Final Fantasy XVI developer Creative Business Unit III — an in-house studio at Square Enix — is ready to try something new with the series’ latest installment. The team’s goal was to create a Final Fantasy title that could appeal to a “new generation” of players, and the main thrust of its plans appeared to be an all-action combat system.
In an interview with sports reporter, producer Naoki Yoshida admits that crafting the battle system was the hardest part of development. After all, mainline games have been stuck with turn-based or command-based battles for decades. The only outlier is Final Fantasy XV, but even then, its comparatively simple system has nothing on Final Fantasy XVI, which draws inspiration from faster-paced, more complex action titles like Devil May Cry.
“Probably the biggest challenge was designing the combat system and going full real-time action,” says Yoshida. “Instead of going back to turn-based, we said, ‘Okay, this is an opportunity for us to challenge ourselves to try to do something that the series has never done but we really want to do. want to try, and it’s moving forward. The whole action-based system.”
But what about something like a Final Fantasy VII remake? Square Enix’s well-received revival managed to successfully combine both action and command-based mechanics, creating a unique (and satisfying!) combat system.
Well, Yoshida brings it up: “There was always an option to try a hybrid kind of system where we have action and turn-based elements, but again, rather than trying that and having something that doesn’t work out. is and is not satisfactory, we have decided to focus solely on bringing action.”
The team, of course, took each side’s action seriously. One of the key members of the project is fight director Ryota Suzuki, who has had a hand in creating some great action games at Capcom, such as Devil May Cry 5 and Dragon’s Dogma.
Not everyone will be enamored with Final Fantasy’s move into the action RPG genre, but it’s clear that Creative Business Unit III had a vision from the start — and it seems to have executed it very well.
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