The pivot to an all-action combat system means that Final Fantasy 16 has a higher skill ceiling than many previous entries in the JRPG series. But instead of offering the option of different difficulty levels, Square Enix has created an unusual item-based system that allows them to adjust the game to the level they need by equipping special rings.
Discussing the system as part of a roundtable interview with IGN, combat director Ryot Suzuki explained, “One thing I didn’t want to do when creating this system was to create a system where it was just auto combat, and you’d go into battle and then you’d put the controller down. , it will fight for you and then you pick up the controller again and play again because it separates the experience for different types of players. And the player who automatically chooses a battle doesn’t feel like they’re part of the battle and not participating in it. We didn’t want to do that. That’s when we came up with the idea of accessories. .
These accessories take the form of five different rings that provide combat-softening effects and can be used to reduce the game’s difficulty and make its combat more accessible. Five Rings:
- Focus loop on timeTemporarily reduces the time before enemy attacks connect, giving you more time to react and dodge.
- A ring of timely helpIt automatically issues commands to your pet dog, Torgal.
- A ring of perfectly timed strikesA single press of the attack button activates combo attacks.
- Escape ring in timeIt automatically blocks most attacks.
- Ring of healing in timeIt automatically uses medicines to improve your health.
“We wanted this game to be a gateway for players who don’t have a knack for action games, and show them that action games can be fun, that you can be good, and that it can be good,” he explained. Suzuki.
As we discovered during our demo, items definitely make action combat more accessible. But they may help in terms of accessibility. For instance, well-timed strikes and well-timed dodges can be helpful for disabled players who can’t press multiple buttons quickly.
Only two of these five pieces of equipment can be equipped at any one time. When asked why they couldn’t equip all five at once, producer Naoki Yoshida said: “If you put them all on, basically the player doesn’t have to do anything anymore. So even with two powerful ones, like the Ring of Timely Evasion […] And then perhaps timely strikes […] When you get it down there, you still have to press square and you still have to get out of the way of some things. Even with those two powerful accessories, you’re still part of the action.
Suzuki noted that items designed to help those struggling in action combat could be used by even the most skilled players. “The other thing is that there are different types of players out there,” he said. “You get some players who are very good at practice but always forget to heal. So that’s it [the Ring of Timely Healing] Plus, those players can still focus on the action and they can still use their techniques, but it becomes a quality of life rather than a useful one.
“But you still have to pay attention to how much medication you have left,” cautions Yoshida. “You can’t use them automatically if you don’t have any.”
For more on Final Fantasy 16, read our stories about how it’s made exclusively for PS5 hardware and won’t have hidden dungeons on its world map. You can also read Yoshida’s thoughts on Final Fantasy 16’s approach to diversity of characters and cultures.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.