Feature Article

Final Fantasy XVI: Everything We Know

Between story, characters, gameplay, and development, there's quite a bit we already know about FFXVI well before release.

One of the major announcements during the PlayStation 5 reveal stream earlier in 2020 was Final Fantasy XVI. With a lengthy trailer that set the mood and showcased a bit of gameplay, there was a lot to parse for the next mainline entry in the storied franchise. Many mainstays of Final Fantasy lore were put front and center, and you can catch glimpses of how this new game is building off of the series' broader history and its recent past.

In addition to the relatively detailed reveal trailer, Square Enix also launched an official website that contains in-depth looks at FFXVI's new world and characters to get you started on understanding the backstory. What's notable about this entry, in particular, is that it's being developed by Creative Business Unit III--which is the not-so-flashy name for the division behind the incredible MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV. It's promising given that Naoki Yoshida is leading production on FFXVI--he led the team behind the rebirth of FFXIV and continues to direct the MMO, which keeps getting better and is regarded as top-tier in its storytelling. FFXVI itself is being directed by Hiroshi Takai, who has a lengthy history with Final Fantasy and Square Enix, and he was even part of developing FFXIV's reboot.

We're still a ways away from the launch of FFXVI, but Yoshida-san has stated that a major reveal of new information on the game is coming in 2021. You can catch up on everything we know so far in the rest of this article. You should also check out our most anticipated games of 2021, or...you can read about how there's never been a better time to get into FFXIV! Be sure to peep our roundup of 50 indie games you should have on your radar in 2021, too.

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Release Date

There's been no word on a release date or release window. Director Hiroshi Takai said in a joint statement with Yoshida-san shortly after the game's reveal, "It may still be some time before we can get it into your hands. However, I promise the wait will be worth it." This may lead you to believe that a 2021 release is off the table, although word has it that the game has been in development for several years now.

Platforms

Right now, FFXVI is marked as a PS5 console exclusive. It's the only platform indicated on the official website. It won't be a cross-generation game either, so PS4 owners will have to move to the new-generation system in order to play it.

Is Final Fantasy XVI Coming To PC Or Xbox?

Final Fantasy XVI will be a limited-time PS5 console exclusive. The reveal trailer stated upfront, "The following content is captured on PC emulating the PS5 experience." And at the end of the trailer, the game will be "not available on other platforms for a limited time after release on PS5," with a footnote saying it'll be available on PC. There's currently no word on how long the exclusivity will last.

Although the newest game in the franchise, Final Fantasy VII Remake, remains a PlayStation exclusive, it wouldn't be much of a surprise if FFXVI comes to Xbox at some point, given that the rest of the series lives on Xbox platforms.

Trailers

The reveal trailer is titled "Awakening" and offers four minutes of story, cutscenes, and gameplay. It's chock-full of details that paint a vivid picture of what FFXVI entails. It also features a powerful orchestrated theme with a few Final Fantasy touches like the iconic Crystal Prelude. If we had to take a wild guess, it sounds a bit like composer Masayoshi Soken's work on FFXIV: Heavensward. You can watch the trailer below.

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The Story So Far

From what we can tell from the trailer and official website, there's conflict between realms (basically nations) in the world of Valisthea, a bunch of political drama, but also a focus on Dominants--these are a few special people who can wield the power of Eikons, which are what summons are called in FFXVI's world (and in FFXIV).

It looks like you'll go through two separate time frames in FFXVI's story, which you can see from main character Clive Rosfield's evolution from a spiffy young man with a fancy haircut to a grizzled veteran with a scruffy beard and mark tattooed on his face later in life. He's the son of his realm's archduke, and appears to be able to wield Eikon-related powers in combat but isn't necessarily a Dominant himself. He's sworn to protect his brother Joshua, the young boy in the trailer who was fated as a Dominant instead. However, as shown in the trailer, Joshua couldn't control his Eikon--he summons Phoenix after watching someone presumably important get killed right before his eyes. These events are capped by a battle between Phoenix and Ifrit, which might be the tragedy (stated in the official character profiles) that drives Clive in FFXVI.

