What’s your first Remaining Fantasy sport? That’s a typical query between online game nerds, up there with “what’s your favorite starter Pokémon?” and “what number of hours did you spend sobbing into Animal Crossing throughout COVID?”
A much less frequent however nonetheless persistent query: what was your final Remaining Fantasy?
Whereas I liked the franchise for 7, 8, 9, and even 10, I slowly misplaced curiosity. Till lately, the reply would have been Remaining Fantasy 12, with its glacial tempo and never-ending corridors — however after an prolonged session with Remaining Fantasy 16, I’m considering I’m again.
A number of this comes from Remaining Fantasy 16‘s broody protagonist Clive Rosfield. He’s straight out of the “broody however gifted” faculty of Remaining Fantasy protagonists, however voice actor Ben Starr provides some actual weight to his supply. He’s well-written and fascinating, scarred by some very actual trauma which means his broodiness is definitely worthwhile — versus the “I’m so misunderstood” sob tales of beloved grumpypants like Squall and Cloud Strife.
Remaining Fantasy 16. Credit score: Sq. Enix
Chucked into the sport’s prologue throughout Clive’s teenage years, you discover a flawed hero. Regardless of being a masterful fighter, Clive is unskilled within the present of the Phoenix — a magic birthright that he’s unable to wield — which marks him a failure regardless of his noble blood. One Recreation of Thrones-level betrayal later and Clive is stripped away from that life and discarded, prepared to start out an epic journey that feels very Remaining Fantasy certainly.
As a result of he’s simply an everyman regardless of his initially lofty place, seeing wars between kingdoms (and their Kaiju-esque Eikons) from his position as an infantryman provides an additional gravitas. In earlier video games you may need managed Ifrit or Shiva your self, right here you’re merely hoping to outlive their rampage, a activity that feels unimaginable due to how highly effective they’re on the battlefield.
Remaining Fantasy 16. Credit score: Sq. Enix
Remaining Fantasy 16 itself owes numerous debt to the latest success of the darkish fantasy genres. Whereas Remaining Fantasy 15 was all about some good boys and their automotive, it is a extra conventional sword and sorcery affair, with sensible writing and cracking performances to again up a extra mature tone. From what’s on provide throughout this preview, there’s nothing to be involved about with that tone, and there’s little question in my thoughts that persons are going to fall laborious for these characters and this setting, with a number of recognisable voices popping up across the place.
Veering away from the story to guard the spoiler-averse, the remainder of the sport is strong too. Combating right here is sort of a barely clunky motion sport, with sword swings, called-in skills and even magic getting used with aplomb to take aside enemies. Fast presses of the dpad let you shortly convey up gadgets or skills, whereas a squeeze of a set off turns the face buttons into highly effective instruments to allow you to unleash magic or highly effective skills that may reshape a battle with sensible use. Issue this in with blocks, dodges and each mild and heavy assaults and Remaining Fantasy 16 actually does really feel like an motion sport at its smoothest, and it’s a delight to hurl round hacking at issues with a sword.
Credit score: Sq. Enix
This works finest in fast-paced fights towards smaller foes, however grew to become a little bit little bit of a chore towards bigger bosses, who all felt like they’d 20 per cent an excessive amount of well being. Your mileage could range, however as somebody who has largely migrated from RPG video games into extra motion fight in my outdated age, as soon as the assault patterns had been discovered it usually simply felt like I used to be battering a big boss effortlessly, doing chip injury to the legs and butt of an enormous baddie and ready for the cutscene that referred to as an finish to issues.
Nonetheless, it looks like Remaining Fantasy 16 could possibly be a winner. The one actual irritant was a boss struggle that performed out extra like a QTE-filled cutscene than an actual fight sequence and left me useless – twice – with none actual idea of what occurred. Due to the quick-thinking actions of a journalist sitting subsequent to me I used to be capable of get previous it, however with a display stuffed with flashing lights and colors and a really imprecise pathway of what to do subsequent, it was essentially the most irritating a part of my hands-on.
Nonetheless, ignoring my frustrations with Remaining Fantasy 16‘s bosses, there’s no doubting the standard that’s on present right here. With one month to go till launch, Remaining Fantasy 16 seems like a Chocobo value betting on — and from this preview’s slice of magic, I think 16 received’t be the ultimate fantasy life has in retailer for me.
Remaining Fantasy 16 releases for PS5 on June 22. The preview was performed on a particular model made for media to expertise, and contents could differ from the ultimate model.