Final Fantasy 16 was announced on September 17, 2020. Almost two years since its announcement and we haven’t heard much about the game in any form or manner. This year, however, we can expect to see some news regarding it in some fashion as this December would mark the 35th year since the release of the first final fantasy game. Game development has been hampered due to the work imbalances caused by covid. And last year, the game’s director confirmed that the game is back on track.
December is still far away and on top of that, we won’t even have an E3 this year. As such, the moments of a reveal of anything official regarding the game are far and few. And some of them might be leaks that may end up being untrue in the long run. So in the moments of speculation and comparison of the old games, we anticipate what will Final Fantasy 16 bring to the table.
What to expect from Final Fantasy 16?
Despite being a game with a long history, final fantasy is not shy about experimenting with new things. This directly plays into the factor as to why every game in the series is unique and has its value. And with Final Fantasy 15 being an Action RPG game, it goes to show the creators of the series are willing to stay true to that motto. And from the trailer of Final Fantasy 16, which we got on September 17, 2022, it’s clear that we won’t be seeing the old final fantasy turn-based rendition in the next installment. But we only have tidbits and breadcrumbs to assume as to what the game could be like, however, given their experimental nature we can make a good educated guess.
- Linear or Non-linear Design: Final Fantasy games tend to be big open world with a caveat, they have a linear story in how the plot progresses. And not only that, we have had good open-world games in recent showing how cathartic the experience of exploring a big wide world is. While the previous installment took place in an open world, it left a lot to be desired. they can use it to their advantage and improve upon many aspects which were found lacking, Final Fantasy 16 could be the vintage Final Fantasy experience we have always wanted.
- Open World Structure: The open-world setting, sadly, is done to death, and not well. Many developers use it to fill the gaps in their games with little to no interesting location to go for. Which stabs at the potential open worlds have. However, when this is done well, it gets the applaud and recognition like none, becoming an instant classic. And with the looks of the Final Fantasy 16 trailer, it is safe to say that the game will be open world. On top of that, with how many expansions we got from FF15 there should be enough feedback for developers to work on. And who knows, maybe it will go down in classics?
- A Rich Lore: If Final Fantasy 16 is to have lore that will leave people talking about it for years, it needs good side quests. Why is it important? Unlike the name it suggests, side quests are not some side missions to the existing plot to the narrative that we as a player follow. The role of side quests is to put characters in a situation that they wouldn’t come across in mainline. Their function is to reveal more about the world and its denizens. To add more to the depth of the characters. And these things also work as a navigator to the lore in the game which we might have missed across the game. Final Fantasy games aren’t known for deep side quests, something we can hope that they will improve upon.
- A big cast of Characters: What is the point of RPG if you do not come across a colorful cast of characters? Yes, FF as a whole does have a good cast of characters. But we didn’t get a huge cast of characters in FF15, leaving fans a bit disappointed. And trailer did not show many characters that appear to be playable. Perhaps it is the crutch we get for shifting from turn-based RPG to action RPG. Which is why creating multiple characters with their own unique set can be hard, right? if it were we would have never seen the Tales franchise. Tales thrive in multiple characters with different abilities while still being an action RPG, since the beginning. If they can do it while still being a humble game, there is no reason Final Fantasy 16 can’t either. Whether or not they’ll do, we’ll see.
- Overall length and Combat: Final Fantasy 16 will be an AAA game, which is a good and bad thing. AAA games tend to have a problem that is longer than they should be. And what it ends up doing is make the combat look repetitive and pitter out all the replay value. This stems from the game’s length, but the main culprit behind it is the combat, repetitive combat. Repetitive combat gets old quickly and not many players are keen on muscle memory battles. It takes out all the fun and engagement from the game. One way to overcome this issue is to add unique challenges to the game. It won’t solve the issue however if the core combat is flawed nothing can save it. It is one of the core pillars that keeps the game afloat. But, just as added mechanics can make the game interesting they can also make the game appalling. The annoying mechanics whose only role is to add length/ content to the game, devoid of quality. Going forward, Square Enix must keep this as a precautionary.
- Episodic releases: No matter how flashy, advanced, artistic, or realistic games become, at their core, they are storytelling mediums. But because of the mentioned qualities before, it can fail to realize its storytelling potential to its fullest. It is such a rarity for them to reach their full potential. And when done well, it leaves people talking about it for decades. This is not to say that Final Fantasy games lack substance in their story. But the final fantasy 7 remake is not one game it is one game in pieces. And Square Enix in recent years has shown to be more efficient with sales rather than sales quality. Does it leave people with anticipation as to what happens next, or does it leave people feeling bitter at the incomplete? For some is one of them and for some both. All in all, it leaves you with an episodic story with filler content and even wishing that remake was not that good of an idea. Why bring this up? what does it have to do with Final Fantasy 16? It could very well happen to Final Fantasy 16 as well.
- Cohesive plot: Good stories are becoming rare, in all mediums of stories. But final fantasy has had this problem for a little bit while. The big plot tends to go off rails to what should have been a side story. And to add to that it has wacky moments which led to memes (long lives final fantasy 10…). So this one is less of an expectation and more of a request/hope that we have a plot that follows itself properly. As much as it can.
- Writing: It’s as if the FF7 remake has done more harm than good. It was not what fans had hoped filled with filler levels, events, and outright subverting the ending> needless to say, that has left many questioning the quality of writing Square Enix is putting into their games. Good writing can make even the mundane look great and bad one makes the great fall mundane. This level of spoon-feeding, over descriptive, has been one of the annoyances in the Kingdom Hearts series. We can only hope to see that the story is nuanced and not overwrought.
When is The Game Coming Out?
We were due news on Final Fantasy 16 last year, though, the news was production is behind the schedule. The game producer, Naoki Yoshida, has addressed the issues while ensuring the lack of progress by covid is dealt with. And confirming the game production is back on track.
One oddity that made Final Fantasy 16 stand out is the company’s decision to make it a PS5 exclusive. But I wouldn’t say it will stay that way. Sony’s PS5 has plummeted in popularity ever since the pandemic had begun. And to make up for those losses company had released some of its exclusives for PC ( where is Bloodborne?!) to curb some of its losses from the pandemic. But it’s not enough. Pandemic also sees a steep rise in the number of people switching to gaming. With the rise of the player base and fall of demand for PS5, it won’t be long before Final Fantasy 16 becomes available for PC after release.