Final Fantasy 16 Release Date, Trailer, Story, Characters, Gameplay & Everything We Know So Far

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Final Fantasy 16 is the next RPG in Square Enix's mainline of its beloved series, and fans are excited to know the important details, including is release dates for PlayStation 5. Check out everything you need to know about the upcoming game!

Final Fantasy 16 Is Coming Out in 2023!

Final Fantasy 16
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Credit: Square Enix

The highly-anticipated RPG was announced during a Sony livestream showing off upcoming PS5 games, and a trailer also premiered to give us our first look at Final Fantasy 16.

While fans will have to wait a while before Final Fantasy 16 comes out for PlayStation 5, Square Enix has already shared some interesting details about the game's story, characters, and gameplay elements.

Is There Any Trailer For Final Fantasy 16?

During Sony's September 2020 PS5 showcase, a Final Fantasy 16 trailer titled Awakening premiered, revealing a medieval fantasy world full of magic and Final Fantasy Summons known as "Eikons".

The trailer reveals that FF16 will feature political intrigue with Soulslike combat. Various district kingdoms are engaged in war to these Eikons, which include, Phoenix, Shiva, and Titan. There's a scene featuring Shivan going against Titan.

The trailer also introduced a princely young boy named Joshua, who's described to be a "Dominant", blessed with magical powers linked to the Eikon Phoenix.

While the first trailer hints at two different playable protagonists, a PS Blog post confirms they're actually the same character at different years. This is similar to Final Fantasy XV, which let players step play as Prince Noctis as both a young bachelor and a middle-aged monarch.

During the Tokyo Game Show in September 2020, producer Naoki "Yoshi-P" Yoshida explained in an interview that the entire trailer features in-game scenes rather than pre-rendered footage.

According to the English translation by @AitaKimochi, here's what Yoshida said about the new trailer: "I saw some comments from Americans saying that if we [released a trailer that was all pre-rendered], they wouldn't see the game until 2035 … So we decided to release a proper trailer."

Final Fantasy XVI clearly deviates from the sci-fi themes featured in recent Final Fantasy titles, bringing us back to its medieval fantasy roots.

The trailer for Final Fantasy 16 was originally scheduled to release in spring, and producer Naoki Yoshida confirmed that it had been delayed, but not for too long. He also commented on how FF16 was coming along in general:

“The development team has put in tremendous effort. From this point, we’re fervently playing it through, polishing, debugging, and thoroughly optimizing, so I think we’re going to take a little longer there. It’s already come together considerably.”

On June 2, during Sony's State of Play, Square Enix released a new trailer for Final Fantasy XVI, titled Dominance, and it highlights the RPG's Game of Thrones-esque world and various powerful summons such as Ifrit, Phoenix, Titan, Garuda, Ramuh, Shiva, Bahamut, and Odin.

On Oct. 20, Square Enix released a new trailer for Final Fantasy 16, titled Ambition.

Final Fantasy 16 Release Date: When The Game Release On PS5?

Final Fantasy 16 Release Date: When The Game Release On PS5?
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Credit: Square Enix

Square Enix and Sony finally revealed that Final Fantasy XVI will be arriving on June 22, 2021 as announced during The Game Awards in December 2022.

As translated by @aikakimochi, Yoshida said that both Final Fantasy XVI and the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker expansion will be completed with the utmost care, assuring that they will be as bug-free as possible.

In October 2021, Yoshida also shared an update during the Tokyo Game Show, revealing that Final Fantasy 16's main design is complete, and the development team is already finalizing the remaining side quests.

FF 16 already received a rating from Brazil, which is typically one of the things that happens soon before an official release date is announced and something that happens not too far off from when a videogame is released.

Final Fantasy 16 Story: What is The Game About?

FF16 world
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Credit: Square Enix

Final Fantasy 16 is set in a world called Valisthea where the Mothercrystals bless people with Aether, which allows them to cast Magicks.

Over the years, district kingdoms developed: The Grand Duchy, The Holy Empire of Sanbreque, The Kingdom of Waloed, The Dhalmekian Republic, The Iron Kingdom, and The Crystalline Dominion. As Blight pervades the land, tensions rise and a war ignites.

The familiar magical summons known as Eikons play an important role in the story of FF16. Each of them resides in a Dominant, someone who's blessed with the ability to wield their Eikon's power.

The teaser from the game's official website reads: "In some nations these Dominants are treated as royalty in admiration of this strength — in others they are bound in fear of it, and forced to serve as weapons of war".

Square Enix describes Clive's journey as a linear experience, a far more solitary and personal one that fans of the franchise are probably used to.

Final Fantasy 16 Characters: Who are the Heroes and Villains?

Final Fantasy 16 Characters: Who are the Heroes and Villains?
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Credit: Square Enix

The name of Final Fantasy 16's protagonist is Clive Rosfield, the older brother of Joshua Rosfield. Clive trains in "mastering the blade" after the Phoenix didn't choose him as a Dominant. At 15-years-old, Clive wins a tournament and is tasked with protecting his brother as the "First Shield of Rosaria".