Another character you see in the trailer is Jill Warrick. She's the young girl with grayish hair who accompanies Joshua. She's said to have a complicated life having come from another realm, essentially adopted by the Rosfields, and acting as a mediary between warring nations. She's said to be a trusted confidant to both Clive and Joshua.

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Throughout the trailer, you see other characters in battle and in conversations about the political turmoil that seems to be fueling the war in Valisthea. You see other iconic Eikons like Shiva and Titan being used on the battlefield. It looks like Eikons, and Dominants by extension, are akin to powerful weapons of war that shift the balance of power between realms in Valisthea. There's also a fight against an armor-clad lance-wielding Dragoon, said to be an Imperial Viper, which has the characters shook--another series staple.

Another thing to consider is that FFXVI's world also revolves around what's called the Mothercrystals, which are said to bless the land with aether (basically magic). But a destructive force called The Blight is also washing over the world. It's worth keeping in mind that FFXVI's tagline is, "The legacy of the crystals has shaped our history for long enough." We're not sure what it means, but it's provocative and may have to do with what's been happening to Valisthea.

What The Logo Can Tell Us

We can always count on artist Yoshitaka Amano to create a new logo for each Final Fantasy that tells us something about the game's story. In the case of FFXVI's logo, it features Ifrit and Phoenix face-to-face in a fight, which is a battle that concludes the trailer. With Ifrit as a key opposing force and Phoenix being the Eikon that the Rosfields wield, this seems to be a central conflict that drives the game. It also appears that Eikons are pivotal to how FFXVI's world operates, more so than previous Final Fantasy games.

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Gameplay

From the snippets of gameplay in the trailer, FFXVI takes on an action-RPG style of combat system and looks like it shares similarities to FFXV and FFVII Remake. Clive can cast fireballs, engage in melee range with his sword and warp-like abilities, and use a few powers that look like they're tied to Eikons (indicated by the stone fist summoned in the fight against a Dragoon).

No UI or HUD elements were shown, so it's hard to tell if or how it'll incorporate parts of the series' iconic ATB (active time battle) system, how spellcasting might work, or even how combat encounters will flow. We've also only seen Clive in action, so we're unsure if there's a party system or how it would work (if it exists).

Something worth knowing is that Ryota Suzuki, who was a combat designer for Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon's Dogma, is the battle director for FFXVI, which could result in something quite exciting.

How To Preorder

Relax.

Where To Find More On Final Fantasy XVI

More details about FFXVI's lore can be found on the game's official website. It looks to be an ambitious game with an emphasis on worldbuilding and broad narrative scope, and as stated earlier, producer Naoki Yoshida says that more information on the game is coming sometime in 2021. And whenever more FFXVI details are revealed, you can count on GameSpot to have them covered.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

highammichael

Michael Higham

Associate Editor at GameSpot. Southeast San Diego to the Bay. Salamat sa iyong suporta!

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FrazzlesonX

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Edited By FrazzlesonX

This game looks so awesome. I am so glad the world has been developed in a fantasy setting. The Final Fantasy series is amazing at how they position their game designs: always within the trends of the time in a way that they seem to fit snugly in the times and to also invent signature facets of the design within those trends. Every game seems so current and so distinct to the series. For this reason, it's so much fun to watch the development of each game. In this case, I am so pleased they have gone with a fantasy setting. The trends that make this a good move commercially are of Game of Thrones, The Witcher, etc. that the characters and world seems to enjoy kinship with.

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Jarrkha

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For the love of the Eikons, please use synonyms. "Iconic" is extremely overused -- so much so, that the entire journalism sector look like high school newspaper writers.

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falkyn

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they need to rewrite Joshua's character to be a girl instead.

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Varchild

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Not thrilled to hear the team behind FF 14 is doing FF 16. I detest 14 for its incredibly poor gameplay design. Oops you didn't do the thing you know the thing therefore Party Wipe. You killed this thing when you should not have.... party wipe. You failed to kill this thing in time party wipe. You got hit with 1 attack and insta died off the ledge in the first few seconds of the boss battle? Oh well....you are done... gee great fun times to be had in FF 14.

