The review of Final Fantasy XVI: a new rousing adventure

La recensione di Final Fantasy XVI: una nuova travolgente avventura thumbnail

In the world of video games, the Final Fantasy saga is a real cornerstone; one of those immortal franchises that has been contributing to the evolution of the gaming world for decades. Now, after more than 35 years, Square Enix is ​​going for it again with the launch of the new and highly anticipated Final Fantasy XVI and this is his review (without spoilers of course!).

Whether or not you have passed the change of course of the saga, which has moved ever closer to the action genre, the hype that accompanied the sixteenth chapter of Final Fantasy is undeniable. Ever since its trailer announcement, characters and setting promised another intriguing story from the dark-medieval undertones.

Were the expectations met? Let’s start in order!

Our review of Final Fantasy XVI

Final Fantasy XVI is set in the world of Valisthea disputed between six nations. Nerve center of the power of states and of the world, are the crystals, inexhaustible source of energy and magic. This affects some human beings who become “Bearers“, able to use the crystals to generate water, heat, heal the wounded and so on. These are joined by the Eikonmysterious magical creatures able to wield the elements and manifest themselves in the body of some chosen ones called “Dominators“. Shiva, Ifrit e Phoenix they are just some of the creatures that inhabit this world and are able to alter its history.

In this chapter, the protagonist is Clive Rosfieldprince of the kingdom of Rosaria and protector of his younger brother Joshuaruler ofEikon of the Phoenix. The power of a ruler requires great physical and mental ability to control it as, if in the wrong hands, it could upset the balance of realms. And it’s just a conflict that will transform the lives of Clive and his family and that will force him to embark on a journey driven by the desire for revenge and to discover the mysteries of the realms.

Political intrigues are just the tip of the iceberg under which lie even darker and more dangerous mysteries that threaten to destroy Clive’s world. A violent scourge it is in fact pouring into the lands, altering and rotting them and forcing kingdoms to seek new territories by conquering them from enemies. Clive will find himself in the midst of this complicated geo-political scenario and in the meantime, he will have to try to discover an uncomfortable truth about his past and his true nature.

A “new” Final Fantasy

As you probably know, this Final Fantasy also introduces a story, a game world and unpublished characters, sharing some elements with the franchise such as monsters, the Eikon (called in other chapters Eoni, Guardian Force and so on) and little else. In addition to a more than intriguing new plot, Final Fantasy XVI brings many changes compared to the previous chapters by introducing interesting new features and going back on some innovations. Indeed, we lose the Open World of the previous chapter preferred to a higher linearity.

Final Fantasy XVI mapExample of a local map

They also come back action mechanics, more and more protagonists where we will take advantage of Clive’s skills and powers to repeatedly attack the enemies. In addition to sword attacks we will indeed have at our disposal remote magic e datic elemental powers from Eikon. To these are related different ability which will increase in variety and power as you progress in the game and have devastating characteristics and effects.

Enemies, as well as villages, NPCs and objects are scattered throughout the areas. We could select them from the main menu on a large map that highlights particular points of interest that double as fast travel. From here we will enter the game maps to explore, complete missions, eliminate enemies and earn experience points.

The sacrificed RPG element

Final Fantasy XVI review

The frenetic gameplay turned out to be much more interesting than it seemed in our preview of Final Fantasy XVI, confirming at the same time the doubts we had. As anticipated, Final Fantasy XVI focuses on even more action gameplay than the previous chapters. Melee attacks, ranged magic, dash, dodging, parrying and special abilities alternate with a almost excessive speed yes giving us an unparalleled scenic show but at the expense of an almost non-existent strategy. Once you discover the most powerful combo, you’ll do that for the rest of the game. Things improve and move forward in the story as Clive comes into possession of new and fascinating abilities but the action component will maintain its pounding centrality.

