One thing's certain: Final Fantasy 16 is on its way. What we don't know is when—or if—it'll be coming to PC. An initial mention of a PC release has since been disappeared, and Square Enix has been coy about whether we'll get to smash Eikons together if we don't have a PS5.
This is the first wholly new mainline Final Fantasy game since Final Fantasy 15 (opens in new tab) and, in true series form, it appears to star brand new characters in a whole new world. And by all appearances, its going to play like something between FFVII Remake and a Kaiju battle film.
Here's everything we know, and have speculated, about Final Fantasy 16:
Final Fantasy 16 release date
When is the Final Fantasy 16 release date? Is a PC release confirmed?
Final Fantasy 16 is currently set to release on PlayStation 5 in the summer of 2023. While a PC version was mentioned in the game's reveal trailer, Square Enix hasn't acknowledged it since, and the game is currently being marketed as a PS5 exclusive. If a PC release eventually appears, it could be a long wait. After all, Final Fantasy 15's PC port took two years to launch.
Final Fantasy 16 Trailers
Here's the latest Final Fantasy 16 trailer from Sony's 2022 State of Play
In between nuggets of fantasy political drama, the first half of our latest look at FF16 is a lovely montage of flashy, active combat that's clearly playing with a lot of the same notes as FF7 Remake's real-time battles. Our protagonist mulches so many faceless knights. So many.
Based on lines we hear throughout the trailer, the story will heavily feature the Dominants, individuals who can command the power of the massive Eikons—giant incarnations of summons from previous Final Fantasy games. Combat between Eikons seems like it'll factor into gameplay, too. The trailer's second half turns into a giant monster movie, with back-to-back shots of Eikons wailing on each other as damage numbers fly off.
Watch the Final Fantasy 16 reveal trailer
Our first look from the Final Fantasy 16 announcement trailer (opens in new tab) focuses on the broad tones and themes of the game, which are definitely trending darker than any modern game in the series. The trailer feels very similar to the dramatic CG trailers that Naoki Yoshida's team would make for FF14 expansions, which did an amazing job of selling the action and kicking off its stories.
The game seems to star the personal bodyguard of a prince named Joshua. We also hear familiar names from the series like Shiva, Phoenix, and Ifrit. With little to go on story-wise, the big highlight here is the setting, which appears to be more medieval this time around. That's a stark difference from FF15 (and other games in the series), which melded magic and monsters with modern trappings like electronics and cars.
Final Fantasy 16 Gameplay
Final Fantasy 16 is another action-forward take on combat
If you've played FF15, or part one of the FF7 remake, you won't be surprised to see that Final Fantasy 16's combat appears to be action-heavy. The combat system reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts combines party synergy and abilities with stylish real-time action.
Final Fantasy 16's party members will be AI-driven
Final Fantasy is known for its party systems with deep synergies, but released combat footage mostly focuses on Clive, the player character, in flashy combat against monsters. Producer Yoshida confirmed that players will be bringing party members along for battles, but they'll be mostly AI-controlled so we can focus on controlling Clive's actions.
Eikon brawls will be a focus of Final Fantasy 16 combat
Based on gameplay footage, the Eikons will be an important factor in combat—not just to harness their magic against the player character's run-of-the-mill enemies, but apparently in giant monster combat with other Eikons, too. Trailer gameplay shows the massive incarnations of traditional Final Fantasy summons slugging each other directly, with the Eikons taking damage to their own health bars.
Final Fantasy 16 won't be open world
According to producer Naoki Yoshida, Final Fantasy 16 won't be an open world game. Instead, with independent playable areas, the dev teams hopes to achieve what feels like a "truly 'global' scale" by creating a variety of environments that feel distant and distinct from each other.
Thank goodness. Driving the car in FF15 was fun and all, but nothing could compare to mounting a chocobo and taking on the wilds with your buds.
Final Fantasy 16 Story & Characters
Final Fantasy 16's story will involve a fight against the Blight
New information on FF16's website helps to provide some context to all those proper nouns from the reveal trailer.
