Final Fantasy XVI is the latest addition to the long-running and highly popular Final Fantasy franchise. Developed by Square Enix, this action-heavy game is a turning point for the series, as it sacrifices some RPG elements to provide a more fast-paced and satisfying combat experience. With its epic story spanning decades and unforgettable characters, Final Fantasy XVI is sure to delight fans of the franchise and the character action genre.
Despite its departure from traditional RPG elements, the combat system in Final Fantasy XVI is a highlight of the game. Fighting against Eikons and Dominants feels like an unforgettable scrap of gargantuan proportion, with every encounter being a thrilling experience.
While some may lament the lack of character-building choices, the game’s fast-paced action and memorable characters more than make up for it.
In this Final Fantasy XVI review, we will delve deeper into the gameplay features, world, and story of Final Fantasy XVI, as well as its pros and cons.
Table of Contents
What are the gameplay features of Final Fantasy XVI?
The gameplay features of Final Fantasy XVI are centered around a dynamic combat system that is fast-paced and requires a lot of reflexes. Players can execute air combos, jump cancels, and cast a large variety of spells and abilities to defeat their enemies. The combat system is also enhanced by the Active Time Lore feature, which keeps players engaged with the game’s world.
However, Final Fantasy XVI sacrifices some traditional RPG elements to facilitate the transformation to a straight-up action game. One of the downsides of the action-heavy combat in Final Fantasy XVI is that it limits the character-building choices available to players. The absence of status ailments, elemental strengths or weaknesses, and buffs and debuffs make it less immersive compared to previous Final Fantasy games.
Nonetheless, the game still offers immersive abilities and a plethora of spells and Eikons to master, making it an exciting action-adventure experience.
Final Fantasy XVI World
Final Fantasy XVI is set in the realm of Valisthea, which consists of two continents, Ash and Storm, ruled by six nations. These nations are held in power by the Mothercrystals and Dominants.
Valisthea is a land reliant on the magic of the Mothercrystals, which are mountain-sized magical crystals that bless people with the power of aether, enabling them to cast magic and fuel their everyday lives. The Mothercrystals are spread across Valisthea, and civilizations have developed around them.
In addition to the Mothercrystals, the other main power in Valisthea comes from the Dominants, gifted humans who can harness the abilities of the Eikons, which are powerful forces of mass destruction. Dominants are treated differently across nations: some revere them as royalty and leaders due to their strength, while others fear them and use them as weapons of war.
The nations of Valisthea are currently facing a crisis known as the Blight, a depletion of aether that threatens to destroy everything. This has led to wars as nations vie for the last flickers of aether from the Mothercrystals.
Final Fantasy XVI is a return to the roots of older Final Fantasy games, as it eschews the more recent sci-fi elements for a more traditional medieval setting. Many elements from previous games in the series, such as crystals and the Eikons, have been reimagined to fit the world’s setting and story. For instance, crystals, which were a feature in many previous games, are portrayed as fuel that powers the nations, while the Eikons play a significant role in shaping Valisthea’s nations1.
Final Fantasy XVI Story
The protagonist of the story is Clive, the firstborn son of the archduke of Rosaria. Initially, Clive was expected to be the Phoenix’s chosen Dominant, but his younger brother Joshua was chosen instead. Despite this, Clive becomes a master of the sword and is named the First Shield of Rosaria, becoming a guardian of the Phoenix.
In terms of style, the game marks a shift from the recent sci-fi elements seen in the series to a more medieval setting, reminiscent of the older Final Fantasy games. Many elements from previous titles reappear in FFXVI, reimagined to fit the world’s setting and story. For example, crystals, a recurring feature in the series, are portrayed as fuel that powers the nations, and Eikons (similar to summons from previous games) play a larger role in the story.
Rediscovering Magic: The Strengths of Final Fantasy XVI
One potential benefit of Final Fantasy XVI’s combat system is its fast-paced, reflex-driven gameplay that provides ample opportunities for players to perform stylish combos and spells. The combat system is designed to be action-heavy, which is a departure from traditional Final Fantasy games that focused more on RPG elements.
The game’s combat mechanics are centered around the Active Time Lore quality-of-life feature, which keeps players engaged in the game’s world and requires them to balance timing magic bursts with managing skill cooldowns and keeping an eye out for enemy tells.
Battling the Blight: Areas for Improvement in Final Fantasy XVI
However, the game’s combat system does sacrifice some RPG elements to facilitate the transformation into a straight-up action game. The levels are more linear than in past games, and players only ever control one character, which limits the character-building choices available to customize Clive in any unique way. Additionally, the absence of status ailments, elemental strengths or weaknesses, and little in the realm of buffs and debuffs may disappoint some players who enjoy these RPG elements.
Despite these drawbacks, the combat system’s fast-paced nature and innovative mechanics make it a standout feature of Final Fantasy XVI.
Final Fantasy XVI Review – Final Words
Final Fantasy XVI is an action-heavy entry in the Final Fantasy series that delivers an epic story spanning decades, unforgettable characters, and an incredible soundtrack. The game sacrifices some RPG elements to facilitate a more action-driven experience, but the combat system is fast-paced and satisfying. Every fight against Eikons and Dominants feels like an unforgettable scrap of gargantuan proportion.
