclusive for six months, be without a Photo Mode? WCCF Tech spotted the same in their preview of the demo, and it has options to adjust the field of view, bokeh depth of field, focal distance, enabling or disabling characters, and more. It should be ready on day one (though the developer didn’t explicitly confirm it would be), and provide plenty of opportunities to capture the world of Valisthea in all its glory.

Orchestrion

One of the other facilities you’ll discover is the Orchestrion, which lets you play all the music tracks available up to that point. They’re all composed by the stellar Masayoshi Soken, who was only meant to create 140 tracks but delivered over 200. There are some variations on character themes, but fans can expect a wide selection suited to different situations (in addition to “Tsuki Wo Miteita – Moongazing” by Kenshi Yonezu of Chainsaw Man fame).

No Day One Patch

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Perhaps the most surprising thing about Final Fantasy 16 is there won’t be a day-one patch. Director Hiroshi Takai revealed to Game Informer that the team believes the final build is good to go. They also want to ensure it works out of the box for those without internet access to enjoy the game. Of course, there will likely be patches after launch (the team is still hunting for bugs), but it’s a nice change of pace in an industry where triple-A games often ship with massive day-one updates.


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