The world of Valisthea has giant glittering mountains called Mothercrystals, Square Enix say. "For generations, people have flocked to these beacons to take advantage of their blessing, using the aether to conjure magicks that let them live lives of comfort and plenty. Great powers have grown up around each Mothercrystal, and an uneasy peace has long reigned between them. Yet now the peace falters as the spread of the Blight threatens to destroy their dominions."
Then there are Eikons and Dominants—the former are the most powerful creatures in the world and the latter are the human vessels able to call upon their power. Depending on the nation they're from, Dominants might be revered as royalty for their power or controlled because of it.
Meet some of Final Fantasy 16's characters
Anything can be a fantasy protagonist name if you want it to be. Player character Clive is the oldest son of the Archduke of Rosaria and was expected to be the new Dominant who would inherit the power of Phoenix. Instead, his younger brother becomes the Dominant and Clive gets the consolation prize of being named the First Shield of Rosaria. As the shield, he can wield a small part of Phoenix's flame and is in charge of protecting his brother. "Clive's promising career is to end in tragedy at the hands of a mysterious dark Eikon, Ifrit, setting him on a dangerous road to revenge," Square Enix say.
Joshua is the second son of the Archduke of Rosaria and Clive's younger sibling. He's the sweet and soft younger boy archetype—a noble kid who treats everyone beneath his social standing with respect. He looks up to his elder brother too, of course. "Joshua often laments that it was he, the frail and bookish younger son, who was granted command of the firebird's flames, and not his stronger, braver brother," say Square Enix.
Jill was born in the northern territories and was made a ward in Rosaria at a young age to secure peace between the two nations. She's been raised alongside the Rosfield boys, so it seems she's like a sister to them. "Ever kind, gracious, and unassuming, Jill has become a trusted confidant to the brothers," Square Enix say.
Other Final Fantasy 16 info
Yoshida and Takai are working on FF16
FF16 has some hype-worthy names involved, including Final Fantasy 14 producer Naoki Yoshida and director Hiroshi Takai. After Yoshida's Creative Business Unit III studio famously turned around FF14, making it the huge success it is today, it'll be interesting to see how the pair tackle a traditional Final Fantasy presumably detached from multiplayer.
Additionally, Square Enix recently hired Ryota Suzuki as a "battle director" and he is rumored to be working on FF16 (opens in new tab). Suzuki was designer of Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon's Dogma, which is a solid pedigree.
Final Fantasy 16 prioritized English voice recording
In July 2021, producer Yoshida said that English voice acting had already begun ahead of Japanese.
"We've been prioritising English voice recording. And we're specifically doing it in British English. We're using facial capture, so later on, we won't have to adjust by hand each of the faces doing cutscenes. "And it's full capture, as in, the motion capture actors are also doing the voice acting simultaneously," Yoshida said. "The Japanese dubbing will start soon."
FF16's confusing exclusivity
Remember how I said FF16 was announced for PC in the reveal trailer and then somewhat unannounced by Square Enix? We can't know for sure what's causing the confusing messaging, but games industry analyst Piers Harding-Rolls claims that it all has to do with a timed exclusivity deal with Sony.
According to Harding-Rolls, FF16 will be exclusive to the PS5 for its first six months. That would be the earliest time that the game can come to PC. As for other consoles, he says Sony has that exclusivity locked down for a full year. If this is true, it's not an usual arrangement. Games supported in part by first party publishers often have timed exclusivity, though barring FF16 from PC as well does go a bit farther than most.
As for why Square Enix is trying to put the cat back in the bag about FF16 on PC? It's possible that Sony wasn't psyched about it. As a showcase during its big PS5 games event, Sony likely wanted viewers to feel like the PS5 was the only way to play FF16 (which it will be, just not forever, perhaps).
There is no official confirmation of FF XVI coming to PC, however the structure of the deal and the mention in the Sony PS5 showcase does suggest this is the case. When this arrives after the 6 months contractual period is up is obviously down to SE. /2September 17, 2020