Final Fantasy 16, we analyze the new trailer of the State of Play of June 2022

Final Fantasy 16, we analyze the new trailer of the State of Play of June 2022

Final Fantasy 16

Final Fantasy XVI would already be playable from start to finish, according to the words of director Hiroshi Takai, but the last pass of refinements and optimizations will require another year, so that the new Final Fantasy will not see the light before a generic summer 2023. It was a hard blow for those hoping for a launch by the end of the year, as was rumored, but it is already a long time that producer Naoki "Yoshi-P" Yoshida has agreed to release a new trailer: those who follow the development of Final Fantasy XIV, the MMORPG revitalized by Yoshida's intervention, knows very well how meticulous and attentive to detail the new flagship of Square Enix is.

After seeing the new trailer, entitled "Dominio", we can say that the wait will be really exhausting, but also that Final Fantasy XVI risks being a bitter disappointment for those looking for a more traditional JRPG experience , criticized the action drift of the previous title. Follow us in our analysis of the Final Fantasy 16 State of Play 2022 trailer, because there is a lot to say about the news that have been disclosed in these hours.

Analysis of the trailer

Final Fantasy XVI, forests and swamps During the State of Play, Naoki Yoshida appeared just before the trailer to apologize, as a perfect Japanese, for the delay in the development of the game, with a subtle reference to the crisis we are going through in the real world, seen that this is also spoken of in Final Fantasy XVI: war. Some time ago we told you what we knew about the protagonists of the story and the kingdom in which it takes place, Valistheia, but the new trailer adds some pieces to what appears to be a very complicated mosaic.

The first images are unmistakable: Titan, Garuda, Ifrit, Bahamut. A roundup of iconic monsters that we have affectionately often called "summon" (from the item in the menu that allowed, in fact, to summon them in combat) and that in Final Fantasy XVI take on a definition already used in past Final Fantasy, that of Eikon. Supernatural beings trapped in the bodies of humans called Dominants, and who paw to emerge even at the cost of their lives.

"Another war is about to break out, isn't it?" Clive asks Jill, carelessly leaning on the railing of a balcony. This scene should take place in the past or in a flashback, because Clive is younger than the other version of his character that we often see in the trailer and promotional illustrations. Clive is the eldest son of the Archduke of Rosaria, while Jill, torn from the Northern Territories at a young age to ensure peace between the two nations, grew up with him and his younger brother Joshua, and is therefore something of a half-sister to our protagonist.

The following scenes cross the words of the Archduke of Rosaria - whom we see next to Joshua, riding the Chocobos and ready to go in what we believe is still the past or a flashback - with of the action scenes that finally show us the interface and the actual combat system.

Final Fantasy XVI, a disturbing throne room Only they are two very different combat scenes. In the first, Clive confronts an Imperial Lancere in an extremely cinematic sequence in which two face off in a duel and the interface is reduced to two indicators of life energy, at the top, almost as if it were a fighting game. Next to Clive's indicator - which shows the level of experience and the exact amount of life points - there is a larger icon that clearly depicts the Phoenix. Below, a smaller icon with the portrait of Garuda.

In the other fight scene, however, we see a series of minor enemies that make us think that the Imperial Lancere was a kind of boss fight. In this circumstance, we notice a different interface, which at the bottom left lists the consumables associated with the controller keys, and at the bottom right Clive's maneuvers: in this case, Jump to jump, Attack to hit, Fire to presumably launch the spell of the same name, and Phoenix Shift, which seems to be related to pressing the R2 key.

Final Fantasy XVI, the combat system is action in real time In the immediately following scene, the icon of the R2 key disappears and this small interface changes shape: it is divided, and the maneuvers Scarlet Cyclone and Rising Flames replace Fire and Attack respectively. This makes us think that, by pressing R2, Clive can tap into the powers of the associated Eikon, in this case the Phoenix. It is also important to note the words that appear on the screen: Precision Dodge x3, Precision Counter, Burst Shot, Eikon Strike, Lunge and so on. They describe the maneuvers that the player is performing, so you can already feel the influence of the combat director, Ryota Suzuki, who has already worked on Dragon's Dogma and Devil May Cry 5, with whom this combat system would seem to have several elements in common.

