Playing Final Fantasy 16 for a recent preview event felt like both a thorough overview of everything the game has to offer and only the tip of the iceberg.
Square Enix allowed media to play portions of Final Fantasy 16 for about eight hours. These portions included the game’s opening hours, an open field area, and a combat demo created especially for the preview but not a representation of the final product.
Get a first glimpse at the captivating story, thrilling gameplay and expansive world of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth!
— Square Enix (@SquareEnix) June 8, 2023
There was a lot to take in, but it was quite clear that mainstream Final Fantasy was making a strong comeback. The gameplay in Final Fantasy 16 feels like an improvement above that in Final Fantasy 7 Remake at its heart. Players direct Clive, the primary character, in terms of mobility and when to attἀck.
For avoiding harm or fending off opponent strikes, respectively, there are additional dodge and parry mechanics. However, FF 16 is entirely active, unlike Remake, which combined certain turn-based aspects and made them slightly more active.
With the push of a button, Clive can launch magic assaults just as swiftly as he can use his weἀpon to fight. Most people believed that Final Fantasy 16 would maintain the faster tempo that Remake dabbled with when Ryota Suzuki was named Battle Designer.
The amount of battle that resembles a character action game is still startling. Clive can do more than just hack and slash adversaries because he can use a variety of Eikon skills by hitting R2 and a face button. His battle music, which begins modestly but expands as the plot develops, becomes bombastic and strategic.
Final Fantasy 16 Gameplay Preview
There are several ways to chain attἀcks together depending on the Eikon powers Clive has available; players may quickly switch between them as well. Some Eikon spells can break an opponent’s block or lift an opponent into the air, making them vulnerable to subsequent strikes.
Ability cooldowns will limit how intricate attἀck chains can be, but with some forward planning, the combat flow can resemble a character action game quite a bit. The Eikon powers also provide Clive with some amazing movement technology, such as the ability to run to close range or to grab an enemy and lift them into the air.
Although there is a learning curve and some complexity, once players get the hang of things, they will be able to glide seamlessly between enemies and chain strikes. The stagger feature from Final Fantasy 7 Remake is also present in FF16.
Players build up a stagger meter by dealing damἀge, and when it is full, the enemy is stunned and vulnerable to stronger attἀcks. The player controls these opportunities, but there are also cinematic times in the combat that function like mid-conflict Quicktime events.
Even if the user doesn’t have as much direct control over what happens on screen, it seems like Creative Business Unit III will seize any chance to make the fight a little flashier. To that end, Final Fantasy 16 has some amazing sequences with Eikons that, for those who have seen any of the game’s trailers, are without a doubt going to be highlighted.
The scale and scope of these sequences were astounding, but we won’t reveal any of them here. In all the best ways, it resembled a battle from Lord of the Rings and a Kaiju film. Any kind of party system is noticeably missing from Final Fantasy 16 this time around.
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Clive does travel with some friends, but most are out of his direct control. The game’s main focus is on Clive, but there is also a canine-like companion named Torgal that players can command to fight enemies, throw them into the air, or request minor healing.
Even while Final Fantasy 16 is different from the JRPG foundations of the series’ earlier installments, it still has certain distinguishing features of the subgenre. After every battle, Clive gains experience points and money that he can use to level up and purchase upgrades.
Clive can talk to NPCs, find side quests, and explore the game’s lore in at least one HUB region. Additionally, Clive may create and upgrade equipment in Final Fantasy 16 using the artifacts and monster pieces he finds while exploring the environment and gains through combat.
It appears that 16 will provide opportunities for those who prefer to tinker with the edges of their Final Fantasy experience. To that point, our preview came to a close with a peek at a part of the game’s open world that still gave Clive the flexibility to go around, kἰll monsters, discover mysteries, and uncover chests.
The most non-linear gameplay we saw during our preview was in this open field region, which functions as a connecting map piece between two other areas. The good news is that it’s not the only one that’s rumored to be in the game.
Final Fantasy 16 Open World Gameplay
Final Fantasy has always had excellent aesthetics, and 16 keeps up the tradition. It’s a beautiful game with, as already noted, lots of spectacles in the beginning. Along with a game that looks amazing, the soundtrack masterfully utilizes high fantasy cliches while also indulging in some traditional musical cues.
Final Fantasy 16 is overflowing with style, which is essential for this fascinating combat system. Despite the game’s attention to visual aspects, the Active Lore system is one of its remarkable features. The player can open a menu at any time during the game, whether in a cutscene or simply exploring the area.
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This menu will emphasize the most important characters, locations, and objects for that particular situation. As a result, the Active Lore menu will give the player a brief refresher if a cutscene begins with a character they should be familiar with but have forgotten.
This system will undoubtedly be a tremendous help for a series that can occasionally become very complex and, to be honest, a little confusing. It’s hardly worth going into great depth about the Final Fantasy 16 plot to avoid giving anything away.
The prologue, which establishes the scene for what appears to be an epic journey in the tradition of Final Fantasy, was one of many setups explored in the preview. Clive is a bystander to a struggle between rival factions, each of which is a summon in Final Fantasy 16 called an Eikon.
Final Fantasy 16 offers a recognizable blend of high fantasy and political intrigue, albeit with some contemporary twists like the language used. The family dynamics of Clive’s royal lineage and the competition for dominance between the other nations appear to make it very evident that works like Game of Thrones influenced the creators.
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