Recently, Squre-Enix showcased their upcoming release Final Fantasy XVI during their State of Play event. While the game appears promising, I’m concerned about one particular aspect – the inability to play with other party members. It seems that the other characters are entirely controlled by AI, which takes away from the joy of being able to play as different characters.
Personally, I often find myself enjoying the other party members more than the main character. For instance, I adore Yuna and Wakka more than Tidus. In fact, Yuna’s character was so well-loved that she even received a spin-off game, Final Fantasy X-2. Similarly, while I like Cloud, I can relate to Barret more. However, the lack of control over party members in Final Fantasy XVI means that I would be forced to play as Clive for the entirety of the game.
I believe that this design choice is due to lazy RPG gamers, who would rather play the game on an easy mode that allows for a story-focused experience. Square Enix likely wanted to reach a wider audience with this gameplay style, which is evident from the auto-equip system. However, games like Elden Ring prove that RPGs can still be hardcore and loved by gamers. While I appreciate that Final Fantasy XVI offers an action-focused mode, it’s unfortunate that we can’t play with other party members.
In conclusion, while Final Fantasy XVI looks like a promising game, the lack of control over party members is something that I didn’t like but we will see how it turns out.
The game is set to launch on June 22 for the PS5, and it remains to be seen how players will react to this new gameplay style.