There has been a lot of big news dropping for Final Fantasy fans in the past few weeks. The second part of the Final Fantasy 7 remake was shown off, and it was revealed that the project would have three major releases. At the June 2022 PlayStation State of Play as well, alongside some other exciting titles, Final Fantasy 16 got an explosive gameplay trailer, revealing more of the latest entry in the series to fans.
Excitement has been running through the Final Fantasy online communities as they wonder how the story, characters, and gameplay will develop in this new iteration. Already, fans have figured out some details from the trailers, such as the belief that Joshua dies, leading Clive down a darker path in Final Fantasy 16. Recently, the game's producer Naoki Yoshida sat down with IGN to discuss some more details on the game, including confirming that Final Fantasy 16 will not feature an expansive open world like Final Fantasy 15.
"To bring a story that feels like it spans an entire globe and beyond, we decided to avoid an open world design that limits us to a single open-world space," Yoshida said. Instead, Square Enix decided to design Final Fantasy 16 with a focus on a set amount of explorable areas, similar to Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which was another game that was initially believed to have an open world but instead decided to give players different spaces separated by loading screens.
This means that Final Fantasy 16 may not initially be as seamless as an open-world title, but according to Yoshida, this will give the upcoming game a truly "global scale." It is likely that these areas will encompass Final Fantasy 16's six realms, which were introduced to fans in an update last October. Each of Final Fantasy 16's realms features a Dominant, who holds the power to summon an Eikon that can "level nations." This departure from open-world gameplay could help to make the realms and Dominants feel more unique then, if the game design reflects its setting.
Yoshida also stated that in "extensive user research," it has been found that many younger gamers have never played a Final Fantasy game or have any interest in the series. To combat this, Yoshida and his team played a lot of games, especially taking inspiration from "recent, triple-A open-world RPGs." It isn't stated which open-world games Final Fantasy 16 will take influence from, but that should become clear when the game finally launches.
Final Fantasy 16 releases in summer 2023 for PS5.
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