Final Fantasy 16 trailer provides tasty worldbuilding and some badass summons

Benedikta sprouting Garuda's wings.
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Square Enix just shadow-dropped a trailer for Final Fantasy 16 and if I wasn't sold on the game before, I certainly am now. The stunning new video titled Ambition gives a better look at some key party members and the different kingdoms that'll be present in the game. It's a lovely lore dump filled with the usual Final Fantasy nonsense and I am all here for it.

As the narrator grimly states, the land of Valisthea is dying. The crystals—a good ol' staple of the series—are fading in power, the world becoming consumed by darkness. It's all very classic doom 'n' gloom, and it seems as though Valisthea's kingdoms are vying for what's left of the Mothercrystals' power. There are five of them in total: the traditional Grand Duchy of Rosaria, the sparkling Holy Empire of Sanbreque, the sandy dunes of the Dhalmekian Republic, the fiery Iron Kingdom and the dark Kingdom of Waloed. 

The trailer gives us a closer look at some of these kingdoms' Dominants—humans who possess the power of an Eikon, this game's version of summons. Some kingdoms revere their Dominants, while others live in fear of them. There are glimpses of some classic Final Fantasy summons—there's what looks to be a man with the power of Titan, hints of thunder god Ramuh and a woman who blasts out icicles a la Shiva.

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While the trailer focuses on world-building, there's a tiny bit of combat to peep too. You can see a battle between Clive and Benedikta, Garuda's chosen Dominant as she twirls mid-air and flings a wind spell with her wings. There's a brief look at Hugo, who I believe to be Titan's dominant, as his arm becomes giant and rock-like, swinging for an uppercut. I love the idea of these half-human, half-summons and seeing more of them in combat has got me well and truly hyped.

It's good news on the development front too after director Naoki Yoshida announced at the end of last year that the team was six months behind on development. "The team has turned the corner and entered the home stretch, and is currently concentrating its efforts on debugging, tweaking, polishing, and optimisation," he announced in a statement posted to the game's Twitter. 

Sadly, it seems as though PC players will have to wait a little longer than the current Summer 2023 release date. Despite originally being announced (and then promptly unannounced) for PC, the game will be fully exclusive to PS5 for the first six months. Hopefully, we won't have to wait as long as we did for the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. 

Mollie Taylor
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.