Final Fantasy 16 hands-on preview: Giving Game of Thrones-style intrigue

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FANS have waited seven years for a mainline Final Fantasy game, but it seems that Square Enix isn’t about to disappoint us.

The whole game is a spectacle with animations so smooth you feel as if you are playing a cutscene.

Every part of FF16 is designed to wow.

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

We were able to play the first four hours of FF16, and true to the Final Fantasy series, it was also heavy on cutscenes.

But these feel well-paced, and the well-written characters build the gripping basis for the series.

The opening hours set up a Game of Thrones-style political intrigue, with a glimpse at each of the world’s six nations. 

These scenes are full of intrigue and show an underlying feeling of tension bubbling under the surface.

Following the set-up, FF16 goes straight into the action. You will start out taking on lowly-goblins, and then be quickly thrown into a cinematic clash.

The cinematic fights don’t always feel as impactful as they could. The movements are slower to allow for the spectacle, but that leaves them a little lacklustre.

Sword strikes are the bread and butter of the combat system, allowing you to attack quickly and dodge at the last second.

This keeps things fast-paced, allowing you to weave in combos and magic to add more pressure to your opponent.

It improves greatly on the combat system that 15 started, with cool-looking attacks and visual effects.

However, battles can start to feel the same, as you whittle down the stun bar until you stagger them. 

The linear design of levels allows for a good pacing of encounters, as well as a better variety of enemies.

You can let loose in open field areas, but the main questline will see you following a structured path.

Four hours isn’t really enough to get into the meat of the combat, and we hope there are more elements added to it the further in you go.

Overall we felt optimistic coming from the hands-on preview, with plenty to look forward to, in particular the story.

FINAL FANTASY XVI © 2023 SQUARE ENIX CO., LTD. All Rights Reserved

Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.