While we were watching the trailer during the State of Play, in fact, the official website of Final Fantasy XVI and the PlayStation Blog updated with some communications from Yoshida and Takai, who among other things revealed the team that is working on the game, so far shrouded in an aura of mystery and indiscretions. This list confirms not only Masayoshi Soken on the lavish soundtrack - and anyone who has played Final Fantasy XIV knows they can expect nothing short of incredible musical accompaniment - but also Kazutoyo Maehiro on Creative Director & Original Screenplay.

Final Fantasy XVI, clash between Eikon This information is very important because it tells us two things. First, what kind of story and writing can we expect: Maehiro, in fact, contributed to the narrative of Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, and the Heavensward expansion of Final Fantasy XIV. They are all games with multifaceted stories and full of political intrigue, as suggested by a scene in the trailer that would seem to be set in a court, perhaps in the presence of a sovereign.

The other thing that the list of collaborators tells us is that Naoki Yoshida has surrounded himself with loyalists, such as Michael-Christopher Koji Fox, the historical locator of Square Enix who has been directing the work on fiction for years of Final Fantasy XIV (and also sings in the same band as Soken, The Primals). His influence on the story and on the dialogues will be fundamental: Yoshida has confirmed that Final Fantasy XVI was written and dubbed first in English, and then it was localized in other languages, including Japanese, which is an opposite operation than usual but emphasizes the control that Koji Fox has over this aspect of the game. And if you've played Final Fantasy XIV, you know what a writing masterpiece his dialogues are.

Interface and control system

Final Fantasy XVI, Clive in a desert scenario Back to the trailer . Subsequent combat scenes would seem to confirm our interpretation of the interface and control system. Clive faces various enemies in different circumstances, and we notice that by pressing the L2 key, next to the Eikon icons to the left of his HP indicator, our protagonist also changes the arsenal in the lower right, exchanging the powers of the Eikons: it is clear, for example, that when passing from Titan to Garuda, the two abilities in the middle of the interface - Gouge and Wicked Wheel, green like the Eikon of the wind - change into Windup and Upheaval, which are yellow like the color of the 'Eikon of the earth.

In another scene, Clive taps into Odin's power and the two maneuvers become Gungnir and Heaven's Cloud.

Final Fantasy XVI, the map of Valistheia We also note another thing: do you remember that, in the first fight scene, the Fire spell was associated with the upper key? Here, it seems that elemental spell changes based on the Eikon selected at that moment. With Garuda, in fact, he becomes Wind, and with Odin he becomes Dark. Therefore the chosen Eikon would also change the type of elemental spells that Clive can cast, representing a real strategic asset. Now it is necessary to understand if the icon that ideally corresponds to the Circle key, the one that was Phoenix Shift in the first scene and then becomes Deadly Embrace, Titanic Block or Arm of Darkness depending on the Eikon, represents a specific maneuver or describes only the style of fighting in place.

Final Fantasy XVI, a castle on the horizon Considering that in these combat scenes we can also glimpse a new element of the interface, namely three partially illuminated notches under the indicator of Clive's Health Points, it comes from to think that that maneuver is some kind of super move that we can use by consuming those notches, which we see charging with every hit that Clive inflicts on his enemies.

The trailer continues with an unusual scene for the series. We see Clive and Jill's bare backs turning their backs to the shot. It is a moment of intimacy that almost certainly takes place in the present. The presence of this scene reconfirms the more mature tones of the new Final Fantasy and reminds us of another historical title by Square Enix that subtly hinted at an off-screen sex scene: Xenogears. Yoshida and associates are upping the ante and we can't be happier.

