Final Fantasy 16 is due to arrive later this year and promises the next installment in the titanic RPG series from Square Enix.
Coming to PS5, Final Fantasy 16 looks to be returning to the medieval roots of the earlier games, its thrilling trailers offering plenty of medieval castles, swords, shields, and sorcery. However, the game’s combat mechanics look to be a far cry from the sedate turn-based battles of previous games in the series. Instead, it looks like we’ll be treated to a frantic third-person action experience, reminiscent. of Final Fantasy 7 Remake and Final Fantasy 15.
Final Fantasy 16 comes from the same team that bought us Final Fantasy 14; a wildly successful MMORPG critically acclaimed for its excellent storytelling. If they can bring the same flair and nuance to 16 that they bought to 14, then players are going to be in for one heck of a ride. Couple that with the game’s impressive visuals, and we may well have an RPG on the horizon that neatly combines style and substance.
Final Fantasy 16 : cut to the chase
- What is it? The next mainline single-player Final Fantasy title
- When can I play it? June 22, 2023
- Which can I play it on? PS5 (PC could follow)
Final Fantasy 16 release date and platforms
Final Fantasy 16 will launch June 22, 2023 on PS5. This was confirmed at The Game Awards 2022, alongside a brand new trailer. This puts it among some stiff competition, given that Diablo 4 just revealed a June launch date as well.
Sony has now confirmed that while Final Fantasy 16 is indeed a PS5 exclusive, it’s only as such for 6 months. It will likely be announced for PC platforms shortly afterwards. This information was included in a recent trailer. (opens in new tab)
Final Fantasy 16 trailers
During The Game Awards 2022, the latest trailer for Final Fantasy 16 was shown off. It centered around Clive, the game’s main protagonist. It’s mostly cinematic, with a little bit of gameplay spread evenly throughout. You can watch it below:
We’ve included some key Final Fantasy 16 trailers throughout this article ut you can find all the FF16 trailers that have been released to date on Square Enix’s official YouTube channel. (opens in new tab)
Final Fantasy 16 story and setting
We now know that Final Fantasy 16‘s story and adventure will take place in a land called Valisthea.
The world is tied to six different Mothercrystals, which have been around for generations. During this time, six powerful nations have risen up around the Mothercrystals and each place now lives in relative peace. As is always the case with Final Fantasy, the blessings bestowed by the Mothercrystals has allowed these powers to thrive, and their people to live in comfort.
Of course, we also learn that the crystals have been the cause of “countless wars”, which eventually formed the six nations now in the game: the Grand Duchy of Rosaria, the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, the Kingdom of Waloed, the Dhalmekian Republic, the Iron Kingdom, and the Crystalline Dominion.
Each place views the world differently and, obviously, this leads to some political disagreements between the nations. However, we know that the emergence of something called a “Blight”, which is spreading across the land, is making these different powers desperate. This is probably where we will begin the game; in the midst of this turbulent time.
In a radio interview (via Kotaku) producer Naoki Yoshida said that while Final Fantasy 16 is going to be “action-oriented” it’s “turning into a Final Fantasy that features both story and action.” According to Yoshida, steps are being taken to accommodate players who prefer story to action, saying, “We strongly want people to enjoy the story, so we’re preparing a mode for those who want to focus on the story”.
It seems that the story might touch on more mature themes, as he added, “I think that when you become an adult, you also understand suffering. And so, people who have grown up on Final Fantasy, also know the real world. But even then, they want to once again enjoy fantasy. They can get something out of it and are able to contemplate things. I’m thinking I’d like to make this a theme [for the game].”
Final Fantasy 16 gameplay
Final Fantasy 16 is an action RPG, meaning you shouldn’t expect the turn-based combat of older entries, it’s more akin to Final Fantasy 15 instead. We’re also aware that Final Fantasy 16 won’t be open world, but Naoki Yoshida confirms it will “find inspiration” from them.
Clive Rosfield is the main protagonist and he’ll be joined by a series of AI-controlled companions in battles. The teaser website explains that he’s the firstborn son of the Archduke of Rosaria and he’s in charge of protecting his younger brother Joshua, who happens to hold the Dominant of the Phoenix.
Thanks to Joshua’s link to the Eikon Phoenix, Clive has been bestowed the Blessing of the Phoenix, giving him the ability to use some of the eikon’s flame and power to make himself stronger. As the story unfolds, we’re told that Clive is “swept up into a great tragedy.”
Finally, Jill Warrick is the young girl we first meet in the initial trailer. She’s friends with Clive and Joshua because, an early age, she was taken from her homeland in the Northern Territories—a nation that swore loyalty to the Grand Duchy of Rosaria—to broker peace between the two powers.
You’ll recognize the term eikon if you’ve played Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, where they’re referred to as Primals. The official website tells us eikons “reside within special beings called Dominants. How Dominants are treated depends on the realm—in some, they are revered as royalty, while in others they are sent to the frontlines as weapons of war.”
Commenting on gameplay in an interview with Japanese site Comic Days (via VGC), back in August 2022, Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida stated his concerns that some fans won’t like the action-based shift. He stated:
“We want the world, especially the younger generation, to play the game. Also, the mainstream games nowadays are intuitive games where you press a button and the character shoots a gun or wields a sword, and the traditional RPG style of turn-based command fighting is no longer familiar to them. It is also a fact that people are becoming less familiar with the old-fashioned style of RPGs, where you fight by selecting turn commands. That’s why the battles in Final Fantasy 16 are very action-based.”
Continuing further, Yoshida admits that the game won’t satisfy everyone’s demands, stating, “Of course, I don’t think we’ll be able to satisfy everyone’s demands, so I’ve told everyone on the team that the first thing we need to do is to make something we think is fun, and make sure it reaches the people who like it.”
Final Fantasy 16 news
Final Fantasy 16 will be “like God of War” says director
In a recent interview, Final Fantasy 16’s director revealed that the title will be “like God of War”. Speaking with the folks at WellPlaye (opens in new tab)d.com, producer Naoki Yoshida and directors Ryota Suzuki and Hiroshi Takai talked about their inspirations for the game, citing God of War and Game of Thrones as key influences on their work.
Microsoft states that FF16 will not come to Xbox consoles
While we do know that Final Fantasy 16 has a 6 month exclusivity period on PS5, it was hoped that the game could then head to Xbox. According to comments by Microsoft (via Eurogamer (opens in new tab)), Sony has “entered into arrangements with third-party publishers which require the ‘exclusion’ of Xbox.”
The report then goes on to offer examples of what games Microsoft is talking about:
“Some prominent examples of these agreements include Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix), Bloodborne (From Software), the upcoming Final Fantasy XVI (Square Enix) and the recently announced Silent Hill 2 remastered [sic] (Bloober team).”
These comments were made in response to the FTC lawsuit against Xbox. For now, there’s been no confirmation as to whether these ‘exclusion’ agreements are real. It’s worth noting that Final Fantasy 7 Remake still hasn’t come to Xbox platforms, despite having released in April, 2020. Even if Final Fantasy 16 is going to come to Xbox platforms, we may be in for quite a wait.