| Tags: Features
| Author Timo Reinecke
Final Fantasy XVI Media Tour Round Up
A few weeks ago, Final Fantasy XVI was presented to the world in Media tours. We have scoured the internet to give you all the details revealed!
Final Fantasy XVIs media tour wrapped a few weeks ago, and our colleagues and influencers around the world got to play a demo of Square Enix's highly anticipated blockbuster. And our resident Final Fantasy aficionado Timo has since then scoured the internet for any drop of information. Here's what he learned!
Putting the RPG into Final Fantasy XVI
With the pure action direction, many fans of the Final Fantasy franchise have been worried about the lack of RPG elements in the newest installment. And while the combat takes an action-oriented route this time around, the bells and whistles behind it are still an RPG.
Players will still play around with status effects, and enemy elemental weaknesses will still play a huge role in combat.
You'll also be able to level protagonist Clive, buy new gear, and invest ability points. You'll also be able to make use of special abilities via accessories. One gives you a slowdown effect after a successful dodge for example, while another allows you to give commands to your companions.
More interesting here is the skill system. While Clive can learn all sorts of new abilities. Some seem to affect the speed of his basic combos, potentially there will be more combo strings to unlock here as well as other genre staples.
Over the course of the story, Clive can make use of the abilities of Eikons, the gigantic beasts only a few can summon. Each Eikon has their own array of abilities Clive and learn but he can only equip two at a time. And you can equip three of those Eikons and two of their abilities at any given time.
And you'll also be able to rearrange the points invested in abilities at any point. So you can experiment with abilities combinations until you find something that suits you. We hope that everything in these skill trees is as deliciously broken as possible so no dominant strategy emerges.
Final Fantasy XVI's Combat
As Final Fantasy XVI combat is designed by Ryota Suzuki who formally worked at Capcom, there should be no surprise that it looks very similar to his previous work. That doesn't mean it's just Devil May Cry wearing a Final Fantasy coat, but you can see the same design philosophy is being applied here.
Ryota Suzuki has decades of experience designing some of the best action titles in all of gaming. Cutting his teeth as a planer during that final swing of Capcom's arcade fighting games, presumedly under and with Hideaki Itsuno.
He has worked on the Street Fighter spin-offs and the aforementioned Devil May Cry. But also has his fingerprints all over the battle systems of Monster Hunter: World and more notably Dragons Dogma. So everyone who's worried that the game won't be an RPG, don't worry.
That said, the way new protagonist Clive Rosfield operates in combat, seems a lot like Nero (who Suzuki designed) from Devil May Cry 4/5. Specifically, the usage of grabs, that either pull enemies towards you or brings you to them.
But the combat also features some elements of the team's other project, Final Fantasy XIV. The brilliant Cross Hotbar makes Final Fantasy XIV's MMO combat easily useable on a controller and is used here in a clever way to access more abilities.
Clive has the ability to absorb some of the powers of other Eikons, giving him access to special, powerful abilities. Aside from your normal attacks and magic, you access them by holding down one of the trigger buttons, while the other one allows you to shift between the different Eikons.
Each of the Eikons has its own set of abilities. Titan has a block while Phoenix gets a dash as your normal ability. You can equip up to 3 Eikons, who have their own ability trees which you can equip and your own leisure. This lets you shape Clive to your personal style of combat.
There there are the usual action staples, combos, special abilities on cooldown, dodges, perfect dodges, blocks, and parries. The stagger meter from the Final Fantasy VII Remake also makes a return; the meter fills by either hitting weaknesses, special abilities, and maybe parries. The Staggered status then increases the damage dealt.
Fighting Together and Against
But Clive is not alone, while Clive is the only character you'll be controlling in Final Fantasy XVI, you'll have a classic Final Fantasy party. Only that the members of your party will vary depending on the section of the story you're in, similar to Final Fantasy IV.
You have one constant member at your side though; Clive's trusty wolf Torgal. Who'll be at his side throughout the entire story and support him in combat and exploration. In combat, Clive can give Torgal commands to attack while in the field the wolf can point him towards objectives or points of interest.
In the demo shown off to the media, Clive was also assisted by Cidolfus who carries the Eikon Ramuh in him. He also helps in combat with his own unique abilities, but it's left to be seen how much the AI companions will contribute to a fight. Maybe the game borrows some of Final Fantasy XVs ideas in that regard.
In the demo, Clive faced off against a myriad of human enemies, but we've also already seen some iconic Final Fantasy beasts pop up in the various trailers and screenshots.
The pace of combat promises to be fast and hectic whenever Clive faces large groups of enemies. With magic and special abilities, normal enemies seem to pose no threat to him.
It would be interesting to see how much of Monster Hunter and Dragons Dogma is in Final Fantasy XVI. The trailers showed some of the Eikons losing limbs but we haven't seen if that affects gameplay in a meaningful way.
Both Dragons Dogma and Monster Hunter allowed the player to interact with larger enemies in various ways. And it would be a shame if bigger enemies would just boil down to walking health bars with a set moveset.
But what stood out in the material we've seen is Creative Business Unit III's brilliant presentation for boss fights. Mid-fight cut scenes featured quick time events, similar to those you'd see in Sega's Like A Dragon series. Those games have managed to create mid-fight sequences that really add to the epic of a fight.
You'll also notice Final Fantasy XIVs influence again by the way special attacks by enemies are clearly televised with markers. Garuda and her sisters had colorful, clear indicators of which areas would be affected by their big attacks, making sweeping attacks readable.
Kaiju Battle XVI
The main attraction of Final Fantasy XVI is supposedly the big clashes of the Eikons who are so prominently featured throughout the game's marketing. According to producer Naoki Yoshida, those are supposed to feel like pro wrestling matches. When the fighting spirit of those people inside those beasts clashes.
We've only seen an encounter with Garuda. It's Dominant, the person who can transform into an Eikon, Benedikta faced Clive first in her human half-transformed form and then fully transformed. In the later phase of the fight, Clive himself transformed into the Eikon of fire Ifrit to face her on even foot.
All the Eikon vs. Eikon clashes are supposedly unique set pieces that only happen once in the story. This is why they are full of special cut scenes, quick-time events, and unique gameplay situations. They are supposed to feel big and epic while being essentially a playable cut scene.
While the Garuda fight doesn't look that special on the surface, we've been assured that this is the introduction to this type of combat and that later encounters will be more off the rails. As we can't imagine Clive taking on the gigantic Titan like that. It would also be interesting to see if this gameplay is featured in large battles.
Exploration and Content
According to producer Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy XVI is supposedly 40 hours long if the player only plays through the main story content, and completing all of its content will take up to 80 hours.
The main story is split into different sections with a hub area of sorts you'll return to regularly. The game isn't an open world and some areas will be locked off depending on where you're currently in the story.
But from that hub area, you'll embark on all your side quests and side activities. The only side activity that has been confirmed is the hunts that make a return from Final Fantasy XII and XV. You'll also be able to replay missions and compete for high scores on a global leaderboard.
Finishing the game will also unlock more difficulty settings. And if the game is everything the dev team promises it to be, you'll be able to replay missions on harder difficulties. Potentially even in a Clive Must Die difficulty, where one hit can be fatal.
There wasn't much more on the general structure of the game, so we'll keep an eye out for that. If you want to test the game before it releases on June 23, 2023, you'll have to wait a little longer. A demo, potentially the one shown off to the media will be playable two weeks before launch.
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