While some may lament the lack of character-building choices, the almost incestuous closeness with Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XVI is still a must-play for fans of the series and the character action genre.
The game’s world and story are also noteworthy. Final Fantasy XVI’s world is richly detailed, with a variety of environments ranging from lush forests to sprawling cities. The story is complex, filled with political intrigue, betrayal, and tragedy. The characters are well-written and memorable, each with their own unique personalities and motivations.
Final Fantasy XVI is a game that lives up to its name. It offers an epic action adventure with unforgettable characters and a richly detailed world. While it may not appeal to fans of traditional RPGs, it is still a must-play for fans of the series and the character action genre. The sacrifice of some RPG elements is made up for by the fast-paced and satisfying combat system, and the story is complex and well-written. Overall, Final Fantasy XVI is a turning point for the franchise and a game that should not be missed.
Final Fantasy XVI: While some may lament the lack of character-building choices, the almost incestuous closeness with Final Fantasy XIV, Final Fantasy XVI is still a must-play for fans of the series and the character action genre. – ACR
Final Fantasy XVI Frequently Asked Questions
What is the story of Final Fantasy XVI?
Final Fantasy XVI, developed by Square Enix’s Creative Business Unit, features a mature story filled with political intrigue that could rival the tales spun in Game of Thrones. The game unfolds in distinct periods, revealing an emotional story through its cast of characters that fight for screen time in this dense narrative. It’s certainly a game worthy of the Final Fantasy franchise.
Does the progress of the demo carries over to the full game?
Absolutely! Like with Triangle Strategy, if you’ve played the Final Fantasy XVI demo, the progress carries over to the full game!
Who is part of the development team for Final Fantasy XVI?
The creative team behind Final Fantasy XVI includes well-known figures like Naoki Yoshida as the producer and Ryota Suzuki as the battle director. They are part of the Square Enix team that has brought us some of modern gaming’s most awe-inspiring battles and excellent story beats.
What is the combat like in Final Fantasy XVI?
Final Fantasy XVI is an action RPG that boasts a fierce and fast-paced combat system. It involves a wide variety of basic attacks, magic attacks, and the ability to dodge incoming enemy attacks. In some battles, you may even find yourself atop giant birds or defending against monsters in jaw-dropping cinematic battles. Expect the heavy combat to feel more akin to action-heavy games like Devil May Cry rather than the traditional turn-based Final Fantasy games.
How long is the game?
As with many modern games that stretch into dozens of hours, Final Fantasy XVI presents a 20 to 30-hour action game for its main story missions. This doesn’t account for the additional time you may spend exploring dense forests, dealing with a handful of fights against various enemy types, or delving into the game’s deeper lore via the Active Time Lore system. According to the website How Long to Beat, it takes 45 hours to beat Final Fantasy XVI and complete the various side quests available.
What are the modes in Final Fantasy XVI?
Final Fantasy XVI includes a Performance mode for those who prefer smoother gameplay and 60fps, and a Graphics mode for players who want to enjoy 4K graphics.
What are the character designs like?
Character designs in Final Fantasy XVI are a crowning achievement. From the core cast to the enemy models and even the faithful hound that accompanies you, each character is unique. However, the game does have some shallow RPG hooks like dead-eyed NPCs that could use a bit more design finesse.
How is the sound design in Final Fantasy XVI?
The sound design in Final Fantasy XVI is excellent, with a notable highlight being Masayoshi Soken’s music. From the exciting stab of the battle theme to the heartrending melodies accompanying emotional story beats, the sound truly enhances the game experience.
Does the game have boss fights?
Yes, Final Fantasy XVI includes both boss fights and boss battles. These fights are some of the game’s crowning achievements, with every boss theme signalling an exciting and challenging confrontation.
What is the game’s approach to storytelling?
Final Fantasy XVI takes a different approach to storytelling compared to previous games. It’s less focused on the traditional RPG aspects and more on delivering an action game with an excellent story. The game also delves into character relationships and political intrigue, much like Game of Thrones, which adds depth to the narrative.
Is there a multiplayer mode in Final Fantasy XVI?
There is no multiplayer mode in Final Fantasy XVI.
Players can only control one character throughout the game, which may limit the exploring co-op and PvP multiplayer possibilities in FFXVI.
However, the single player experience allows for a focused and immersive gaming experience with a deep storyline and memorable characters.
The absence of multiplayer may be seen as a con for some players who enjoy playing with friends, but it also eliminates potential issues with balancing and connectivity.
Ultimately, the decision to prioritize a single player experience over multiplayer is a design choice that has its own pros and cons.
Are there any plans for downloadable content or expansions for Final Fantasy XVI?
At this time, there is no official word on downloadable content or expansions for Final Fantasy XVI. However, it is common for games of this magnitude to receive additional content to extend the playtime and enhance the experience for players.
Possible DLC could include new weapons or abilities, additional side quests, or cosmetic items. As for expansions, it is possible that major updates or entirely new storylines could be added to the game in the future.
At the end of the day, it will depend on the success of the game and the developer’s plans for post-launch support.
What is the overall reception of the game?
Final Fantasy XVI has been well-received by critics and players alike. The game has been praised for its fun combat, excellent story, and the character action game design. Its approach to storytelling, fantastic combat, and unique design aspects make it a standout entry in the Final Fantasy series.