Final Fantasy XVI: everything we know about the game

Final Fantasy XVI: everything we know about the game

Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy XVI is certainly one of the most important games to be released in 2023, given the importance and fame of the Square Enix brand. Since its first announcement, each trailer has been able to increase the hype of the fans and, waiting for a crackling start to the year as promised by Yoshida, it is right to take stock of the situation.

Crystals, Eikon and revenge

The world of Final Fantasy XVI is governed by Mother Crystals, mammoth peaks capable of feeding the livelihood of the population through the release of ether. However, magic is in a certain sense vanishing, more and more civilians gather under the protective shadow of the Crystals to try to take advantage of this magical power as much as possible.

What has been said represents in all respects a return at the origins for the series, given that crystals have always represented a fundamental part of the stories in the game universe ecosystem.

Obviously the first cities to prosper are those who decide to settle under the Mother Crystals, the peoples in the over time they have learned to use the aether not only to ensure their wealth, but also to increase their power through the ability to cast very powerful spells.

The game world in general takes the name of Valisthea, and it is a land tormented by centuries and centuries of wars. The main kingdoms that have control of some territories are mainly six: the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, the Iron Kingdom, the Crystalline Domain, the Dhalmekian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Rosaria and finally the Kingdom of Waloed.

Despite the conflicts and political relations in the balance, it seems that a sort of "peace" can keep the situation in balance, if it weren't for the growth of a powerful evil that takes the name of the Plague, capable not only to make the populations suffer, but also to counter the enormous power of the Mother Crystals.

This state apparent calm is about to be put at risk again, with war now upon us and desperate peoples looking for a solution.

The protagonist who will accompany the player throughout the adventure calls Clive Rosefield, eldest son of the Archduke of Rosaria. He stands out for his skill in the art of the sword and, at the age of only 15, receives a very prestigious and absolutely important assignment: to become the bodyguard of his younger brother Joshua, heir to the Phoenix fire Eikon.

The game site describes Joshua as a very kind and thoughtful child towards everyone (as can also be seen from the trailers), the first admirer of his brother Clive. The two are also joined by a third figure, Jill Warrick, a girl originally from the Northern territories and adopted by the Rosefield family. The girl is deeply attached to both brothers, becoming a real friend in a short time.

However, her importance should not be only linked to the type of relationship that the young girl has with Clive, given that from the trailers it seems evident that Jill can control the Eikon of Shiva.

As obvious as it is, even for the protagonists peace is destined not to last forever and, after a tragic event, which will most likely see the premature death of young Joshua, Clive's life will inevitably be turned upside down bringing the boy on the road to revenge, who will be the main theme of the narration.

Obviously, in addition to the three characters mentioned so far, the title offers a range of really interesting figures. The various Dominants stand out, i.e. the people capable of controlling the power and fury of the Eikon. One of the first to be presented capable of using this force is Benedikta Harman, Dominant of Garuda.

The woman is apparently a spy for the kingdom of Waloed, an expert in subterfuge and skilled in personal relationships. Also she seems to have a relationship with Barnabas Tharmr, King of Waloed and Dominant of Odin. This ruler is described as cold and calculating, a man who is able to take the title of ruler thanks to his baleful strength.

His greatest merit was to stop the revolt of the beastmen, thus obtaining new levies for his army and increasing the military power of the kingdom.

Dion Lasage instead is the prince of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, Dominant of Bahamut. The man is the head of the people of the Dragoons, an order of knights feared and respected.

As per the tradition of every Final Fantasy, Cid certainly cannot be missing. The full name of this character is Cidolfus Telamon, he does not belong to the realm of Valisthea and is the Dominant of Ramuh. Arrived as a foreigner, he gradually saw the power of the Eikon grow within him.

He has a past as a soldier for the Waloed army, but he decided to get away from everything by creating a sort of "embassy" where Dominants could feel free to express themselves, without political or military obligations.

Finally we were introduced to Hugo Kupka, Titan's Dominant. The figure made his way through the military hierarchies, highlighting himself thanks to his skills: starting as a simple soldier, also and above all thanks to the power of the Eikon, he managed to become one of the most important advisers of the Dhalmekian Republic.

Although we know little or nothing of the actual story, Joshua's death will scar Clive . The event will have repercussions that will accompany the player throughout the adventure, which, as explained by the team, will take place over a period of time that includes several years. We will therefore go from a teenager up to a young man of 30 years.

Attack of Eikon

Thanks to Yoshida, Final Fantasy XVI seems to have recovered some aspects, such as the summons, which were fundamental for the fans, but the laborious staging of these immense creatures on the screen never allowed the development teams to be able to carve out the right space for them.

