With the next trailer for the game set to be released this fall, Famitsu and Yoshida discussed the paths Square Enix took to sign this new installment that is expected to be recalled on PS5 in the summer of 2023. One of the big confirmations last month was the absence of an open world structure, a format chosen by its predecessor released in November 2016 and whose limits we could also have seen from some point of the story.
At a time when Elden Ring has taken FromSoftware to another dimension, it’s easy to imagine how much Final Fantasy 16 could have been on a mission by adopting the codes of the open world. However, according to Naoki Yoshida, the game’s structure was decided from the beginning of the project, so the open world was quickly discarded as it was deemed incompatible with the project’s narrative ambitions, according to comments transcribed by the VGC site.
“I believe that an open world does not fit what we intend to do“, Yoshida estimated from the start of the project, taking into account both the outlines of the game design and the strengths of his team. The outlines in question were as follows: “I want a hero who saves the world because it’s Final Fantasy. I want a subpoena that goes wild and destroys the map. I want to release the game as soon as possible. And I can’t make it out in parts“, Yoshida sums up.
“Given these four main points, I believe that it is not possible to have everything. If we had had a development period of about 15 years, we might have had the chance to challenge ourselves with an open world“, he adds with a smile. Yoshida is formal: integrated in an open world, Final Fantasy 16 would have blown all the meters when it came to production time and cost. “To deliver what we believe to be the best story, in a cinematic-quality gaming experience, we didn’t need an open world‘ adds the producer.
While the freedom inherent in the open world is often appreciated and the player can leave the story to get lost in nature, the choice of structure of Final Fantasy 16 also seems to be a matter of rhythm. “We’ve done what it takes to make sure you can experience the game and its story without experiencing loading timesFor example, Naoki Yoshida underlines before praising the quality of the screenplay, the acting, and the twists and turns of his playing.
And it’s probably also for a matter of rhythm that Square Enix opted for real-time combat, a choice that also seems more natural for a major modern production and which had already been adopted by Final Fantasy 15. While Naoki Yoshida admits he’s part of the generation that grew up with turn-based RPGs, real-time combat quickly forced his way, especially so as not to cut himself off from the younger generation who don’t necessarily feel much nostalgia for a menu of commands.
“Like I said, I think I know the fun of turn-based RPGs, and I want to keep developing them, but I was thinking about the sales targets for Final Fantasy 16 and the impact we need to makeYoshida recognizes. “Over the past 10 years I’ve heard more and more people say they don’t understand the value of having to choose orders. It’s an opinion that’s only growing, especially among a younger audience that doesn’t exactly play RPGs.”he adds.
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