As the highly anticipated June 22 release of Final Fantasy XVI draws near, fans of the iconic franchise eagerly await what promises to be a new and thrilling addition to the beloved series.
I was lucky enough to go hands on with Final Fantasy XVI, and even had the opportunity to interview some of the key members of the development team. After my time with the game, I came away with a deep appreciation for its many strengths, and am convinced that it will become an essential PS5 title.
One thing is certain, Final Fantasy XVI has assembled a stellar line-up of creators, each with a proven track record of delivering unforgettable gaming experiences. Leading the project is producer Naoki Yoshida, widely regarded as one of Square Enix’s most beloved figures and the mastermind behind Final Fantasy XIV, which he transformed into a massively successful title. Yoshida has brought with him key members of his XIV team, including Masayoshi Soken, the composer responsible for XIV’s soaring score, who will create the soundtrack for XVI, and Michael-Christopher Koji Fox, the mastermind behind XIV’s intricate lore, who will oversee localization, writing, culturalization and lore for the title. Ryota Suzuki, the Capcom veteran responsible for Devil May Cry 5’s satisfying combat, heads the combat department, while art direction is provided by Hiroshi Minagawa, whose credits include Final Fantasy XII, Tactics, and XIV. At the helm of this all-star team is Hiroshi Takai, a Square Enix veteran known for his contributions to the SaGa series and The Last Remnant. With such a talented group of creators, Final Fantasy XVI promises to be an unforgettable gaming experience that fans won’t want to miss.
Below, I’ll share some of the standout aspects of the title that left the greatest impression on me, and that I believe will make this game an unforgettable experience for fans of the series and newcomers alike.
The thrills of real-time combat and high-octane Eikon fights
In Valisthea, nations are safeguarded by Eikons, enormous and potent creatures each harnessing an elemental power. These mighty beings reside within Dominants, mortal hosts blessed with the ability to summon their respective Eikon’s incredible strength. As nations clash, Eikon fights make for bigger-than-life combat. Channeling Japanese Kaiju culture from the likes of Ultraman, Evangelion, and Attack on Titan, boss battles will see grand showdowns between Final Fantasy’s Titan, Garuda, Shiva, Ifrit, Phoenix, Bahamut and more, each battle entirely unique in their setting, movement, and gameplay.