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falkyn

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@Varchild: gameplay for ff16 is from the dudes at dmc5. regarding ff14, you're invited to craft eternal emerald tablets, etc.

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Jarrkha

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@falkyn: Really? They shifted from Capcom to Squenix?

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Flyin3lvl

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Edited By Flyin3lvl

@Varchild: ff14 - odin .......

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freddy_diggler

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Looks so lame.

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Soulcrusher777

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Looks generic......and is that a boy or a girl in the picture? (the one in the middle) Lol.

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TeaGuru12

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@soulcrusher777: That's Joshua. I hate his outfit, but he's some kind of noble child, so at least it makes sense.

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KirkAlbuquerque

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cannot wait for this game. FF world and story with Dragon's Dogma style combat sounds so sick.

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falkyn

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i'm quite sick of being force fed someone else's perspectives especially within a channel that i grew up knowing differently.

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Jarrkha

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@falkyn: we're all force fed something. How one deals with it is a measure of their maturity.

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falkyn

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@Jarrkha: like a boycott leading to revolution? Or a surrender into further slavery?

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Jarrkha

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@falkyn: I was talking about individual to individual, or even society to individual.

I don't like what [random famous Youtuber] has to say and why they're famous on YouTube or Twitch, but that doesn't stop the fact that said person's nonsense is proliferated en masse.

I don't like that some of my former bosses or coworkers were disagreeable, to say the least, but when they said "jump!", I had to ask, "How high?"

There's a million small things we just gotta do, with whatever attitudes we deem fit. Resumes & CVs for getting jobs; greasing the wheels (proverbially); meeting the in-laws; having our significant others meet our embarrassing parents; going to school; etc. We do these things as means to an end... or that they're just the way we do things -- one reason why I'm glad the pandemic shook things up, btw. It forced us to cut the fat from our lives.

Basically, shit happens to us, but how we react is the more important part of that transaction. It's the part we can control, and that which colours how the rest of it plays out (or similar situations in the future).

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falkyn

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@Jarrkha: So, like.. surrendering into further slavery.

Yah, I'm not a fan of that route. No amount of popularity surrounding an opinion will compel me to join it if I prefer a different fundamental thought process. Like world religions: I'm a fan of the supernatural but not so much the institution of it.

So when FFXVI begins with the pretense that you are not blessed, but someone else is, then that is a story that was doomed from the start no matter how you choose to cut it.

I have no interest in entertaining the rest of the details glamoured onto someone else's imagination with no regards for mine.

Despite it being a god-killing move, I'd rather keep building on a different foundation.

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Jarrkha

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Edited By Jarrkha

@falkyn said:

@Jarrkha: So, like.. surrendering into further slavery.

Yah, I'm not a fan of that route. No amount of popularity surrounding an opinion will compel me to join it if I prefer a different fundamental thought process. Like world religions: I'm a fan of the supernatural but not so much the institution of it. (*)

So when FFXVI begins with the pretense that you are not blessed, but someone else is, then that is a story that was doomed from the start no matter how you choose to cut it. (**)

I have no interest in entertaining the rest of the details glamoured onto someone else's imagination with no regards for mine. (***)

Despite it being a god-killing move, I'd rather keep building on a different foundation.

@falkyn:I am not entirely certain that you even understood what I'm talking about, and I wasn't really alluding to what you are alluding to, even if you did.

(*) I agree with being skeptical, and especially against popularity. But what are you even really saying here? No amount of anything ultimately convinces or compels anyone to conform, for many scenarios, in a free-thinking land.

(**) I don't really care either way, but no. That rarely holds up, even a little.

(***) The whole lore/narrative/setting element "pretense" you're on about is a problem with receiving "stories" in video games and movies in general. If we're gonna go down that route, I don't predominantly judge stuff just bc I agree/disagree with their narrative premises or conclusions, so I don't feel these things forced down my throat. Neither should anyone else.