Final Fantasy XVI, Shiva is the Ice Eikon The following fight scenes, in which Clive faces a Coeurl, show the fighting style linked to Shiva (who curiously has Thunderstorm and Pile Drive as maneuvers, as well as more glacial abilities such as Blizzard or Cold Snap) and makes us better notice, in a clearer scene, the so-called Perks above the life indicator: the icons suggest whether they are permanent or temporary bonuses such as Haste - judging by the iconic watch - or Protect, and the style employed is very reminiscent of that of the upgrades in Elden Ring, even if it is probably just a coincidence.

"I unite the Dominants to end conflicts and found a new prdine to guarantee us a better world," says Clive. It seems, in fact, that ours is looking for other Dominants like him and his brother Joshua, who in the present would seem to have disappeared. Recalling the first trailer of the game, we have made a hypothesis: that Clive is able to absorb the Eikons of the other Dominants, perhaps by killing them?

Final Fantasy XVI, Hugo Kupka is the Dominant of Titan The trailer continues revealing us the identities of two new Dominants, then described in more detail on the game's official website. Hugo Kupka was the economic adviser of the Dhalmekian Republic, but after awakening as Titan Ruler he used his powers to enrich himself. In the trailer, Hugo claims that his fight (with Clive?) "Would shake the foundations of the island." We see Clive face him in a spectacular boss fight in which the protagonist already owns the Eikons of Garuda and Ramuh, as well as Phoenix, and Hugo literally wears stone armor.

In the immediately following scene, the Eikons face off in pairs: we see Shiva against Titan, Odin against Bahamut, Phoenix against what the interface defines only as Eikon of Fire, but which we know very well to be Ifrit. The most interesting thing is that we see numbers and indicators, and therefore it means that they are not simple kinematics, but real gameplay: it is also the moment in which we finally see the iconic final attacks such as Hellfire, Diamond Dust or Mega Flare.

Final Fantasy XVI, Benedikta Harman is the Dominant of Garuda The trailer, in fact, stages these battles as if we were in a fighting game, while the Emperor of Sanbreque makes cynical proclamations about the survival of her kingdom at the cost of lives innocent. We suspect, however, that the story is far less predictable than usual: knowing the twists and turns in the narrative of Final Fantasy XIV, it's hard to imagine that it all comes down to Clive vs. the Empire of Evil. The final roundup that concludes the trailer is decidedly unusual: we see the names of the Eikons revealed, associated with their Dominants, but several are missing. We know that Joshua is (was he?) The Dominant of Phoenix, we see Hugo with Titan and a new character for Garuda's Eikon: Benedikta Harman. Commander of Waloed's elite intelligence, Benedikta is looking for the "second Eikon of Fire" when she runs into Clive and it appears that she becomes her ally. The Dominants of Ramuh, Odin and Bahamut, on the other hand, remain unknown ... but it seems only to us that Ramuh looks very, very much like the Emperor?


Final Fantasy XVI, Clive is the Son of Fate Dominion, the new trailer, concludes by showing us Clive as the narrator calls him the Son of Fate. It is clear, at this point, that the new Final Fantasy will abandon the traditional idea of ​​a party to focus everything on a single character, Clive, and on an all-action combat system that could make the purists of the genre and the franchise turn up their noses. Not only.

In the message translated into Italian that Naoki Yoshida addressed to the players, there is talk of "a fluid, narrative and adrenaline-filled adventure", but in English that "narrative" was rendered as "story driven" and we know that these words usually describe games in which history plays a predominant role, but so much that sometimes it seems to play on the rails.

Final Fantasy XVI, here's Phoenix This would suggest that Final Fantasy XVI could be very far from a traditional JRPG action, but rather a strongly narrative third-person adventure with an interactive component in the form of combat. This is why we suggested, at the beginning, that the game coming out in 2023 could disappoint fans who were looking for something more similar to the old Final Fantasy, at least from the XIII down. Although it is still early to speak, and ours are only conjectures, we want to be clear: we are excited and we can't wait to experience this adventure.

Naoki Yoshida and his team have earned our eternal respect after Final Fantasy XIV and there is no reason to believe that Final Fantasy XVI, thanks also to modern technologies, can be anything but extraordinary. But certainly not a turn-based JRPG.

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