The fully functional combat system means that Final Fantasy 16 will have a higher skill ceiling than many of the previous, seminal entries in the JRPG series, at least as far as dexterity is concerned. But instead of offering a choice of different difficulty levels, Square Enix has created a new item-based system that will allow players to adjust the game to the required level by providing special rings.
Discussing the system as part of an interview with IGN, combat director Ryoto Suzuki stated that “when making this system, the one thing I didn’t want to do was create a system where the combat is just auto, that you” d get to the fight and then you put the controller down, it will fight for you, then you take the controller back and play again. Because then this divides the experience for different types of players. Also, the A game that chooses a car fight doesn’t feel like they’re in the fight and they don’t participate in the fight. And we don’t want to do that. That’s why we have the idea of accessories.”
These accessories take the form of five different rings that provide the effect of simplifying the battle, and can be used to reduce the difficulty of the game and make its combat easier. The five rings are:
- Time Focus Ringwhich temporarily slows down the time before enemy attacks connect, giving you more time to react and dodge.
- Time Help Ringwhich automatically issues commands to your dog, Torgal.
- Time Strike Ringwhich executes attacks with just one click of the attack button.
- Time Avoidance Ringwhich auto-dodges most attacks.
- Ring of Timely Healingwhich automatically uses potions to keep you healthy.
“We want this game to be kind of a gateway for players who are not good at sports to get into the genre and show them that sports can be fun and you can be good at it and it can be feeling good,” he said. Suzuki.
As we found out during our hands-on demo, things definitely make the job more approachable. But they can also help to gain access. For example, disabled players who are unable to quickly input multiple key presses may find the Ring of Timely Strikes and Timely Evasion helpful.
Only two of these five devices can be worn at any one time. When asked why not all five instruments could be played at once, producer Naoki Yoshida said: “If you put them all together, then the actor doesn’t actually have to do anything again. So even the second most powerful, like the Time Absence Ring […] and then maybe a strike […] when you get it down there, although you still have to press square and you still have to get out of the way of other things. Even with those two most powerful accessories on, you’re still part of the action.”
Suzuki notes that while the items are made to help those who struggle with performance, even the most experienced athletes can find use in them. “The other thing is that there are so many different types of players out there,” he said. “You will have some players who are very good at work but they always forget to heal. And so by having [the Ring of Timely Healing] accessories, these players can focus on work and still be able to use their skills, but it becomes more of a quality of life thing rather than a helpful thing.”
“But you still have to pay attention to how much medicine you have left,” warns Yoshida. “You can’t automatically use them if you don’t have them.”
For more about Final Fantasy 16, read our stories about how it is only possible to make it for PS5 equipment, and how its world map will not have hidden secrets. You can also read Yoshida’s commentary on the Final Fantasy 16 system about its diversity of characters and cultures.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Features Editor.
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