Flies in the face of conventional wisdom - "give the fans what they want", "subvert the right expectations", "surprises should be sprinkles and not the flavour of the meal", etc. - but it gives the fandom more power over itself (the individual allocates himself more shrewdness) and not enslaved to some formula.

Concluding remarks:

At the end of the day, the more I like a series, and the older and more skilled I get, the more I realize that an entertainment product of said series would probably not be the story I would've made, and I have to get over that fact. It's probably too late for me to join this business of creative content, or for my voice to be heard by the community at large, so I have zero control over what I'm given.

I would also encourage professional critics judging products primarily on their "stories" to consider what the thesis is, of the narrative they just experienced, state it, then argue for or against it. They rarely do this, and it encourages us regular consumers to not be "cerebral" with what we consume.

Regardless, Final Fantasy is enjoyment is all about the experience (the feel of it) and not the actual narrative tidbits. The narrative tidbits we do enjoy are tied to and centred around character dynamics (their relationships); this is further entrenched with what video games - and RPGs in particular - do particularly well: allow for player agency to some degree, which allows for our expression and insertion into a world... and its story, even if that story sucks (JRPGs remove a bit of that agency in favour of god knows what, but they still have it, so the point stands).

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falkyn

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@Jarrkha:

One cannot play ffxvi without first accepting that "Joshua" is their "Dominant". Regardless of how the game plays, you must accept that you are the inferior to "Joshua."

Even though a lot of people will disregard this fact and choose to play and enjoy the rest of the game, I won't pay them that adornment.

It's the only critical element of war. The enemy only wants your consent and they'll never have mine to establish their "Dominant."

You're never too old to value your own consent. In the memory of your own heart, you can die knowing that you kept your own dominance.

If it's game play you want, play something else instead from developers who don't subject their fans into the inferiority complex.

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Jarrkha

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Edited By Jarrkha

@falkyn: My friend, most of what you said there is a you problem (attitude) than it is anyone else's.

As far as FFXVI goes.... If I'm understanding you correctly, we're to feel "inferior" to some child burdened by the gods, and you're his chosen protector(s), trained all their lives to be by Josh's side? And one of those character is his sibling, IIRC? It seems you're making a mountain out of a molehill. And the molehill is quite small, here.... especially since we're not the playable characters. ultimately.

I also think it's worth self-examination that someone else isn't allowed to dominate you with their own style - even if said style is re: fictional rubbish - but you seek dominance of a sort, yourself. You may be conflating other concepts, here.

Other obstacles in your life are also ebbing into this one; your life may be imbalanced, and it's easy for me to recognize this, as mine was imbalanced several times over the previous decade, for different reasons each time. It's imbalanced right now, as we speak.

Furthermore, while a commercial product is answerable to the fans and industry for quality control, the creative direction is not determined by you and I, no matter how powerful we are, or regardless of any army behind our backs. It isn't right or feasible for the product's creator to completely kowtow to some filthy mob, no matter how "justified" it is. We're not fighting for justice, here. And if a mob must be second-place, where does the consumer individual fall in the grand scheme of creative direction?

Here, lemme assert the dominance you both revile and crave: that's the end of it. Be at peace.

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falkyn

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@Jarrkha: regarding ffxvi, you are not a "Dominant," regardless of how you feel about that. It's as simple as this: you will receive the blessing of your Dominant, only after you agree to bow down to that opinion. Just like any fight can end as soon as you choose to forfeit and you declare your opponent victorious over you - quite the molehill isn't it?

And although I agree that we are ultimately not the players of these games, the message can still be just as damaging. For instance, from world war 2, you know what a jew looks versus what a nazi looks like.

I don't seek dominance myself. I just don't think it necessary to call Joshua a "Dominant." The writers only needed to call them something different, but no, their opinion shall be their law. And I will not pledge allegiance to it.

In the periodic table of elements, every item has their special unique place in it. I shall call it what it is, and not pervert it to anything lesser or more.

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Jarrkha

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@falkyn said:

@Jarrkha: regarding ffxvi, you are not a "Dominant," regardless of how you feel about that. --> Not worth mulling over, especially since it's irrespective of personal POV.

