Despite the changes made by its predecessor, Final Fantasy 16 will not bring us a big open world.
We saw a major marketing boost earlier today, in the form of a series of interviews with Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida. Talking to IGN (opens in new tab)Yoshida has confirmed that the upcoming PS5 exclusive diverges significantly from Final Fantasy 15.
“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 area-based standalone game design that can give players a better sense of a truly ‘global’ scale,” he says.
However, Yoshida explains that his sequel will still contain “inspiration” from such games, so anyone who liked 15’s approach won’t be left behind. “To create a game that can excite and resonate with not only our core fans but this new generation as well, we play a lot of games, and yes, in [Final Fantasy 16] you’ll find inspiration in recent triple-A open-world RPGs.”
Moving beyond a troubled legacy
Many are hoping for a fresh start with Final Fantasy 16, and it’s not hard to see why after Final Fantasy 15’s troubled history. Starting life in 2006 as a spin-off entry, Final Fantasy Versus 13 soon fell into development hell. before being renamed, effectively restarting development in 2012. passionate.
I’m a fan of 15, but when I played it at launch, these development issues were evident. When looking at the open world, you will find a beautiful place full of fantastic landscapes, but only for half of the game. The second half of 15 then moves away from that open format, putting the story on a linear path, and you can clearly see how the design ideas clashed during development.
Worse still, there’s almost nothing meaningful to do through it. When Ignis wasn’t driving the car for you, it was a chore to navigate. 15’s open world wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t brilliant either. The Royal Edition added extra quests, but at this stage, it felt more like a recovery. With all that in mind, I can see why Yoshida is taking a more controlled approach to 16, and I believe it will be a stronger game for that.