June 7, 2023

There’s a sequence early in Remaining Fantasy XVI that made me cringe. A couple of dramatic plot beats, together with just a few throat-cuttings and a child getting hosed like he’s in a slasher movie, lead right into a battle between two characters in beastly types. The top result’s bloody—like, actually bloody, because the victor repeatedly smashes the opposite’s cranium and the digital camera focuses on the crimson smears round them. Then there’s the squishing, the terrible, high-fidelity, moist, juicy fruit-fisting squishing that accompanies the entire thing.

It’s a bit gross. And as a longtime Remaining Fantasy participant, greater than a bit surprising.   

With Remaining Fantasy XVI, Sq. Enix returns the collection to a extra conventional fantasy-based setting: a world of magic, warring kingdoms, and otherworldly creatures. Nations depend on Dominants, a handful of particular people with the facility to rework into Eikons—large, highly effective entities with the flexibility to tear aside whole battlefields—to keep up their sovereignty. Clive, the sport’s lead, is the sworn protector of his kingdom’s Dominant, and his youthful brother, Joshua. However issues go mistaken, as they’re wont to do, and Clive’s life is shattered, leaving him to hunt vengeance. With this vengeance comes Sport of Thrones–esque plotting, gore, and extra risqué scenes than the collection has had earlier than. 

Remaining Fantasy has by no means been a death- and even violence-free collection. Remaining Fantasy VII, launched in 1997, is thought for the collection’ most surprising demise—a swift homicide the place a beloved character takes a roughly 8-foot sword to the torso in a cold execution. Different video games like Remaining Fantasy Kind-0, a very darkish entry, gave its solid a wide range of particularly bloody deaths. However there’s one thing completely different about how Remaining Fantasy XVI feels this time round. Throughout a latest five-hour demo of the sport, I performed by lots of murders, beheadings (or so it appeared—they befell simply off-camera), individuals liquidated by falling rocks, a sound menace to chop a child’s throat, and a steamy reunion between lovers that added a wall as their third. It’s Remaining Fantasy by the use of HBO.

In case you purchase one thing utilizing hyperlinks in our tales, we could earn a fee. This helps help our journalism. Study extra.

Producer Naoki Yoshida has talked in regards to the Remaining Fantasy XVI crew’s eager curiosity in telling a darker story, one which’s landed them a series-rarity “mature” ranking. ​​“It’s not like we need to exit of our strategy to create one thing that’s violent,” Yoshida advised WIRED in February. “We need to exit of our strategy to create one thing that feels actual.” Whereas I’ve by no means been a part of a medieval-esque warring nation with magical crystals, Remaining Fantasy XVI does clearly—and instantly—solid apart any fairy-tale notions that gamers are in for a smooth journey.

To be clear, the sport is just not all blood splatters and sexy hookups. The part I performed was easy, with out a lot room to discover, however battles really feel enjoyable and fast-paced. The sport eschews a typical occasion construction and retains gamers firmly in control of Clive and Clive alone. He can subject instructions to his loyal hound throughout battles, however anybody else who joins for a battle does their very own factor. Whereas I didn’t get entry to his full vary of skills, Clive does acquire Eikon-specific strikes as the sport goes on, that means gamers can rapidly swap between a fiery spin from a Phoenix, for instance, to one thing swift from a wind-based Eikon.

Most Remaining Fantasy video games take upward of 40 hours to play—I solely acquired 5. Will the entire thing be a shock to the methods of longtime gamers? They will have to attend till XVI comes out on June 22 to know for positive. However one factor is evident: This isn’t going to be a highway journey with the boys. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *