Final Fantasy XVI Won’t be Open World, Will Feature Real-time ‘Eikon’ Battles

Final Fantasy XVI won’t be out until Summer 2023, but as early as today, a ton of new information about the game has surfaced courtesy of various interviews with Producer Naoki Yoshida, revealing details that will surely prove to be of interest to fans waiting for the game.

Final Fantasy XVI isn’t open world

As per an IGN interview, Yoshida states that despite the assumption of Final Fantasy XVI being an open world RPG, it will instead focus on “area-based” design that is similar to Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

Yoshida and the team did extensive user research about the younger generation of gamers not having played a Final Fantasy game, and because of this, the team decided to create a game that could excite not only the fans but also new players as well.

“However, 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, and instead focus on an independent area-based game design that can give players a better feel of a truly “global” scale.

In this sense, Final Fantasy XVI will take inspiration from recent triple-A open world RPGs, and while it was not specified which ones, rest assured that Yoshida and the team are working hard to bring a more immersive experience to the players.

Final Fantasy XVI will feature real-time Eikon battles

Eikons, or more famously known as summons, will also be a focal point in the gameplay of Final Fantasy XVI. Each realm in the game will feature a “Dominant” – basically a person who wields the power of an Eikon.

One big question that players were wondering about was how these Eikons will be used in battle, and another interview with IGN provided details about this.

Based on the latest trailer (as seen above), Clive will be accompanied by companions during battles and while they will participate in fights, they will be “AI-driven” so that players can focus on controlling Clive, similar to more recent Final Fantasy entries.

Battle director Ryota Suzuki focused on making real-time action the basis of battles, and Yoshida mentions that “Translating traditional summon abilities into player actions, and allowing for the real-time swapping and chaining of these abilities in battle has allowed us to create a system that not only looks great, but feels really good to play.”

Yoshida also explained a bit about how Eikons will figure into battle in Final Fantasy XVI, saying that there will be times when a player will control an Eikon in real-time while battling other Eikons. These battles will be somewhat “fluid” and will allow players to change seamlessly in real-time depending on the battle.

There will also be times where the player will control an Eikon in real-time, battling other Eikons. The battle type and scale are somewhat fluid, and change seamlessly in real-time depending on the battle… keeping things at maximum excitement while maintaining immersion.

final fantasy xvi eikon ifrit

In one other interview with Press Start Australia, it was detailed that the Eikons and not summons per se, but in fact the Dominant becoming the summon themselves.

So the person in which that Eikon dwells, we call the Dominant, and they can summon forth the Eikon’s unparalleled power by literally changing into it. As you know in previous Final Fantasies, it would always be that you’d have a summoner job who would use magic to summon forth the being from a different plane, but this time that Dominant actually summons forth the Eikon’s power by becoming the Eikon themselves.”

An interview with Game Informer went into further detail about the Eikon Battles, saying that some Eikon battles will take on different styles, making them unique from each other.

For example, maybe one Eikon versus Eikon battle, if you have Eikon A versus Eikon B, that battle will be reminiscent of a 3D shooter. Whereas another Eikon versus a different Eikon, it’s more like a pro wrestling match, and then maybe even a third with one Eikon versus another Eikon will transform an entire area into a battlefield. And so again, we didn’t reuse these systems and each one of these Eikon versus Eikon battles is unique and will change with each battle.

Are you looking forward to playing Final Fantasy XVI when it comes out in Summer 2023?

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