Final Fantasy XVI is a slow starter that turns into an epic action RPG

Final Fantasy XVI is a slow starter that turns into an epic action RPG

This PS5 game had me as soon as I started to hear the various character’s names.

Odd as it sounds, sword-wielding heroes like Gav, Sid (spelt Cid here), Rodney and our main protagonist Clive felt so yesteryear, uncool and 1980s British that it fired up my intrigue.

And after hours of storyline this bizarre mishmash of Japanese animation style, monster lore and regional UK accents merged into quite some wonderful game.

Final Fantasy XVI is a blast.

It’s an action role-play game that’s packed with stand-out battles pushed along by a strong narrative.

It takes an age to get going, it’s biggest criticism, and the first handful of hours are mostly cut scenes. It feels more like a movie than a video game.

  • Daily Star's newsletter brings you the biggest and best stories – sign up today

But slowly Capcom’s team unveils the guts of the title, ramping up the combat threat and introducing those eye-wateringly mega Eikons before you hit a fantastic turning point hours-in where you realise, ‘ah, now this is the game ahead’.

And it’s great, you’ll just have to put in the effort to get there.

There’s a lot of overwhelming lore early on.

It boils down to Clive being the firstborn son of the Archduke of Rosaria.

His younger brother Joshua though seems to be the Dominant, a human who can carry a huge battle-ready monster within them called an Eikon.

As such Clive is tasked as a teen to learn sword fighting and magic wielding to protect his younger sibling from rival faction threats.

I don’t really want to go further than there in spoiling any storyline, suffice to say that – like previous Final Fantasies before it – all hell breaks loose and you’re thrown into the heart of battle.

And what a glorious game this is when you get into it.

Across a 30+ hour campaign, let alone a raft of side missions, you’ll travel the realm of Valisthea with your trusty wolfhound Torgal by your side.

You’ll meet a host of colourful friends and foes on an epic, and I mean epic, ride across three distinct periods in Clive’s life – his teens, twenties and thirties.

  • Street Fighter 6 review: An amazing brawler of a game packed with tons of content

The developers at Creative Business Unit III have done a sterling job creating a beautiful, lush, recognisable yet magical medieval world.

And the use of loads of British regional accents across, often, tongue-in-cheek voice acting gives this game huge amounts of charm and character.

There’s something of the earlier FF games here in that the open world isn’t really so open, and you’ll often find yourself being funnelled down a fairly linear path to keep pace with the high fantasy storyline.

But in a first for the series, we have real-time action combat.

And it works brilliantly for newcomers and old hands alike.

As Clive learns new skills and boosts his RPG stats, you’ll find yourself battling huge beasties while simultaneously flipping between different Eikonic Abilities and Batman Arkham/Spider-Man like fighting moves earned through combat.

That means pulling all kinds of flips and tricks with your PS5 joypad to ensure special moves are at your beck-and-call once their cool down has exhausted and they become available again for another shot.

It’s about juggling various attacks mid-combat, making split-second decisions to use a killer move knowing full well it’ll be unavailable for another 30 seconds while you’re facing another bunch of oncoming baddies.

All together, those tactics and the mayhem surrounding Clive in these third-person face-offs get incredibly absorbing and stressful.

But when you emerge successful, claiming a ton of loot and experience, as well as a prized head for the trophy cabinet, there’s a genuine euphoria.

And it’s that emotion that pushes this game into the realms of must-buy.

Final Fantasy XVI isn’t perfect.

Its smaller battles can get a bit monotonous. The world arguably isn’t open enough for today’s standards.

And the game takes far too long to reveal itself.

But when you do hit those mega battles after hours of plugging away, the win tastes that much sweeter.

And the combat, visuals and audio all work so well together in delivering a frantic action role-player that’ll give you tons of fun.


Source: Read Full Article