During the latest State of Play showcase, fans were treated to an intense three minutes long gameplay trailer of Final Fantasy 16 that focused on the game's fluid and frantic (Witcheresque) real-time combat, large-scale battles, and the overarching narrative.
While the recent trailer may have been quite the appetizer for many, it's no surprise that fans crave more info on this highly anticipated 16th mainline Final Fantasy game. One of the most pressing questions of them all is whether Final Fantasy 16 is an open-world game or not?
Final Fantasy 16 is taking a different route than Final Fantasy 15
In an interview with IGN, Producer Naoki Yoshida finally confirmed that Final Fantasy 16 is not an open world game since they [Square Enix] didn't want the game to be confined to "a single open world space." Instead, it seems, the game will feature independent large-scale hub areas "while still taking inspirations from other AAA games."
According to Yoshida, "To bring a story that feels like it spans an entire globe and beyond, we decided to avoid an open world design that limits us to a single open world space and instead focus on an independent area-based game design that can give players a better feel of a truly "global” scale."
Fans have been speculating about Final Fantasy 16's open-world status since its reveal in 2020. However, Square Enix never truly tackled the question directly, not to mention teased such a possibility in any of the two trailers we have gotten so far. Yoshida's comments should finally clear up the air and help fans set the right expectations for the game when it launches later next year.
Final Fantasy 16's hub-based design is also a massive departure from Final Fantasy 15, which featured a grand open world for players to explore on their feet and in a vehicle. It's also no surprise that many veteran Final Fantasy fans weren't huge fans of 15's world design, which at times felt redundant.
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As such, Final Fantasy 16's more traditional JRPG approach to world building should enthrall long-time fans. Hopefully, Square Enix will show off more of these hub-based areas of the game before launch. But until then, fans will have to wait and let their imaginations stir the wheels of motion.
Final Fantasy 16 launches exclusively on PS5 in the summer of 2023. For more on Final Fantasy 16 and video games in-general, why not check our dedicated video game section for news, guides, and features.
Featured image courtesy of Square Enix.