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Final Fantasy 16 – everything we know

Final Fantasy 16 PS5 screenshot
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Final Fantasy 16 is on the way, and thanks recent news and interviews, we're starting to build up a solid picture of some of its feature and story aspects. With the release of the Dominance trailer, we've since come to learn more about the characters, combat, Eikons and figures known as Dominants who will be playing a big role in the adventure. News also came to light revealing that the game itself is also said to be playable from start to finish but isn't open-world, and that a demo could release next year ahead of the planned launch window. 

Read on below to find out everything we know so far about Final Fantasy 16, from story details to characters, combat, and more.  

Final Fantasy 16 release date 

Square Enix has officially confirmed that Final Fantasy 16 is now set to release in summer 2023. While we don't yet have an exact release date, we now have a proper launch window to give us a better idea of when we can expect to jump into the latest entry in the series. We also know that Final Fantasy 16 will be a PlayStation console exclusive that's coming to the PS5

Who is working on Final Fantasy 16?

Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

In terms of who is working on the upcoming Final Fantasy title, the announcement also confirmed Naoki Yoshida is the producer on Final Fantasy 16. After the official reveal of the game during the PS5 event, a blog was posted on PlayStation's official site (opens in new tab) written by Yoshida which confirmed his role, along with revealing that Hiroshi Takai is directing.  

"The exclusive footage, comprised of both battles and cutscenes running in real-time, represents but a fraction of what our team has accomplished since the start of development on this, an all-new Final Fantasy game," Yoshida writes. " In that span, the team’s size has grown from a handful of core members to a full-fledged unit that continues to polish and build upon what they have created so far, all to provide players an experience unmatched in terms of story and gameplay." 

Final Fantasy 16 setting and characters

Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Square Enix launched an official website (opens in new tab) for Final Fantasy 16 that offers some insight into the upcoming installment's world and leading characters. Set in the land of Valisthea, the world is said to be "studded with Mothercrystals - glittering mountains of crystal that tower over the six realms around them, blessing them with aether." Over the generations, people have gone to the beacons to take advantage of the blessing they offer. Using the Mothercrystals aether to conjure magicks that live comfortable, rich lives, many great powers have grown around each Mothercrystal. 

But all is not well in Valisthea. Peace has started to falter with the spread of the Blight, which threatens to destroy the dominions. In Final Fantasy 16, deadly creatures known as Eikons inhabit the world. Each Eikon resides within a single man or woman blessed with the ability to call them. These individuals are known as Dominants. The worldview of these Dominants varies from nation to nation, with some treated like royalty, while others are forced to become weapons of war. 

Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

The latest June 2022 State of Play gave us a look at the Dominants of Eikons Titan and Garuda. As detailed in an official PlayStation blog (opens in new tab), economic adviser Hugo Kupka is the Dominant of Titan, while the "coldhearted and ruthless" Benedikta Harman is the Dominant of the Wind summon Geruda. 

Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Clive Rosfield has also been introduced as one of the leading characters along with Joshua Rosfield and Jill Warrick. Clive is the firstborn son of Archduke of Rosaria. As the firstborn, he was expected to inherit the Phoenix flames and become a Dominant, but it instead passed over to his younger brother Joshua. After mastering the blade, Clive becomes First Shield of Rosaria before tragedy strikes "at the hands of a mysterious dark Eikon, Ifrit. Now on a path to revenge, Clive is said to set out on a "dangerous road." 

Five years younger than Clive, Joshua deeply admires his older brother. Viewing himself as "bookish and frail", Joshua appears to wish he wasn't the one to inherit the role of Dominant with command over the Phoenix's flames. 

Jill, on the other hand, was taken from her homeland at a young age to become a ward of Rosaria in order to secure peace between two warring nations. Described as "kind, gracious, and unassuming," Jill is a trusted figure to both the brothers. 

Final Fantasy 16 will have "fully AI-driven" party members 

Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

In the trailers so far, we've only seen leading protagonist Clive in action, which led to questions surrounding whether there would be any sort of party as there has been in Final Fantasy games past.

Speaking to GamesRadar+ producer Naoki Yoshida touched on the topic and clarified that there will be party members joining you that will be "fully AI-driven": 

"In battle, you have these characters that will be fully AI-driven. But that doesn't mean that they will just be there in battle – there will be party banter, they will be accompanying Clive along this journey, and you'll have party members enter the party and leave the party, and different people come in depending on where you are in the story." 

Final Fantasy 16 combat director previously worked on Devil May Cry 5

Final Fantasy 16

(Image credit: Square Enix)

The combat in Final Fantasy 16 will be action-orientated rather than turn-based, with protagonist Clive executing swift moves against foes in response to our inputs. After a gameplay trailer dropped in 2020,a video was posted on YouTube soon after that drew parallels to the combat in Devil May Cry 5. You can certainly see some similarities between the styles, and as it turns out, this comparison was apt given the that Square Enix later confirmed that Devil May Cry 5 designer Ryota Suzuki is working as combat director on Final Fantasy 16 (opens in new tab)

The latest "Dominance gameplay trailer (opens in new tab)" showed off yet more combat in action, which gives us a better idea of just what we can expect when we enter the battlefield. In an interview with GamesRadar+, producer Yoshida spoke on Suzuki's invaluable role on the team and how his work helped shape the combat of the game. 

"Our development team had very little experience creating action games, and in those first few days of development we really struggled." Yoshida-san said. "That's why bringing in Suzuki-san really really helped us out. And by bringing in this super-talented veteran in Ryota Suzuki, he was able to bring everything together that we had, and then build upon that using his plethora of experience on past titles." 

"Whether it be for the overall battle system, or the animation trees – Clive has so many different abilities, and being able to string all of those abilities together seamlessly without any stress, and have it look really, really natural, he helped us do that. His contribution has been great, and without him we wouldn't have been able to do this."

Final Fantasy 16 may have an easy mode 

Clive Rosfield

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Earlier in 2022, news surfaced that Final Fantasy 16 may have an easy mode, with producer Naoki Yoshida reportedly saying that the team is working to support players who are "less skilled at action games". This could mean there will be a setting that will make the combat more approachable for newcomers. We also know that the team tried to take an approach to combat that would be approachable to players of all skill levels. 


For more, you can check out our pick of the best Final Fantasy games

Malindy Hetfeld
Malindy Hetfeld

Malindy is a freelance video games writer for outlets like Eurogamer, PLAY, PCGamer and Edge Magazine, who also occasionally works in game design consultation and localization. As a Japanese speaker, she enjoys Japanese pop culture and is always on the hunt for the next game from the Land of the Rising Sun. She also particularly enjoys narrative-focused games and cute indies, and always seeks to learn more about the business-side of the gaming industry.

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