The Final Fantasy franchise thrives on Final Fantasy 16 right around the corner. While Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion leading the charge in late 2022, Final Fantasy 16 comes out just half a year later, followed by Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth in 2023’s final months. It’s going to be a wild year for Final Fantasy fans, especially those who enjoy the action-oriented direction this long-running series has taken.
Final Fantasy 16 looks to be the most action-packed entry yet. The game takes heavy inspiration from the hack-and-slash genre, even though it is a classic Final Fantasy tropes have not been left behind. The usual iconography of Chocobos, Moogles and crystals will be around, as will FF16‘s takes on various classic jobs and a leveling system. However, amid recent interviews detailing side quests and other content, it has emerged that there will be a New Game+ mode in the final game. This may not sound significant, but it is a big deal too Final Fantasy franchise.
New Game+ is a great value addition for RPGs
In the grand scheme of the RPG genre, New Game+ is a regular mode. It is not a constant, and there are good reasons why. New Game+ is a bonus feature that is usually unlocked after the player has beaten a game, or at least seen an ending. Some form of progress from the first playthrough carries over to the second, whether it’s stats and equipment or specific mission completions. New Game+ can increase the amount of time a player spends on a game, but if nothing else changes, there’s no benefit beyond tackling early challenges with later skills.
A number of games try to make their second playthrough worthwhile, and various methods can be seen throughout the RPG genre. The Narratives games are highly regarded for New Game+, as most modes allow players to exchange a special currency for various modifiers on their next playthrough. Few other RPGs match this, but some still put their best foot forward with additional content in New Game+. Sometimes this takes the form of a new difficulty mode, which justifies transferring the player’s accumulated strength. Other New Game+ modes add new bosses, challenges, or other assorted extras.
Final Fantasy has a short history of New Game+
With all that said, Final Fantasy don’t use New Game+ often. The first instance of the franchise comes from Final Fantasy 10-2with DS remake of Final Fantasy 4 follows shortly after. The games mentioned have fairly basic New Game+ forms, although extra features have been added to each. The International Zodiac job system liberation of Final Fantasy 12 added a new game+ where characters start at level 90, as well as a new game – where characters start at minimum levels and cannot gain experience. The only other numbered FF which has a “regular” New Game+ is Final Fantasy 15although it came in an update.
Other titles get more creative in their implementation. Final Fantasy 7 Remake has a New Game+ function, which FF7RChapter selection and hard mode offer similar ideas presented differently, with hard mode dramatically changing the gameplay. So it is Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13, which has a New Game+ available even if the previous playthrough failed. Once again, hard mode is unlocked, and a large number of mechanical changes are applied. Final Fantasy 14 also got a chapter selection patched late in life, which was eventually expanded to include some side quests. Finally comes one of the most significant New Game+ modes in the franchise Final Fantasy Type-0which adds new Code Crimson story missions and a true ending.
How New Game+ could work in Final Fantasy 16
Final Fantasy 16 is the first time a main line Final Fantasy the title will have New Game+ at launch, which may come as a surprise to longtime fans. The mode is expected to do the usual tasks of bringing out protagonist Clive Rosfield’s levels, abilities and equipment. There was also mention of adjusting enemies to match the player’s increased level, although how this interacts with difficulty levels is unclear.
It is especially strange for Final Fantasy 16 being the recipient of the series’ first mainline New Game+ mode because it’s not a typical RPG. By the sounds of it, it’s going to follow a broad-linear structure similar to its action-RPG brethren Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy. Clive will move through different areas and story beats, with progression often taking the form of linear battles. As the game takes some inspiration from games like devil may cryClive’s abilities and the player’s skills matter more than the usual statistical advantages of a new game+.
Coming in with endgame experience and most of Eikon’s abilities will unbalance early gameplay, so players could be looking at a remixed New Game+ along the lines of Final Fantasy 7 Remakeits hard mode. It will be interesting to see how this feature is handled, but New Game+ and the other difficulty settings should add replay value to Final Fantasy 16its action-oriented adventure.
Final Fantasy 16 will be released in summer 2023 for PS5.
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