Final Fantasy XVI - Thoughts on Designs?

Paddy McGee

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So, we've seen some gameplay and some cinematics from the PlayStation stream event on Wednesday... What do you think about this? The game's design certainly looks closer to that of FF XIV, but I cannot seem to find any confirmation it is, in fact, going to be built with Crystal Tools. The producer choice, team choice and general design of the game hints towards it, certainly. What do you think of this?

Outside of the game engine itself, what do you think of the design aesthetics? It's the first time for a long time that we''ve returned to a High Fantasy-styled world in the single player experience so I'm eager to hear what people have to say. There's certainly a departure from very wholesome, Final Fantasy based fantasy - closer to the grittier Witcher and Dark Souls games... but what do you think?

Lastly, what are some hopes you have for aspects we haven't seen? What sort of world design are you looking for from this game?

Let's all have a chat!
 

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'High-Fantasy' isn't something that initially interests me as a genre, but if done well I can certainly get into the swing of things. I think my fear is that in going this direction it may come across as a little plain. The main character especially looks very generic and lacks the identity past FF Nomura design lead characters have. Part of that could be the art direction but I still think what we saw in the trailer is a very early work in progress and maybe when the game is released the character models won't have that FFXIV-Engine look.

The monsters look great though, That Marlboro was a perfect rendition, big, yucky and gross - Love it!

The Summons look very decent too, I like all their appearances but more importantly that their presence within the world being a big deal! I still don't think we'll summon them in normal battle but utilise abilities from them - Like we saw the Phoenix Wing & Titan Arms in battle. They just seem to-larger than life to call into battle especially when they're in massive-scale battles shown in the trailer. Last thing I want is a last resort instant win function like XV had. Make them larger than life and a big threat to the world they're integrated in, make them fearful, dangerous and an accomplishment to utilise/side with. I'm very excited to see how they're integrated into the world of this game.

My other concern is that the most similar FF we've had in recent years to this is Final Fantasy XII, one of my least favourites at that. The main detraction being the heavier focus on politics and less focus on character driven stories. In the trailer we see council meetings and I just get the impression the main character isn't going to be as exciting as some. The only point to where we realty hear him grow a personality is near the end with them two lines - But without context we don't yet know the drive for his anger/vengeance. I'm hoping the next trailer will shed some light and sell him an FF character to me.

Overall I am still very interested, it's not my preferred direction but I am open to see where it goes.
 
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Dionysos

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I don’t know anything at all about game engines, so I’ll focus on the aesthetics for now.

FFXIV characters (the actual characters and not the placeholder Warrior of Light from the trailers) have more interesting designs than those seen in the FFXVI trailer. It isn’t because it looks like FFXIV that it looks bland to us right now. It’s that they look like NPCs in FFXVI. It's probably simply a case of them showing us very little because they are in the earliest stages of development.

There are few notable distinctive costume designs in the trailer. As much as everyone mocks Nomura’s belt obsession, at least it made characters stand out. We need a freaky hairdo or two, a weird shoulder pad with a strange symbol on it, or maybe a knee cap made of gold. Anything like that!

As for the Witcher / Dark Souls aesthetics, I’m actually quite worried about that. While it would be cool to have a grittier, darker Final Fantasy to some extent, I fear it’ll lose the magic that makes the franchise stand out and really draws me in. I doubt they’ll want to go too far down that route though. I'm sure they'll keep many light-hearted, fantastical elements. The logo alone suggests so.


I agree that the summons so far look awesome.

For aspects that we haven't seen yet, I'm hoping for more detail in towns and castles, etc. What we saw was very, very generic. A plain castle with turrets and towers but not any quirky shapes or sculptures of any note. A town harbouring the Phoenix's 'Dominant' should, you'd think, have stone statues of the Phoenix about the place, maybe a few banners, engravings on the walls. That sort of thing. Alexandria in FFIX looked beautiful, whereas this castle didn't really look like anything.

Early stages, I repeat. All of this could change.

I'd love a few crazy places. Areas of natural beauty with some unusual features. We've had floating, glowing crystals in the past - but it could be anything... A city built in the skull of a giant dragon, or anything at all. Something that keeps that connection to fantasy and is memorable.

I don't want to feel like this is a game version of a Medieval/Renaissance Faire and that it could be recreated entirely by humans in our world with a limited budget at a local castle. I want something that stretched the imagination and makes us say "wow!"

