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Final Fantasy 16 is shaping up as the best action RPG in the core series

FINAL Fantasy 16 definitely feels like an overall improvement, whether you liked its predecessor or not.

The game is revisiting a more medieval fantasy setting, of the kind we haven’t seen in a while in the franchise.


Flashy visuals accompany your every move.Credit: Square Enix
The break gauge gives structure to boss fights.


The break gauge gives structure to boss fights.

Nevertheless, you should still expect plenty of over-the-top action despite the more serious overall tone.

Disclaimer: This is a special version made for media to experience, and contents may differ from the final version.

With better fast-paced combat, courtesy of Devil May Cry 5’s Ryota Suzuki, the preview version we got our hands on left us pleased with the variety of combos we were able to pull off.

The game’s malleable gameplay offers a plethora of options for every playstyle, without the burden of overly complicated controls.

Elemental attacks are central to your combat arsenal and switching between them is a cinch, making for a satisfying and frantic fighting experience.

The visuals of each of your attacks, be it melee, magic, or special moves, look stunning and meticulously crafted.

Overall, combat is not too hack-and-slashy, and mindless button-mashing won’t get you anywhere.

Companions, such as your dog and various characters who join you in some sections of the story, will help you deal with larger groups of enemies.

You will be able to give orders to your dog, if you want, but not to other AI-controlled allies you meet.

Boss fights really allow the varied combat system to shine, and you’ll need to time your moves and dodges wisely. 

Enemies also have a “break” mechanic, in which you drain a boss’ break gauge to stun them – nothing new and groundbreaking, but it felt well-realised, giving structure to boss fights.

Storywise, the limited preview we experienced offers everything a Final Fantasy fan would expect from a game in the series.

The voice acting and writing was great, albeit slightly melodramatic, but that’s perfectly in line with what a JRPG game needs.

One thing that felt slightly less exciting was the Eikon fight, where you control a giant monster known as an Eikon, as it fights another such monster.

In the fight we experienced, we felt slow rather than powerful, but that was only one of those encounters, and the developers have promised more of them, with each feeling different from the rest.

The Eikon fight felt rather slow.


The Eikon fight felt rather slow.

All in all, Final Fantasy 16 felt satisfying and is shaping up to be exactly what long-term fans of the franchise are hoping for.

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Written by Ryan Woodrow and Stoyan Ovcharov on behalf of GLHF.

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