Explore Final Fantasy 16's action battle system with producer Naoki Yoshida

Explore Final Fantasy 16’s action battle system with producer Naoki Yoshida

When Clive Rosfield hits the battlefield in the latest Final Fantasy 16 Dominance trailer (opens in new tab), a torrent of attacks explodes on the screen. It’s a spectacle, with the main character drifting into the air with an enemy and quickly inflicting damage thanks to Geruda’s wind forces. Just before, another set of attacks throws explosive strikes at enemies by channeling the forces of the Phoenix summons. The battle in Final Fantasy 16 looks fast, frenetic and undoubtedly action-packed, with Clive responding in real time to the player’s inputs – using a variety of interchangeable Eikon abilities. Our first real look at the battle in Final Fantasy 16 showed a marked deviation from the classic turn and command based battle in older games in the series.

Developer Square Enix knows that this shift will share opinions, but, as producer Naoki Yoshida tells me, it’s virtually impossible to appeal to all fans the Final Fantasy series has chosen over the past 35 years. “Everyone has different opinions, and that means everyone has an idea of ​​what they think is best for the series,” says Yoshida-san. “And because we have so many ideas about what Final Fantasy should be, and what fans want a Final Fantasy to be, if you try to put it all together, I mean … some of them are extreme opposites! And so it is! impossible to put together what every single fan wants in a single Final Fantasy game. ”

New generation

Final Fantasy 16 PS5 screenshot

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 16 will transport us to Valisthea in 2023. It is a world that is faltering in the precipice of war, as six factions begin to struggle for control of Mother Crystals and the divine power they provide to the kingdoms. From what we’ve seen of Valisthea so far, it looks like classic Final Fantasy – vast environments, wonderful architecture and beautiful skyboxes. This familiar world contrasts with what we’ve seen of battle, with Clive Rosfield using a combination of melee-based sword attacks and real-time magic abilities with relative ease.

This fusion of old and new is the core of Final Fantasy 16. As Yoshida-san admits, everyone will have their favorite game in the series and as a result feel different combat systems, but he is also keen to point out that there are plenty of younger players out there who may “have the idea that it’s just one of those older series” that may not appeal to them.

Final Fantasy 16 PS5 screenshot

(Image credit: Square Enix)

That, explains Yoshida-san, is why developer Creative Business Unit 3 has tried to “go back to the series’ roots” when it comes to Final Fantasy 16’s world structure and tone – a more “classic fantasy feel” – while trying to push the modern sensitivity through action. He adds that his team “focuses on creating an environment reminiscent of the original Final Fantasy games, but then adds that real-time action that is more reminiscent of modern games.”

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