In Final Fantasy XV the summons were very situational and involved only one big attack, in Final Fantasy VII Remake, however, the management was in some ways more complete, since we could issue orders and commands. However, despite a marked improvement in this aspect, their use was linked to specific moments of the game, which greatly limited their use.

At the moment the Eikon that have been presented are Phoenix, Ifrit, Garuda , Titan, Ramuh, Odin, Shiva and Bahamut, but some other nice surprises cannot be ruled out, especially if we take the painting shown in the throne room of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque as a reference.

Dominants can exploit fully the strength of the Eikon transforming into creatures capable of destroying cities and annihilating armies with disarming ease, but the power of these beings can also be used in a sort of hybrid form, allowing the owner to benefit from some special abilities.

From the trailers it is clearly seen how Clive can use the power of the different Eikons, making certain body parts of these creatures materialize on him, such as claws or wings. This element of the protagonist is really curious and interesting, given that at present he seems to be the only one able to channel the power of multiple creatures within himself. Again according to the words of the Director, the team has made an effort to make the various fights with the Dominants unique.

For example, as seen in the Domination trailer, in the battle between Ifrit and Phenix, the power bar is clearly seen life of the two creatures placed in the upper corners of the screen. Also, as seen in the latest Vendetta video, in this type of session the player will control an Eikon while fighting against other of its kind. In fact, we can see how the clash between Garuda and Ifrit is managed as if it were a sort of fighting game.

The type of battle and its scale will be, in some way, very dynamic and will change in real time without transitions of sorts, all depending on the battle undertaken.

The Eikons will appear in various situations and under different forms, there is no concept design that encompasses them all. Some Dominants will then see Clive as a ruthless enemy, others will be friendly and will gladly come to your aid.

Goodbye to turn-based

Although some aspects of the gameplay have been deliberately hidden (probably they will be highlighted in the next trailers that will anticipate the release of the game), from the images seen we can get a very precise idea of ​​what awaits us.

Let's start from the beginning however, Final Fantasy XVI unlike its predecessor will not be open world, but rather open map. So what changes? There will be several areas, even rather large ones, which will gradually introduce us to some places in the game world, so as to show us as many aspects of Valisthea as possible.

Creating a single map would have been complex for managing the narrative, as the team will let us experience Clive at different points in his life. Focusing on the connectivity of the areas and contextualizing everything in the narrative would have been too complex a job.

Instead, thanks to the solution chosen by the software house, it was easier not only to better characterize all the areas, but also the management and the narration of the story itself was more fluid, at least always according to the words of the studio.

As for the heart of the gameplay, i.e. the combat system, it is known that Final Fantasy XVI will be a pure action . The entire structure of the combat system was entrusted to Ryota Suzuki, an expert who in the past also worked on Devil May Cry 5, Dragon's Dogma and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2.

There will be obviously elements of classic RPGs, but as previously mentioned these have not been explored so far. We know that Clive, despite being accompanied by a party that will surely include Jill and the protagonist's dog, will be the only playable character.

This solution is very reminiscent of the one used in Final Fantasy XV, so we expect that it will be allowed to chain moves and combos with the other companions, as well as having the possibility to develop them individually.

Nor is it said that the same group of characters will accompany Clive from start to finish, we can safely expect that the game slowly propose a range of different situations also to differentiate the fighting experience, a bit like Santa Monica did with the new God of War (here you can find our review).

We don't think so a lack of respect to say that, at least from what we have seen, the combat system for speed, skills and combos recalls what we saw in Devil May Cry, if we add to this the variety proposed by to the powers of the Eikon we could have in our hands one of the most stratified combat systems of the series.

The team also confirmed that players will be able to choose the level of difficulty of the adventure, so as to bring both newbies to the kind that the most surfed people. Forget about the deaf hybrid combat model proposed in Final Fantasy VII Remake, since the clashes will be frenetic and will not give you breath.

Final Fantasy XVI then also draws other elements from the VII Remake, proposing a stunning mechanic based on the weak points of the enemies, but this aspect will also need to be explored in the future since it has just been mentioned so far.


Final Fantasy XVI really risks being the episode of the saga capable of making the brand shine again after years in which the light has actually been missing. Personally it seems absurd that such a long-lived and important saga like this has not been able, rightly, even to get close to the much coveted GOTY statuette since the award was created.

The sixteenth final fantasy brings with it this kind of ambition, you can fully perceive the love that the team has placed in the project and the desire to bring one of the most popular series on the market back to the videogame Olympus. For posterity, however, the arduous sentence, to do the actual accounts it will inevitably be necessary to wait for June 22, 2023.

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