2023 is clear to me that it will be a year that will pass to remember. We’re only five months in and there are still many months to go in which we may end up seeing more great games released, but that doesn’t mean I don’t consider myself very lucky to have tried what are probably two of the best video games of recent years.
On the one hand, there is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the title that I’m still hooked on to the controls after I’ve been playing it for a few weeks, but be very careful with what’s coming, because Final Fantasy XVI has all the ballots to become the next big thing. I already said it when I had the great luck to try it in February that it was noticeable that it was a real generation leap and now I can affirm it once again.
The latter is because I have recently had the opportunity to play the first three hours which is one of the most beastly action RPGs I’ve ever seen. Regardless of the game that ends up leading to the GOTY, I have to say that what a satisfaction it is to be able to enjoy this hobby that makes us live such special moments and experiences full of emotions, because with this Final Fantasy I have not stopped being speechless with what I had before me.
For this reason, I am going to tell you the seven things that have seemed to me to be really cool, although there has also been something that has not convinced me so much.
Disclaimer: This is a special version created for the media to experience and the contents may vary in the final version.
A plot that only takes a few minutes to hook you
The fact of having been able to play the first hours of the adventure has allowed me to know in depth more details of the plot of this new installment of the series. At times I had the impression that I was watching an episode of Game of Thrones, apart from the setting in a fantasy worldfor the pacts, betrayals, political troubles and the wars between the different kingdoms of the world of Valisthea.
As usual, I don’t like to go into too much detail to avoid spoilers, but what I can anticipate is that the prologue takes us back in time to put us in the shoes of a young Clive Rosfield, accompanied by his brother Joshua and his friend. Jill Warrick, which helps us to know the fate that awaits each of them. However, not all of them are very satisfied with the mission entrusted to them.
From there the argument is full of cinematics one after another, at least at the beginning, in which tremendously shocking situations do not stop happening, with very unexpected script twists. Even so, it seemed that I was looking at an animated film because of the interest that the story generated and above all because of the quality of these very sublime sequences, which are some of the best I’ve seen in a video game.
Some characters with a very defined personality
This could have been perfectly included in the previous point, but I wanted to mention it separately because it deserves it. In Final Fantasy XV one of the sections that I liked the most was precisely the relationship that the characters had, so Square Enix has repeated the move in this chapter because of the sensations they convey.
Each and every one of the characters that appear in these first hours, both protagonists and villains, have a very defined personality and because of their behavior it is inevitable to empathize with some like Clive or Joshua. The first by being devoid of affection from his peers and the second by wishing that it had been his brother who had become the Dominant of the Phoenix.
Again, certain events take place with which you end up stunned by what appears on the screen. And if this was only the beginning, I don’t even want to imagine how things will improve with the passing of the hours.
This is how Clive and company spend them during combat
Moving on to other sections, The combat system has once again seemed to me to be the best in the game. As many of you have expressed in your comments, you consider it to be the worst for the simple fact of having left turn-based combat aside, but we must also take into account that the sagas evolve and that the changes do not always have to be random. worse, as in this case.
Without being a hack and slash, the action is very frenetic and I had a great time slashing, casting spells and executing some devastating combos. At all times the only character that is controlled is Clive, nothing more, while artificial intelligence is in charge of handling all the others with good results, so that they don’t seem like they are just simple stick figures.
The gameplay is very intuitive and once you fight a couple of fights the only thing you want is to continue crushing more enemies without stopping. Besides, the game itself encourages you to be constantly making combos and changing between the special abilities that the different powers of the Eikons that you are unlocking give you.
Likewise, the confrontations against the final bosses are also brutal, because in these you are not limited only to hitting, dodging and others. In the middle of the matches they will also parade sequences in the form of quick time events that will make these clashes more impressive.
The exceptional fights between the Eikons
Although the plot, the characters and the combat system are excellent, What I loved the most of all was the fighting between the Eikons. Although I had the opportunity to play once again the one from the previous contact that seemed to be in front of a wrestling match, this time I have come across something completely different.
Square Enix already anticipated that each of these fights would be completely different from all the previous ones and they have not exaggerated at all, because the one in which you have to participate in this first part of the story is something similar to a shoot’em up. And again I have to emphasize the high level of spectacularity that these battles present with which it is impossible to take your eyes off the screen.
I don’t know how the rest of the encounters of this type will be, but of course it is something that I am looking forward to discovering, because you can be guaranteed that will not leave anyone indifferent.
A graphic quality that leaves you speechless
Since the new generation of consoles began, we can count on the fingers of one hand the titles in which an evolution in their graphic quality can really be appreciated, making it clear that this could not be released on the previous consoles. Definitely, Final Fantasy XVI It is one of those cases in which it is clearly noticeable that it has been developed exclusively for PS5.
The realism of the scenes makes you forget at times that you are playing a video game, as it happens with the animations of the characters, but if there is something that also takes the cake are the impressive Eikons and the effects of their spells and special powers. Above all, there was a part where you have to run away from the stage as it collapses before you which is crazy.
Personally, in a global set, I have not played anything whose graphic quality captivates me as much as that of Final Fantasy XVI Or that at least leaves me so ojiplático. And this is just talking about a preview, that it was not even the final version, also pointing out that it does not matter if you play in performance mode or in graphics mode, because in both cases it is amazing.
The ability to play however you want
Something that seems to me quite a success is that not everyone is equally good at taking control. There will be those who find it more difficult to dodge the impacts or those who make a mess when executing any of Clive’s combos, but the game has a perfect solution for this detail thanks to the emblems, because these will completely alter the gameplay.
In this way, by activating any of them you can get Clive to attack in different ways with the press of a single button, just as a quick time event will appear every time someone attacks you and you have to dodge the blows, but you can also You can configure so that Torgal, the dog / wolf of our protagonist, attacks on his own or increase the damage and defense of our hero.
The emblems are there so that anyone can use them if they feel like it or directly pass them to face a good challenge. Thus, the different levels of difficulty are left aside and it is a splendid alternative so that everyone can play as they wanteither the entire adventure or a certain part, since these can be activated and deactivated at any time from the menu.
Exploration in somewhat more open scenarios
In this Final Fantasy there is no open world as such that you can navigate to go anywhere. Instead, most of the scenarios consist of advancing along the only path that exists and little else, although that does not mean that there are also wider and more open places that invite you to show off your exploring vein.
I’m not sure how many of these maps there will be throughout the adventure, but at least one of them I went through was pretty huge with enemies, wild animals, the odd hidden object, and characters you could talk to. On the other hand, the only way to go from one zone to another is from the world mapby having to select what your next destination will be.
Although I liked exploring these larger settings, I was left with the question of whether they will abound or how many times I will have to return to them, in case the adventure ends up being very linear or not.
The so questionable secondary missions
Finally, The only point that has not finished conquering me is that of the secondary missions. At a certain point in the story, you end up arriving at a place that acts as a base of operations, with shops to purchase objects, get improvements and there is even a character to whom you can tell everything you have played so far, which allows you to recall the events of the plot in case you missed something and thus not miss any detail.
However, the missions that you are entrusted with are the typical ones that I am a bit exhausted from seeing endlessly that consist of collecting a series of objects and taking them from point A to B or other similar objectives. That of having to fulfill certain requests to access certain special rewards can be worth it if what you take in exchange is something very useful. Even so, I would prefer a worse prize in exchange for the mission being more entertaining to carry out.
I fear that these are there simply to lengthen the adventure even more.but it is something that I will not discover until the final version, although the few that I have found were of this style and that does not give me very good vibrations.
developer: Square Enix
Company: Square Enix
Launch: June 22, 2023
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