I'll say more on them in coming days, but these are some thoughts for now.
 

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EiFOya_U8AEDbrb.jpg


One of the designs I really like is the protagonist’s white chocobo. It looks a bit angry looking. It reminds me of the prehistoric Phorusrhacids / 'terror birds' (which would be amongst the closest creatures on our planet to match the chocobo).



Although chocobos aren’t predators (unless they are in this game – that would be an interesting twist!), I think it is quite cool that the protagonist's chocobo looks a bit like a terror bird. I guess it is the eyes and brows that do it more than anything else.
This chocobo does seem tame, more like a trained eagle, I guess.

I hope there are some cuter chocobos about as well to balance it out, but as a variant this is pretty cool.
 

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They're kinda bog standard high fantasy designs.

Our main character still looks like a much graphically improved version of some bog standard Midlander Hyur character you can half-arse on the FFXIV character creator screen. The side characters in that Winterfell-like dukedom they're in look fairly pedestrian and don't look like they're destined to be part of the main cast. None of the protagonist's branded allies at the very start of the trailer look distinctive, and we can barely catch a glimpse of what the soldiers fighting for the side that summons Titan look like. I'm still crossing my fingers they're a distinctly different race and not simply burly humans or Roegadyn adjacents.

One distinctive human character design (who isn't wearing armour) I can recall from the trailer is the blonde woman with what I presume is a pipe and the Karen hairstyle talking about some Battle of the Twin Realms. At the very least I'm hoping she's a Black Mage, in line with the fact there's already an armoured imperial Dragoon which could suggest FF jobs in this universe are vocations not unlike how your standard medieval setting has carpenters, weavers, etc.

The trailer doesn't afford us a decent early glimpse of the game world either. We know there's a craggy desert-like environment where a battle breaks out between the sides harbouring the Dominants of Shiva and Titan, but there's not a single discernible landmark of anything of note. The main dukedom is essentially Winterfell and the foggier swamp area where the Malboro dwells is dreary and nothing to write home about.

What this trailer is desperately missing is a shot or camera pan of a landmark that actually inspires whimsy and invokes a feeling of a grand fantasy adventure. Take the original Final Fantasy XV trailer with the shot of Accordo, aka Fantasy Venice. It's a stunning departure from the road trip venture and just by visuals alone is effective at communicating to us what FFXV was advertised to be - a fantasy based on reality wherein the whimsical melds with the grounded and the familiar. Even the old Agni's Philosophy tech demo achieved this, with the end of the trailer panning away from dingy brown slums to a vibrant, futuristic fantasy metropolis in the distance where skyscrapers have silly looking mug handles as part of the architecture.

Perhaps if the FFXVI trailer deigned to have at least one money shot of what kind of crazy fantasy world we could be in for, I'd have more positive things to say. So far it's not immediately jumping out to me as a game world I want to jump in and immerse myself in.
 

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I think the recent info-dump (as well as Linnaete 's excellent rundown of it) helps to reassure me about the aesthetics of this game now. There appears to be much truth to Yoshi-P's comments about their deliberate decision to avoid money shots in the initial trailer.

We now have massive castles, crystals which are even more massive, and a rich set of unique cultures with their own banners and political systems.

I'll comment on more as I think of other things to discuss, but the artwork for Sanbreque (as just one example) looks stunning.


It's like King's Landing on the one hand, but with the castle being vastly overshadowed by the crystal. In fact, the castle and the entire town appears to mimic the slope of the crystal itself.

Since it seems likely that Shiva's Dominant resides here and that the crystal is Shiva's crystal, I do hope we get to see that crystal used as a ski-slope! Unlikely, but to me it would be too tempting to resist.

Anyway, mountains of crystal are something we have to look forward to now in FFXVI. On the PS5 this could look genuinely stunning. The Crystal Tower and the Crystarium in FFXIV look great, so FFXVI could do some really cool things with crystals and surrounding structures.
 

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For a quick teaser, i'm personally a little optimistic considering normally what happens when a reveal is made, they reveal very little and get us hyped up only to have it not live up to the hype (Looking at you FF13 and FF15).

SO to see more proof of concept is exciting. I admit the design is a little lackluster. It has this MMO-vibe which I'm not too excited about. Hopefully, we get to see more.
 
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