Joshua is a Dominant, so he can summon his nation's related Eikon, Phoenix. The character bios hint at a tragedy that happens between the Rosfield brothers involving Ifrit that causes Clive to start on a "dangerous road to revenge."

The trailer doesn't reveal the tragedy that Clive experiences, but we know that it has something to do with Ifrit. In the later timeline, he is empowered by the earth Eikon Titan, and it seemingly part of the Dhalmekian Republic's army as they attack an army linked to the Eikon Shiva.

Final Fantasy 16 Characters: Who are the Heroes and Villains?
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Credit: Square Enix

Both Rosfield brothers are close friends with Jill Warrick, a ward from the Northern Territories, but was raised alongside them. As a childhood friend, she has become a trusted confidant to the brothers.

It's likely that she is the Dominant of Shiva since the opening of the trailer shows one of the assailants mentioning that Shiva's Dominant is the target. Clive then touches his face as if he recognizes the Dominant and reacts emotionally to this.

In the later timeline, Clive is empowered by the earth Eikon Titan and is seemingly part of the Dhalmekian Republic's army as they attack an army connected to the Eikon Shiva. It's unclear which nation that is based on redacted names on the teaser website, but it's probably either the Holy Empire of Sanbreque or the Kingdom of Waloed.

What is the Gameplay of Final Fantasy 16?

What is the Gameplay of Final Fantasy 16?
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Credit: Square Enix
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In May 2020, a sketchy leak from 4chan hinted that FF16 will draw some inspiration from Dark Souls and combines that kind of gameplay with the combat elements of FF15.

If the first trailer is any indication, then that's pretty accurate. Compared to FF15, the combat looks more fluid, making it look more like a story-forward action game than a traditional Final Fantasy.

According to an early October 2020 Famitsu issue translated by @aitakimochi, "the protagonist can do a Shift Warp as well as use Summons attacks in his moves." So the combat will be a mix of martial arts and magically-enhanced moves.

In February 2019, producer Naoki Yoshida said this during an interview: "I'd like to see a Final Fantasy that is straightforward fantasy, one that doesn't have much machinery, and with no mecha in it." It's a funny way to say "this is the kind of Final Fantasy game I'm currently developing," but that's more or less what he was saying.

It looks like the game will feature high-fantasy elements instead of the more sci-fi aspects we've seen in Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy XV.

Speaking to Gamespot, producer Naoki Yoshida explained why Square Enix was open to making Final Fantasy XVI a mature-rated RPG and talked about the game's darker tones.

According to Yoshida, they didn't want to feel restricted by the T-rating, and Square Enix allowed the developers to really hone in on the story's more mature tone. Despite the game's mature rating, Yoshida has made it clear that FF 16's rating won't mean that they're going to be overly grotesque with violence and other extreme mature content.

"When trying to tell a story with difficult adult themes, these ratings can end up becoming somewhat of a hindrance. And you find yourself changing things that you wanted to do in the game based on that rating," explained Yoshida. "This time, to make sure that we could tell the story that we wanted in the way that we wanted to, we decided to pursue a mature rating in most of the regions that will be releasing the game."

Why Final Fantasy XVI ditched the turn-based combat system

Producer Naoki Yoshida revealed that the reason FFXVI ditched Final Fantasy's classic turn-based combat is that they want the game to appeal to younger audience.

Speaking to Famitsu (as translated by VGC), Yoshida explains that the turn-based combat, which was the only possible battle system when the first Final Fantasy was released in 1987, simply isn't appealing to younger players.

As he revealed, "For several console generations now, all character expressions can be done in real-time. Actions such as 'press the trigger and your character will shoot a gun' and 'press the button and your character will swing their sword' can now be easily expressed without going through a command system."

Final Fantasy XVI producer knows the game's combat system for satisfy everyone. During an interview with Japanese outlet Comic Days (via VGC), Yoshida talks about the concerns some more old-school fans might feel about the series' shift to more action-based combat.


“We want the world, especially the younger generation, to play the game. Also, the mainstream games nowadays are intuitive games where you press a button and the character shoots a gun or wields a sword, and the traditional RPG style of turn-based command fighting is no longer familiar to them."
“It is also a fact that people are becoming less familiar with the old-fashioned style of RPGs, where you fight by selecting turn commands. That’s why the battles in Final Fantasy 16 are very action-based. We want to make people all over the world think that Final Fantasy is a great game.

PlayStation 5 Ad Reveals How Long Final Fantasy 16 is Exclusive to PS5

On Nov. 7, 2022, an ad about PlayStation 5 Dualsense Wireless Controller's features revealed that Final Fantasy 16 will be exclusive to PS5 for at least 6 months.

Final Fantasy 16 is finally coming out on June 22, 2023! Stay updated here on EpicStream!

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