Square-Enix was in the spotlight last night at Sony Interactive’s State of Play. The Japanese publisher has teased new details about its upcoming PlayStation 5 RPG, Final Fantasy XVI. For half an hour, Square-Enix unveiled many aspects of the game with footage unpublished. Gameplay, combat, environment or even characters have been mentioned. Here is a summary of what to remember from the next installment in the series.
Two and a half years ago, in the midst of the COVID crisis, Sony and Square-Enix announced the arrival of a new Final Fantasy on PlayStation 5. No, it was not yet a reissue of an old one. game, like the excellent Final Fantasy VII Remake, like Crisis Core or like the Pixel Remasters of the first six installments (originally released on NES and Super NES). Nor is it a new side episode, like Stranger of Paradise or First Soldier. This is Final Fantasy XVI!
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A release of the game was originally scheduled to take place in 2021, then in 2022. But it is in 2023 that the title will land on the Sony console (temporarily exclusive until the end of the year). However, this postponement had two very positive effects. First, it gave Square-Enix time to lick the game that will run under Unreal Engine and not under Luminous Engine (which is used in Final Fantasy XV and Forspoken). Then, the Japanese publisher took the time to gradually unveil the sets and gameplay of the RPG.
Square Enix details Final Fantasy XVI real-time combat
A new stage in this communication campaign, Final Fantasy XVI was given pride of place in Sony’s latest State of Play. Broadcast last night (Thursday April 13, 2023) at 11 p.m. (French time), the video provides for half an hour many details on the gameplay, the environment, the characters and especially the fights of Final Fantasy XVI. Fights where the action plays a particularly important part. Even more than in Stranger of Paradise, Final Fantasy VII Remake or Final Fantasy XV which still offered tactical elements. This is not the case here: you dodge, you switch from one primordial to another in real time and you launch devastating attacks on your opponents. The action is omnipresent, with sometimes a few slowdowns for a QTE sequence or to aim for a weak point.
Like Noctis in Final Fantasy XV, Clive Rosfield, the main character, will use his abilities heavily to move quickly through the levels and to dodge the attacks of his opponents. Square-Enix seems to have been largely inspired by the successes of recent years, Breath of the Wild, Elden Ring or God of War, for example. As in the previous sequences unveiled by Square-Enix, this State of Play also insisted on the epic side of the battles between the Primordials (Phoenix, of course, but also Odin, Leviathan, Titan, Ramuh, Ifrit, Shiva, Garuda or the inevitable Bahamut). Real-time battles.
Final Fantasy XVI is darker and more violent than previous games
Square-Enix also unveiled some elements on the origins of Clive Rosfield. Part of the playable storyline will be about his past, including the events that lead to his conflict with the primordial Ifrit. The many gameplay scenes and cutscenes do not hide the violence and harshness of this new episode. This State of Play also reveals user interface. An interface with a single character to manage, but multiple elements to improve his equipment, his statistics and his skills (including the magic which are associated with the primordials). That’s not to say Clive Rosfield is fighting alone. But these companions, whose Torgala huge wolf as loyal as it is powerful, are fully managed by AI.
The environments are very large, much more than in previous Final Fantasy (Final Fantasy XV and Final Fantasy VII Remake included). But the game will not be open world. Valisthea, the world of FFXVI, is divided into vast regions that can be traveled on foot, on the back of Chocobo, by boat or by teleporting. Exploration will of course be encouraged, even if the player will not have as much freedom as in a classic open world. Many side quests are available, including monster hunting, as in Final Fantasy XV. Finally, Square-Enix unveils a PvP mode which will allow players to compete against each other.
These new details are therefore added to the many others that we have already relayed in our columns. Find all of these elements in our complete file. Final Fantasy XVI, which is already in pre-order, will be released on PlayStation 5 next June 22. And it could well become a new reference for Japanese RPG on console, even if it will have a major opponent: Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom, whose release on Switch is scheduled a little over a month before (May 12, 2023). In the meantime, find the State of Play video below.