This unfortunately will go to eliminating some of the role-playing game (RPG) elements we were hoping to encounter. Clive’s stats (Life, Attack, Defense, Stagger, Strength, Vitality, and Willpower) cannot be changed in any way except by leveling up or through equipment. The latter is divided into six elements: Weapon, Belt, Forearms and three accessory slots. Each item can enhance Clive’s stats and offer interesting buffs to enhance certain attacks or magical elements. Furthermore we also lose the concept of “Party” and our companions will simply be AI-controlled pawns with no customization options.

More interesting and challenging is the experience and leveling systemor. Like any self-respecting RPG, once you earn enough experience points we will level up but this will “only” guarantee an improvement in stats, not skill points. These are in fact calculated separately at the end of each duel or mission and once spent, they can be returned in case we decide to change our style of play (it will happen very often). To these will then be added other “points” to collect and elements to develop that we will let you discover for yourself!

A vibrant world to explore

Final Fantasy XVI review

Do not worry, we will have plenty of opportunities to gain experience. The world of Enlightenment is full of opportunities, monsters and quests to complete. In addition to the main story, which will keep you glued to the screen for about 40they are not missing beasts to huntplaces to explore and side missions to complete. These are very varied but they fail to maintain a continuous standard; we have from the classic (and boring) missions with crop fields to be freed from enemies to the more intriguing and complex ones that add secondary elements to the plot. Among these we also find missions (marked by a + symbol) that bring a real advantage to the gameplay such as a new armor or an upgrade of healing potions.

This “invites” us to complete as many missions as possible and explore the various realms at the same time. And it is precisely here that the strong point of this Final Fantasy XVI lies, the game world. This chapter has fully respected the intentions of the developers to offer a medieval setting with dark themes. Forget extravagant cars or futuristic elements, wacky characters and witty jokes. This Final Fantasy wants to tell a dark and mature story with the cruelty that only the medieval theme can give us.

Needless to say the main attraction of this chapter is the story. Compelling, mysterious, full of twists and intrigue that engulfed us like few games have managed to do in recent years. Accomplices also a set of main characters, secondary characters and enemies, really well done who manage, in a matter of minutes, to identify themselves and remain etched in the memory.

Technical side

Final Fantasy Eikons

From a technical point of view, we can only praise the work done by Square Enix and the Engine developed by Creative Business Unit III. Everything is in its place, animations, shadows and lights (plus shadows) and particles are exactly where they should be and help ensure a very high degree of involvement.

On PlayStation 5, which we remember to be the exclusive console of Final Fantasy XVI at least for the first half of the year, we find the classic specific graphics modes for performance, favoring the frame rate or specifications for graphics. For the majority of the game, we played at the best graphics quality at the “detriment” of frame rates, but even with this setting we never noticed heavy drops in FPS even during the most exaggerated action sequences (of which there is no shortage).

As for the soundtrack, composed by Masayoshi Soken, we couldn’t find particularly engaging tracks. Don’t get us wrong, seeing the gigantic Eikons fight each other while epic music complete with Gregorian chants in the background was really intriguing, but we didn’t perceive the impact that Final Fantasy soundtracks usually have.

The first Final Fantasy dubbed in Italian

UOn the other hand, great praise should be made for the Italian dubbing. Final Fantasy XVI is indeed the first chapter of the entire saw to have a dub in Italian of almost all the dialogues present. As the first “experiment” for the franchise, it more than succeeded and in our opinion, helped create the degree of story involvement that makes this Final Fantasy valuable.

Final Fantasy XVI review in a nutshell

At this point in the review, you will have understood that Final Fantasy XVI has bewitched us. While the action gameplay wasn’t the most challenging, it flows very well with the story, offering a good balance between gameplay and cinematics.

We are aware that an approach…

Marco Dellapina is a passionate writer who dives into the exciting world of video games. With a deep love for gaming, Marco brings you the latest updates, reviews, and insights on the ever-evolving landscape of interactive entertainment. Join Marco on an immersive journey through the realm of video games and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and releases. Get ready to level up your gaming knowledge with Marco Dellapina's articles.