Why is Final Fantasy 16 an action game? Its creators explain

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Final Fantasy 16, nan adjacent introduction successful Square Enix’s 35-year-old role-playing crippled franchise, brings action-based gameplay to nan forefront. The game’s real-time action will apt be, astatine best, an accommodation for immoderate longtime Final Fantasy fans, moreover if nan bid has been progressing to this constituent complete aggregate mainline games.

But Final Fantasy 16 shaper Naoki Yoshida has his reasons for going all-in connected action, and bringing erstwhile Capcom designer Ryota Suzuki (Devil May Cry 5, Dragon’s Dogma) to Square Enix to recognize nan game’s vision. Clive Rosfield is fundamentally FF16’s Dante, equipped pinch sword, spells, and nan fantastical powers of classical Final Fantasy summons, called Eikons.

Speaking to Yoshida, Suzuki, and Final Fantasy 16 crippled head Hiroshi Takai astatine a Final Fantasy 16 preview successful New York recently, I asked nan game’s creators why they made nan prime to clasp action.

“That was me, and I want to talk astir why I made that decision,” Yoshida said done a translator. “In my years moving connected Final Fantasy 14, earlier I started moving connected Final Fantasy 16, I person had nan opportunity to recreation astir nan world and talk pinch fans, players, and media from each astir nan world and get their views connected not conscionable FF14, but Final Fantasy arsenic a series. From nan feedback I got, it was turning retired that people’s sentiment of Final Fantasy, arsenic a series, had started to solidify.”

Yoshida said that solidified image was that “all Final Fantasies are going to beryllium a JRPG, they’re going to person anime-type characters, it’s ever going to beryllium astir teens redeeming nan world, [and] it’s ever going to beryllium turn-based.”

“Not that these are bad things,” Yoshida continued. “We grew up pinch games for illustration this. And we bask games for illustration this. And we understand that location are a batch of players retired location that bask games for illustration this. But location are a batch of players retired location that usage those arsenic reasons not to get into nan series.”

Clive Rosfield slashes astatine an force successful a screenshot from Final Fantasy 16 Image: Square Enix

Yoshida said that there’s a younger generation, raised connected first-person shooter games and nan Grand Theft Auto games, who bask nan instant gratification of action games, and judge that a Final Fantasy crippled isn’t for them. That it’s “niche.”

“With Final Fantasy 16, we wanted to get arsenic galore players arsenic we could,” Yoshida said. “We wanted to bring backmost not conscionable nan fans of nan series, but besides players that had drifted distant from nan series.[...] And nan 1 point that we thought would beryllium a awesome measurement to get a batch of those gamers to travel backmost was to spell down nan roadworthy of action.”

Yoshida and Takai said that they developed their early action-focused return connected Final Fantasy complete nan people of 2 years, building a prototype wherever players would conflict 2 boss-type characters. The prototype besides included a spectacular early type of an Eikon conflict — a showy, summon-versus-summon conflict that looks for illustration a 3D fighting game.

“We submitted that to nan committee of board and they approved our project,” Takai said. “But past location was nan problem: Now that we person this one, we person to create a bunch much of these Eikon-versus-Eikon battles, and besides we person to create nan Clive-versus-enemy battles. It can’t conscionable beryllium hard-coded, we request to person a strategy that’s going to activity for each of nan game.” Looking astatine nan existing unit connected manus astatine nan time, Takai said, they realized they didn’t person anyone pinch awesome action-game expertise.

The Eikon Ifrit winds up to propulsion a fireball astatine a flying Garuda successful an Eikon Clash conflict from Final Fantasy 16 Image: Square Enix

Enter Ryota Suzuki, Final Fantasy 16 combat director.

“At this time, I’d conscionable vanished moving connected Devil May Cry 5,” Suzuki recalled. “I’d been astatine Capcom for almost 20 years astatine this point, truthful I started reasoning astir my profession moving forward. For those 20 years, I’d only worked connected action games [and] fighting games. My accomplishment group was very, very limited. I started to think, Well, I person this accomplishment group that I spent my full life building up. Does anyone request it? Is this going to construe to different company? Do group request me?”

Takai and Suzuki callback gathering done a communal friend, and nan second asked if Square Enix was looking for personification pinch his peculiar talents. Takai was softly thrilled astir nan opportunity, but couldn’t show Suzuki astatine that gathering that they were readying connected building an action-focused, Devil May Cry-infused type of Final Fantasy.

“We ended up hiring him,” Yoshida said. “It was conscionable cleanable timing successful truthful galore ways that it tin beryllium thing different than destiny that he came astatine nan clip he did, destiny that he has this 20 years of experience, which is precisely what we needed. We tin show you correct now that without his thief connected [Final Fantasy 16], had he not joined nan project, we wouldn’t beryllium successful present talking because we’d still beryllium processing astatine slightest 2 much years.”