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Arts Culture STEM Competition Tuesday 16th April 2024 Industry Opinion Local Nations

Final Fantasy 16: A Modernized Reinvention with Familiar Spirit


Square Enix's upcoming installment, Final Fantasy 16, aims to revolutionize the mainline Final Fantasy games with a fresh approach. Spearheaded by Naoki Yoshida, renowned for his work on revitalizing Final Fantasy 14, the goal is to expand the series' appeal by transforming it into a modern action-adventure, drawing inspiration from popular fantasy franchises like Game of Thrones and God of War.

While this new direction may concern some fans, fearing the loss of the series' identity, the essence of Final Fantasy remains intact in Final Fantasy 16. The game retains beloved elements such as summons, Chocobos, Moogles, crystals, and Aether. Moreover, it maintains the series' earnestness, grandiosity, a touch of emo flair, and a charming touch of goofiness.

Yoshida emphasizes that Final Fantasy 16 is a labor of love, driven by a desire to reignite excitement for the series. During the opening hours of the game experienced at a London press event, eyebrows were raised due to a scene that showcased characters drenched in gore and using explicit language. However, despite its edginess and departure from the traditional party-based RPG format, Final Fantasy 16 remains unmistakably Final Fantasy.

The game's early stages introduce players to an intricate military and political landscape within its fantasy world. It thrusts them into a complex narrative filled with names, locations, and concepts that may initially feel overwhelming. However, the Active Time Lore system allows players to pause the action and access helpful wikis providing explanations of the characters, locations, and concepts in the scene.

As the game progresses, it settles into a comfortable rhythm, building its characters, world, and gameplay. Players assume the role of Clive Rosfield, an embittered soldier navigating battles and royal family drama. The combat system offers a free-flowing, action-oriented experience, with boss battles being particularly engaging and strategically designed. The game's approach to accessibility and difficulty also provides customization options through "Timely" items, allowing players to tailor their experience.

Final Fantasy 16 takes players on a journey of intricate storytelling and thrilling gameplay. As the plot unfolds, it gradually opens up to offer exploration and side-quests, reminiscent of the PlayStation 2 era's action games and RPGs. The game successfully maintains the essence of Final Fantasy while incorporating elements from the past that fans hold dear.

The true test for Final Fantasy 16 will be whether it can sustain its momentum beyond the initial hours. With its release on PlayStation 5 scheduled for June 22, players eagerly anticipate embarking on a new Final Fantasy adventure that balances modernity with the franchise's enduring spirit.

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