In a new series of interviews published across several news outlets, producer Naoki Yoshida has revealed several new details about the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI, most notably, that the game will not feature an open world like its’ predecessor Final Fantasy XV.
In an interview with IGN Yoshida, often referred to as Yoshi-P, says that Final Fantasy XVI will not be open world but instead be segmented into several more contained regions.
“To bring a story that feels like it spans an entire globe and beyond, we decided to avoid an open world design that limits us to a single open-world space, and instead focus on an independent area-based game design that can give players a better feel of a truly “global” scale,”.
The way he describes it reminds me of the large but still self-contained areas of Monster Hunter or Pokemon Legends.
The interview also revealed more about the game’s battle system which will see the player work in a party alongside AI-controlled party members.
“We didn’t want to overwhelm users in our newest trailer, so we focused solely on Clive’s battles. That said, for most of his journey, Clive [the main character] will be accompanied by one or more companions,” Yoshida says. “These companions will participate in battle, as well as trade banter with Clive. That said, the party members will be AI-driven so as to allow players to focus solely on controlling Clive.”
Yoshida also recently spoke to GamesRadar and went into more detail about the game’s new action battle systems. In particular, he assures fans of older Final Fantasy games who may prefer the previous turn-based systems that the combat will be very approachable for those that aren’t familiar with action RPGs.
“Of course, we know that there are a lot of players out there who may not excel at action games – that action games might not be their forte,” Yoshida adds. “But those fans do not need to worry, because we have been developing systems and developing in-game features that will lend a helping hand to those players. You know, and we have a lot of confidence in these systems. And we want to get those into the hands of players. And we’re actually kind of excited to have players that maybe don’t consider themselves action game players to actually get in and try these new systems.”
He notes that the team brought on Ryota Suzuki, a Capcom veteran that worked on Devil May Cry and Dragon’s Dogma to be the battle director. Yoshida says he was an invaluable part of the team and help make Clive’s different attacks flow seamlessly into each other.
“By bringing in this super-talented veteran in Ryota Suzuki, he was able to bring everything together that we had, and then build upon that using his plethora of experience on past titles. Whether it be for the overall battle system or the animation trees – Clive has so many different abilities, and being able to string all of those abilities together seamlessly without any stress, and have it look really, really natural, he helped us do that. His contribution has been great, and without him, we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”
He also highlighted the ability to use eikons (this game’s versions of summons) in battle, including when fighting other eikons. We saw a little bit of this in the ‘Dominance’ trailer released as part of the recent Playstation State of Play with several summons battling each other in ground-shaking kaiju battles complete with fighting game-style health bars.
“Using the varied abilities of the Eikons – swapping them and changing them, and deciding which way you want to take your character and how you want them to fight – is, I think, one of the most exciting features that we have in store. And by offering a lot of different options in this battle system allows you to really choose a style of playing that fits you the best.”
Final Fantasy XVI is shaping up to be an interesting take on the long-running franchise. The new action-oriented gameplay seems to be going for a far more hack ‘n slash feel with Suzuki obviously channeling his past experience with Devil May Cry. Personally, I think it looks really good and I’m excited to see how it plays when it finally launches.
Final Fantasy XVI will release for PS5 in the Summer of 2023.
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