Last night’s Playstation showcase brought with it the news that Final Fantasy XVI was not only happening, but also coming to PC at some point. Or did it? Since then, the reveal trailer has been altered so it no longer mentions PC.
The official Square Enix line is that it has “no further information on if Final Fantasy XVI will be released on platforms other than the PS5”. but, as we pointed out in the article linked above, there are some striking differences between the way this has been handled and the way Sony shot down hopes that the Demon’s Souls remaster would also get the PC treatment.
But whether it’s coming our way or not, I’m not going to let a little thing like reality get in the way of some wishful thinking. With the highly speculative assumption that Final Fantasy XVI is definitely, obviously coming to PC at some point in the future, here’s nine things we’d absolutely love to see make it into the newest entry in the adored JRPG series. Besides chocobos, moogles, and tonberries, obviously – they’re a given.
The combat from Final Fantasy VII Remake
Square Enix has been experimenting with the combat in mainline Final Fantasy games forever. After a few false starts, this year’s Final Fantasy VII Remake absolutely nails the balance between exciting real-time combat and the classic ATB system. Overhauls to the combat in each new game are practically tradition at this point, but Square Enix is on to a good thing here. This time around, it’s not even bound to the materia system, giving it free reign to adapt Remake’s excellent combat into something that represents the best in series history. As long as the devs keep the victory jingle, we’re golden.
A world map
I’m going to play Devil’s avocado here, and say that I don’t actually miss the inclusion of the traditional top-down world map all that much. Final Fantasy – and I say this as a series obsessive – has always been linear. All the world map ever really did was offer the illusion of a grand journey while you visited locations in a set order, maybe with a few hidden caves behind waterfalls where you got moaned at by vampires and such.
Illusion or not though, there’s something about trekking over huge distances and seeing huge cities as tiny map icons that lent a real sense of grandeur and scope to these (mostly) linear journeys. Even if the game opts for the same large, open, explorable areas as Final Fantasy XIV Online, it would be lovely to get an abstract, traversable map for hiking between locations. Make it pixel art, give all those beautifully rendered characters tiny sprite versions, and you’ve got my heart on a plate. Which brings us on to…
None of that ‘car with wings’ business either, please.
A big cast of playable, colourful characters
We only saw one-on-one combat in the trailer, but if Final Fantasy XVI is aiming for the same strategic party synergy that we saw in the FFVII Remake, it makes sense to expect a lot more character reveals over time. Could the medieval tone suggest a return to traditional job roles like white mage, dragoon, and thief?
Another Final Fantasy staple is the balance between its generally solemn, epic stories and its more whimsical moments, and the series’ non-human characters have always been some of its most interesting. Zidane was never going to be as memorable as frog-tongued (and frog-craving) blue mage Quina, or rodent-dragoon Freya. Red XIII is a fan favourite for a reason. Let’s have some non-humans in the party line-up. I, for one, would like a moogle knight.
Sweeping, historical storytelling
FFXIV’s expansion Shadowbringers received some serious critical and fan praise for its storytelling, but there’s something magical about the MMO game’s writing throughout. Square Enix can’t have failed to notice how well fans respond to the more prosaic, almost Shakespearean style of storytelling seen in its Ivalice setting and beyond, and Final Fantasy XVI looks like it intends to continue along these lines – perhaps because FFXIV’s game director is involved in a production role, which is very exciting news.
Quest on: The best RPG games on PC
Final Fantasy XV received its fair share of story expansions over time, but boiled down its premise was basically: ‘lads have a bit of a drive, a nice spot of camping, and maybe punch a mountain occasionally’. Not exactly the stuff epics are made of. Let’s get some of that Final Fantasy Tactics feel over to this one, please.
Some decent, lengthy sidequests
I’ve said some nice things about the FFVII Remake above, and I’ll probably say more below, so here comes the mouldy cheese single in the compliment sandwich: the sidequests were largely garbo-nuggets. They offered more opportunities to play with the excellent combat, sure, but they rarely revealed much new about the world or characters. Some sort of monster hunting quest chain would still be great, since Final Fantasy bestiaries are so varied and colorful, and the Monster Arena from FFX or the hunters’ guild in FFXII were some of those games’ best pursuits. But there are already comments on the trailer comparing this to The Witcher 3, which exposes the kind of competition any epic Medieval RPG is up against. It’s time Final Fantasy got a few of its own stories to rival the Bloody Baron.
More control over summons
The trailer didn’t give all that much away, but one thing that’s already clear is how heavily summons seem to feature in Final Fantasy XVI’s world and story. We saw Shiva, Ifrit, and Phoenix, a big rock lad that looked very much like Titan, and even what I’m 99% sure is Bahamut at the end there. You might be sensing a theme here, but Final Fantasy XV took all the control over summons away, while FFVII Remake pulled them off wonderfully. Let us choose when to bring the giant god buds into battle, and when to let them have a nice rest and a biscuit, please.
Any other cats Square Enix want to include are fine, though. I trust it on the cat front. Other than that, we’ll keep you updated as soon as we know anything else about whether we’ll soon be able to visit Final Fantasy XVI’s medieval world from our platform of choice.