After its latest appearance at this month’s PlayStation State of Play, the excitement over Final Fantasy XVI couldn’t have gotten more palpable.
The first few trailers for the game showcased a very sleek, fast-paced action-oriented gameplay that showed how the Final Fantasy franchise had slowly been moving away from its classic turn-based roots. More alarmingly, it showed the main character, Clive Rosfield, taking on enemies solo, which suggested that the game might also be deviating from its party-based gameplay traditions.
The debate over whether FFXVI would be an entirely solo experience over a group one was addressed by producer Naoki “Yoshi-P” Yoshida in an interview with IGN.
“We didn’t want to overwhelm users in our newest trailer, so we focused solely on Clive’s battles,” said Yoshida. “That said, for most of his journey, Clive will be accompanied by one or more companions. These companions will participate in battle, as well as trade banter with Clive. That said, the party members will be AI-driven so as to allow players to focus solely on controlling Clive.”
Whether the other party members will be the other Eikon-wielding characters shown in the “Dominance” trailer remains to be seen, though it is worth noting that unlike Final Fantasy XV or Final Fantasy VII Remake, where there is some degree of control players have over the supporting cast, the party members in FFXVI may not be playable at all, so that players can focus on playing as Clive. Hopefully we could see some form of AI manipulation like the Gambit system in FFXII so we could indirectly influence how the party performs in combat.
However, when asked about whether Torgal, the puppy featured in the trailers, could be one of those AI-controlled party members, Yoshida replied with a coy “you’ll just have to wait and see.”
More information on the party system in FFXVI will be revealed at a later date. A third trailer revolving around the game’s lore and world is slated to be released this fall.
Final Fantasy XVI releases sometime in Summer 2023 for PS5 only, though it is yet to be announced whether the game will be available on other platforms.