After much umming and erring which I’m sure has nothing to do with any Sony exclusivity agreements, Square Enix have confirmed that Final Fantasy 16 is, indeed, coming to PC. “We are aware that many of you have been asking for a PC version”, producer Naoki Yoshida said in a statement on the platform formerly known as Twitter. “So allow me to take this opportunity to officially announce that development on a PC version is currently underway.” There’s no Final Fantasy 16 PC release date as yet. Yoshida hopes to be able to share more – together with some insights on the first wodge of Final Fantasy 16 DLC – “before the end of the year”.
Final Fantasy 16, hmm. Wait a minute, I reviewed that on console! That’s the one I got all the death threats about! Let me give you a summary.
Final Fantasy 16 is the story of Clive Rosfeld, a grumpy outcast nobleman from the fantasy medieval world of Valisthea, who becomes enmeshed in a continent-wide intrigue involving big elemental monsters called Eikons (Final Fantasy summon monsters by another name) and the human Dominants who can channel and, indeed, embody those Dominants. In the course of some 50+ hours of play, you’ll battle myriad grunts and wildlife in nicely put-together but very repetitive Devil May Cry-style arena battles, fight Dominants in rather more entertaining brawls that splice touches of bullet hell with Azura’s Wrath-style QTEs, and address a pervasive social injustice in the shape of the serfdom of innately magical individuals called Bearers – a massively wonky metaphor for slavery. You’ll also complete a lot of incredibly boring sidequests, though there are some poignant and fun companion missions towards the endgame.
Speaking of companions, you don’t get to control them. FF16 does involve gathering a party of allies, but save for issuing Heal Me Doggy and Git ‘Em commands to your pet ice wolf Torghal, you only get to strut about as Clive in battle. Clive’s ability to channel different Eikons for different movesets does create some decent variety, however. It’s just a shame it’s smeared across so many hours of largely A-to-B quest design.
The game’s setting is beautifully wrought, with later apocalyptic areas that recall Death Stranding, but also rather sterile, partly because there’s nothing to do beside combat (no minigames, alas) and partly because this is quite a homogenizy work of make-believe, with locations based on cultures from north Africa and the Middle East that are conspicuously abundant with chalky Anglophone Brits. The core cast are well-performed and nicely written, however. Clive grows on you with time, for all his gravelly-gruffness, and my word, you have to meet this game’s Cid. Characters called Cid have taken many forms in Final Fantasy over the years, from bellowing airship mechanics through school principals. Final Fantasy 16’s version is a breathtaking slash-shirted thirst trap, voiced in the English localisation by Ralph “also in Diablo 4” Ineson. They broke the mold with this one.
Where the series goes FF16 is a bit of an open question. Yoshida has previously suggested that it might be time to stop giving Final Fantasy games numbers. As reported by Eurogamer, Final Fantasy 16 also hasn’t met Square Enix’s (rather ambitious) sales expectations: in an earnings call, company president Takashi Kiryu claimed that slow PS5 adoption was a limiting factor.
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