Game News Final Fantasy 16: Open world, playable characters, summons… The game producer answered all our questions in an interview!
After the release of the new trailer for Final Fantasy XVI in the final State of Play, we asked the game’s producer, Naoki Yoshida, to delve into some of the aspects we might find out about the trailer. . The adventure structure, team of characters or even Clive’s powers, we learned so much more about the next installment of FF!
- Major Wars
- Clive’s motive
- The user interface
- Team and colleagues
- Interface design
- Spells and Magic
- Structure and open world
Who is Naoki Yoshida?
Born in 1973, Naoki Yoshida joined Square Enix in 2004 and first worked on Dragon Quest Monsters Battle Road Victory, an arcade game exclusively in Japan that was later released for the Wii. Then, he became one of the main designers of the MMORPG Dragon Quest X who also did not leave the Japanese archipelago. After the disastrous launch of Final Fantasy XIV Online, he spearheaded the project as director and producer and decided to start from left to offer a 2.0 version titled A Realm Reborn. Under his leadership, the title has become one of the most popular MMORPGs today, to the point of competing in World of Warcraft. Through this work, Naoki Yoshida was entrusted with the reins of the next number episode of the saga, Final Fantasy XVI, as producer, while Hiroshi Takai, his right -hand man on the FFXIV revamp, took on the role of director.
During the trailer, we see the Primordials fighting each other, with health bars at the top of the interface. Can you tell us more about Primordial fights and what form these stages take for the player? QTEs, turn-based, real-time fights …?
To answer in a very simple way: yes, the player participated in Primordials battles which were one of the most impressive boss fights in Final Fantasy XVI. During these stages, the player controls his own Primordial and has different sequences in this type of game.And another originality of these battles is that they are all different because each has a unique design. For example, one of these fights is very much like a 3D shooter, while the other is like a wrestling match, and there is even one that takes place on a battlefield while in full swing.
Each fight is so big and benefits from a design created for that war and just for that war. In addition, all of these stages are in real time, whether it’s player actions, cutscenes or even stage changes, all connected seamlessly, with no time. to load. And yes, sometimes there are a few QTEs to add a little spice to fights. However, QTEs are not the primary system because they are small.
Did Clive say “I am assembling the Emissaries so that together we can end this conflict and build a new order that will secure our future.”In the trailer? And if so, what can you tell us, for now, about Clive’s inspirations?
No, it’s not Clive who speaks at this point, but in terms of his motivations, it progresses throughout the game as the story progresses. By itself, this makes sense because in Final Fantasy XVI, we follow and control Clive at three different points in his life: when he was a teenager, then in his twenties and finally in his thirties. As for the enthusiasm that animates our hero in the early part of the game, I think we can say that it was a feeling of revenge. Like how this feeling turns out to be different, you have to play to find out!
The user interface
At the interface level, can you tell us what is the role of the gauge under the life bar?
As for the yellow gauge that is divided into three parts under the bar of Clive’s life, we can’t tell you about it at the moment, but know that the latter plays an important role. However, rest assured, it’s not something we’ll hide until the game is released and we’ll reveal its usefulness in a moment.
On the other hand, you may have noticed another yellow bar below the life gauge of enemies. Well, most of the opponents Clive faces throughout the game, and this includes some Primes, can fall or fall into a state of shock (stagger in the trailer), which allows our hero to attack his target more effectively, which then becomes vulnerable.
Of course, players can decide for themselves what abilities to use to clean this bar. For example, some abilities drain this gauge more easily, while others can be saved to be activated when the enemy is in a weak position. Once the opponent is shocked, deciding what abilities to use and when to activate them to deal the maximum damage is one of the most exciting things a player can do on their own. in Final Fantasy XVI.
Team and colleagues
In Final Fantasy XVI, will we be able to play a group of characters, or is Clive the only playable character in the entire adventure?
With the release of this second trailer, we didn’t want to overload players with a lot of information, so we decided to just focus on Clive for now. As such, we can’t tell you that Clive was with the companions throughout the adventure. Many teammates joined Clive at different points in his journey and most of them come and go within the team. Actually, the characters with Clive depend on where our hero is in the story.
As for how these characters interact with each other, they are all controlled by AI so the player can focus on controlling Clive. In addition to accompanying him to battle, these comrades also accompanied him on his journey, resulting in conversations and taunts between Clive and his comrades. In addition to his team members, Clive is also accompanied most of the game by a partner (English buddy) who serves as combat support. The latter can be controlled manually by giving him commands, but for those who don’t like it, there is also an automated system that allows him to fight and heal without having to ask.
Finally, there are also a few moments where Clive can play a different character, but that’s only a small part of the adventure.
Many players reacted to the interface of the game, can you tell us why you chose this design over the others?
The current design was chosen with two principles in mind. First, we wanted it to be as simple as possible, providing only the necessary information without cluttering the screen. Then when it comes to the look of the interface, that look was chosen so that it doesn’t mix with too much decoration, so we tried a lot of different colors and shapes and found that what we got so far was the best. As such, our release is still a long way off, and of course there are tweaks and fixes to be made along the way.
When we made the trailer, we had the option of not showing the user interface. But the problem with making a trailer without an interface is that players can tell themselves that what is shown is pre-rendered video and not real-time images of the game. However, we really wanted to show that the game is playable, that all of these images are in real time and to stick to it, we decided to leave the interface.
Spells and Magic
Besides, is there classic magic in Final Fantasy XVI, like Fire, Ice or Lightning, or can Clive use the powers of the Primordials?
Yes, the traditional Final Fantasy spell is in the game.At the beginning of the adventure, when he was young, Clive received a Phoenix blessing from his Emissary who was none other than Joshua, his younger brother, who allowed him to use spellings on fire. Then, as Clive continues his journey, he discovers the power of other Eikons and makes it his own, allowing him to learn new spellings and skills, as well as acquire and strengthen them. It gives players the ability to customize their character and choose the playstyle that best suits them.
Structure and open world
In terms of game structure, what can players expect, can Valisthea be an open world?
No, Valisthea can’t be open-world and there’s a specific reason why we decided not to go to an open-world game. To tell a story that spans an entire continent and across different countries, we thought that an open world would be very tight. We know that many Final Fantasy players expect the breadth of the story to come in different countries and regions. So, in order to make that not limited to one area, we decided not to go into the open world.
Instead, we think of our game as a rollercoaster that sends the player at high speed, turns their head, and spins them, with the goal of taking them from fights to cutscenes to moments in the story and boss encounters. And all this with no transfer and no load time using the power of the PS5. Our goal was to replicate the playful effect of the movie that I dreamed of when playing the first Final Fantasy as a child. To make this game feel like playing a movie full of emotions, we decided not to go the open world route, to focus on making this experience like a roller coaster.