Final Fantasy XVI producer says it’s the “first true action-RPG entry in the series”

Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida declared that the upcoming PlayStation 5 console exclusive will be the “first true action-RPG entry in the series.” Yoshida said this during Sony and Square Enix’s recent 20-plus-minute long State of Play presentation on the game.

First announced in September of 2020, Final Fantasy XVI tells the story of the brother’s Clive and Joshua Rosfield, princes of the kingdom of Rosaria. Clive, the main playable character, holds the title of “The First Shield of Rosaria” and is the sworn protector of Joshua. The latter Joshua wields the power of a Dominant, allowing him to control the Eikon–this game’s version of summons–Phoenix. Joining them is Jill Warrick, a ward of the Archduke of Rosaria from the fallen northern territories.

The State of Play showed how the game takes place across Clive’s teens, twenties and even thirties. To help with this, the game will use flashbacks to show different important moments in Clive’s life.

In addition, the game features a world map, which players can use to explore the world whenever they want. That said, Clive himself will have a basecamp, called Clive’s Hideout, from which they can talk to quest givers while preparing for upcoming adventures and battles. The latter include Mob Hunts which can be accepted from a Hunt Board manned by a familiar face–a Moogle.

As for the combat, the State of Play features a fair bit of battle gameplay, showcasing the smooth, fluid action that feels more like something seen in a character-action game like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta than a Final Fantasy game.

Producer Yoshida confirmed that Final Fantasy XVI was designed from the start as a true action-RPG, comparing it to a high-speed rollercoaster ride.

Of course, that Final Fantasy XVI aims to be more of an action-RPG compared to its predecessors is no secret. It’s been known for some time that Capcom alum Ryota Suzuki, who previously worked on the aforementioned Devil May Cry, is the game’s combat designer.

That said, what hasn’t been seen before was how the Eikon’s would be involved in the game’s combat. The footage from the State of Play addresses this, showing off the game’s Eikon Battles. These massive fights between the game’s summons will play quite differently from the normal combat—one of the featured fights even looked like a rail-shooter similar to Star Fox or Panzer Dragoon. (Read: Top 7 favorite summons from Final Fantasy)

It’s clear from the State of Play footage that Square Enix is aiming to create something unique by making Final Fantasy XVI a proper action-RPG. Whether or not these will pan out when the game releases on PlayStation 5 on June 22, however, remains to be seen.

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