It's as simple as this: you will receive the blessing of your Dominant, only after you agree to bow down to that opinion.

--> We don't really know anything about the game. Reserve judgement for the facts; and try to understand it is your attitude making it seem like servitude and forfeiture is requisite to this Dominant-blessing stuff.

Just like any fight can end as soon as you choose to forfeit and youdeclare your opponent victorious over you - quite the molehill isn't it?

--> No. It takes serious balls to admit defeat, and if you declare your opponent victorious, that lessens them having any pride for it, anyway; bittersweet for them. It's simple to see how this case isn't about black-and-white submission to some other person. It's not as if we're bending the knee without a fight anyway.
Regardless, this whole sub-point is effectively a non-sequitur.

And although I agree that we are ultimately not the players of these games, the message can still be just as damaging. For instance, from world war 2, you know what a jew looks versus what a nazi looks like.

--> You bring up an extreme example, but glaze over connecting the dots and making the actual argumentation from premise to conclusion. How.

I don't seek dominance myself. I just don't think it necessary to call Joshua a "Dominant." The writers only needed to call them something different, but no, their opinion shall be their law. And I will not pledge allegiance to it.

--> So this about challenging word choice, here, without even knowing the rationale; jumping the gun, or making a presumptive, hasty, and premature inference. "Necessity" over terminology isn't even an issue about fictional entertainment -- especially since most gamers won't even get a morale of the story out of this experience, anyway. And yes, their opinion MUST be their law, because it's THEIR STORY. Nobody's asking you to pledge allegiance to it, jfc.

In the periodic table of elements, every item has their special unique place in it.

--> Every character mentioned thus far has a unique place, and that could be construed even without knowing plot details.

I shall call it what it is, and not pervert it to anything lesser or more.

--> Please do that, because you are making it worse than it has to be, for yourself, and continue to fail heeding advice. The point of these discussions is to enliven experience and broaden horizons, not to double-down on the gilded cages that we put our minds in.

Remember one of the first things Luke Skywalker said to Rey in The Last Jedi, "every word you said in that sentence is wrong." Well, I don't think you're "wrong", here, but you're not apt to a close degree.

Like I said before, that is the end of it.

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falkyn

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@Jarrkha: Is it not enough to call Joshua a "summoner" instead and let the audience grade his worth?

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Edited By falkyn

@Jarrkha: One of the artifices of Satan is, to induce men to believe that he does not exist: another, perhaps equally fatal, is to make them fancy that he is obliged to stand quietly by, and not to meddle with them, if they get into true silence. - John Wilkinson, 1836

--> You bring up an extreme example, but glaze over connecting the dots and making the actual argumentation from premise to conclusion. How.

Details for the how could be hypothesized endlessly. The only item that they want accepted as fact is that Joshua is "Dominant" - it is to the writers' advantage to leave its interpretation undefined. This in itself is the presumptive, hasty, and premature inference.

You will encounter gypsies forever in your life. You have the power to deem what they say to you as something worthy to bring back as a cherished memory, or let it rot like the rest of the trash trying to bring harm to your temple.

You could present me with a Lamborghini car as a present to keep with the one stipulation that I must wear a hat that explicitly says "Satan's slave" to drive it. I would give that a hard pass and allow the next gypsy a chance to make something worthwhile for me.

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daigurren

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This article doesn't address the most important and exciting thing we know about the game so far: Tetsuya Nomura's not goddamn involved.

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Mozelleple112

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Not hyped for this new FF at all, I would much rather an FF8 Remake like the FF7 remake.

But that DMC5 guy as combat director? That's great news. I absolutely loved FF7's combat mechanics but DMC5 has the best combat gameplay in the industry

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JustTheTip

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Edited By JustTheTip

@Mozelleple112: I would kill for a Final Fantasy VIII remake. It’s still my favorite FF. That being said, this game looks awesome. It looks like it’s going to play like FF VII Remake, only bigger, and I’m all for that.

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KirkAlbuquerque

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@Mozelleple112: FFVIII remake would be so sick, but why would you not be hyped for XVI too, especially since you said the DMC combat is "great news"?

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Mozelleple112

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@kirkalbuquerque: Because FFXIII, FFXIII-2 FFXIV and FFXV were all complete garbage. Didn't make it past the 15 hour mark for any of them. And I had 350 hours in FFX. Last time Square made an original FF that was actually good was 14 years ago, with FFXII. I have no faith in them actually making a good game in 2021. FFVII: Remake was absolutely brilliant, so I hope they remake FFVIII, FFIX and FFX over the next 5-6 years. But DMC combat is amazing news, lets just hope they can write a good story with interesting characters.

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Thienbao1

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Xem một số thủ thuật chơi game tại đây Gui hang di nuoc ngoai

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Crazy_sahara

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Final fantasy 16 is star wars fallen order.

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Mozelleple112

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@Crazy_sahara: Sounds good.

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Not interested in FF games anymore they dont play like the FF game I grew up loving, they play like hack n slash game with parties that dont work for me. utter hate FFXV and hate what that they put that kind gameplay in to to FF7R then again they been going toward this gameplay since XI which when i stop.

I am intrest in how much FARTHER they get away from FF gameplay before they remeber what made FF.

Also weary by the fact it being emulated on PC to show the ps5 experience, why not just show on ps5 seeing it is time exclusive to it..

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KirkAlbuquerque

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@tsunami2311: Yeah bro I stopped liking Final Fantasy once FFII came out they totally changed it from FFI REEEEEEEEEEEE HATE HATE HATE

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OhmyA337

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Why dont they just go back to crystals, knights, espers, dragons? What do they have to lose.

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TeaGuru12

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@ohmya337: I am not sure if this is joking or not. This game revolves specifically around crystals, knights, and espers (known as Eikons)... and there is probably a dragon somewhere in there. Were you being sarcastic or?

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deactivated-60378ed243464

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If combat is more like VII remake and less like XV then I am all in. If it is like XV then will have to hard pass which is unfortunate because I have loved this series since the NES but XV was a mess and will not do that again.

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Fia1

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With how terrible FF XV was I don't expect this to be anything special, it even looks like a dragon age game mixed with FF, the main character looks like having the same phasing powers as noctis, lol, come on square.

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JSprunk

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Edited By JSprunk

I might actually buy this. I’ve pretty much hated FF games since FF8 because I got tired of the same old formula year after year. This game looks dope as hell!!

Game of Thrones + Dead Souls + Harry Potter + Pokemon =

Final Fantasy XVI

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ao_bomber

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Edited By ao_bomber

FF16 is an action RPG? Not interested.

I dunno why each new installment has to essentially reinvent itself, lately. I know this has always been a thing for the series to some degree, but the first 10 games all played largely the same at its core. Even so, each installment still had gameplay elements that differentiated themselves from each other.

The modern titles, however, are so alien from even their direct predecessor that I often wonder if they should be a completely separate franchise.

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jenovaschilld

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@ao_bomber: I to would prefer it if they would stay more into the menu driven, more cerebral, rpgs of old. Like Dragon Quest 11 did so well. But world wide flavor of RPGs keep leaning more heavily towards action rpgs.

I do think FF7R, did an okay job with their system. It was a more heavily action filler of the ATB, where blocking, dodging, attacking, increased the abilities bar to where you could cast, limit breaks, items, etc. Very similar to ATB, but I prefer the old systems of Suikoden, Persona, Breath of Fires, etc.

Take Persona 5 that added some action filler, but kept a direct 'this beats that, but that beats this'.

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Jandro88

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Edited By Jandro88

@ao_bomber: wtf are you talking about? Ok the first 10 were similar but just in the sense that they were turn based (actually all but 13-3, 15 and 16) but really the same style was shared by 1-6, then the formula varied quite a lot, being 9 the most similar to the classics. Action RPG games are not similar to each other at all. Just because you don't have to wait for your turn doesn't mean all you have to do is spam the same action.

I'm totally looking forward to this one, way more than boy band simulator.

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Josefo

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Most anticipated game on my list!

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