Why did Final Fantasy move away from the turn based battle system? It’s a question long-time fans of the series, which will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2022, may be asking themselves when searching for games like Final Fantasy 16 and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. And now, we finally have an answer.
GamesRadar+ recently spoke with Final Fantasy 16 producer Naoki Yoshida and he had a clear message for those of you yearning to return to command-based combat. “I understand there are a lot of fans who want to go back to the turn-based battle system but, and it pains me to say this, I’m really sorry we’re not going to do it.” for this iteration of the series. As someone who grew up on turn-based and command-based RPGs, I fully understand their appeal and understand what’s great about them. But…“
There is, of course, a but.
As you may have heard, Final Fantasy 16 features an action battle system. At first glance, it has a lot more in common with Devil May Cry 5 than it does with any of the main Final Fantasy games, with Clive Rosfield reacting in real time to inputs we pound on the controller. So why the sudden change? In fact, it has a lot to do with the strides Square Enix has made in terms of visual fidelity.
“But,” Yoshida-san continues, “one thing we discovered recently is that as the graphics get better and better and the characters get more realistic and photo-realistic, the combination of that realism with the unreal feel of turn-based commands they don’t really fit. You have this kind of weird gap that emerges.”
This is an idea that may help explain the direction Square Enix has gradually been taking in Final Fantasy over the last decade. It has slowly been moving away from old turn-based systems in favor of faster, more reactive instances of combat as it creates larger, more realistic game worlds. The modernization of Final Fantasy is, in part, designed to appeal to a new generation of gamersbut there is this “gap” between presentation and gameplay that the publisher is also trying to close.
“Some people are fine with that. They’re fine with these realistic characters in this kind of unreal system. But on the other hand, there are people who just can’t get over it. I mean, if you have a character holding a gun, why can’t you just hit the button to shoot? Why do you need a command there? So it becomes a question of whether it’s not right or wrong, but it becomes a question of preference for each player.”
Turn based battles are a matter of preference then. Yoshida-san was keen to point out in our conversation that it would be impossible for his team at Creative Business Unit 3 to appeal to 35-year-old Final Fantasy fans – they all want something different. And so, the only option is to move on. We see it reflected in the new trailer for Final Fantasy 16, titled Dominance. It’s all the fluid motion, graceful movement, and colorful power-ups that bring Final Fantasy combat to life in style.
And with the development of Final Fantasy 16 for PS5, with the studio pushing for new levels of realism, fidelity, and detail to take advantage of the next-gen system, you can understand why the realistic graphics it can deliver played a part in the decision to go. . in a more modern, action-focused direction. In fact, as Yoshida-san explains, when the team began developing Final Fantasy 16, maximizing the use of the technological advancements of Sony’s latest hardware was one of his team’s directives.
Looking to the future
“When they were asked by the higher-ups of the company to create Final Fantasy 16, one of their orders was to fully maximize the use of technology,” says Yoshida-san. “And so, in making that decision, we thought that the direction to take [FF16] in that full action [route] it was the way to do it. And in deciding whether, ‘Okay, are we going to take turns or are we going to take action?’ I made the decision to take action.”
Although the decision was made to go with an action system instead of a turn-based or command-based equivalent in Final Fantasy 16, Yoshida-san reiterates that he understands the appeal of these systems and believes they have a future, as long as they are presented properly. properly. “Personally, I’d say if you’re going to do something like that, maybe make the graphics better fit that system by going in a more pixel-graphics direction.”
“But does that mean Final Fantasy’s 17 pixel graphics are confirmed? I don “t know about thatYoshida-san laughs. “Because once you’ve taken graphics this far with FF16, if you decide to go back to pixel graphics with that, then people will be like, ‘Hey, what are you doing here? Why are you going back to pixel graphics?”
The Final Fantasy series hosts a large number of memorable adventures, and among them, different battle systems. The team seems to be striving to offer an accessible real-time combat system in Final Fantasy 16, one that is more in line with modern action games. Does that mean Square Enix will keep the turn-based battle systems locked down in their pixel art revival games like Octopath Traveler, Live A Live or Triangle Strategy, instead of new installments of Final Fantasy? Maybe, but then Yoshida-san says that we should never assume we know what the publisher is going to do next with the franchise.
“Like I said, this isn’t about whether it’s right or wrong, it’s about preference. And then, you know, we like to watch it because that’s why each of the Final Fantasy games is something different. This time we’re going to go this direction, but the next time you have a different team, you’ll have a different direction, you’ll have a different world, and you’ll have a different battle system.”
“And that, leaving that option open, so you don’t get the same thing every time, you get different things for a lot of different players. Because, as I said before, there are a lot of different players, and not everyone agrees on what should being a Final Fantasy. So you can’t put everything together, you just have to keep creating different things until you cover everything.”
Check out our guide to all the most exciting upcoming ps5 games on the horizon