Several media and content creators were recently given the opportunity to try out a few hours of Final Fantasy XVI, the upcoming action-RPG from Square Enix. The preview embargo broke yesterday which allowed those lucky enough to play the game early to spill the details on gameplay, exploration, Eikon battles, combat and much more along with some B-roll provided by the publisher.
The early players were given a few sections of Final Fantasy XVI to play, specifically the opening combat tutorial, a slice of exploration in a dungeon and an Eikon battle. Many media outlets noted that the game’s real-time combat felt excellent, flashy and responsive, though might alienate Final Fantasy fans accustomed to the franchise’s past turn-based systems. During combat, protagonist Clive can equip the abilities of up to three Eikons, allowing him to use two special combo moves per Eikon.
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Eikons in Final Fantasy XVI are essentially the Summons from the Final Fantasy universe, though they play a much more important role this time in the overarching story. Among the warring kingdoms of the game’s world, gifted individuals called Dominants can not only harness the power of Eikons, but actually transform into them. Clive, for example, transforms into the Eikon Ifrit. Previews showed Ifrit fighting Garuda in real-time in what amounts to a large-scaled kaiju battle.
Exploration around an early-game dungeon in the previews also revealed the game’s terrific visuals, namely its impressive lighting and detail. Some previews noted that it makes sense why developer Creative Business Unit III opted to make it a current-gen PS5 title only as the visuals, loading times and hyper-fast combat is something that could only be achieved with the latest hardware.
Lastly, Final Fantasy XVI will not include any traditional difficulty settings. Rather, players will be given the option to choose between two settings: story-focused mode and action-focused mode. Story-focused mode will give players a number of combat assists in battle in the form of rings that Clive can wear. Rings grant Clive abilities like auto-dodging, assigning combos to one button and more. Up to three accessories can be equipped in the beginning. Action-focused mode will not include any of these assists.
- Ring of Timely Focus – Temporarily slows time before an incoming attack, allowing you more time to react.
- Ring of Timely Assistance – Removes the need for you give Torgal battle commands manually.
- Ring of Timely Strikes – Execute deadly combos by only pressing Square.
- Ring of Timely Evasion – Automatically dodge most incoming attacks.
- Ring of Timely Healing – Automatically use potions when HP drops below a certain threshold.
Some previews noted little technical hiccups but since they were playing an early build of the game, it was mostly forgiven. If you want to have a look at the sections of Final Fantasy XVI that creators got to play, Gematsu uploaded almost all the B-roll without commentary for your enjoyment (below).
Final Fantasy XVI launches on 22 June 2023 for PS5.