While the Final Fantasy VII Remake offered both action-based and turn-based combat options, Final Fantasy XVI sticks to the action portion only, leaving the series’ signature turn-based combat off the table.
Speaking with Gamesradarexplains Final Fantasy XVI producer Naoki Yoshida that the increasingly realistic graphics in games are making it harder for some fans to accept the old-fashioned turn-based combat system.
I understand there are many fans who wish a return to the turn-based combat system, but – and it pains me to say this – I’m really sorry we’re not going to do that for this rerun of the series. As someone who grew up with turn-based, command-based role-playing games, I fully understand their appeal and understand what’s great about them.
But one thing we discovered recently is that as the graphics get better and better, and as characters get more realistic and photo-realistic, the combination of that realism with the very surreal feel of turn-based commands doesn’t really fit together. You have such a strange gap coming up. Some people are fine with it. They are fine with having these realistic characters in this unreal system. But on the other hand, there are also people who just can’t get over it. I mean, if you have a character with a gun, why can’t you just press the button to get the gunfire – why do you need a command there? And so it becomes a matter of not right or wrong, but it becomes a matter of preferences for each different player.
When the higher circles in the company asked them to make Final Fantasy XVI, one of their assignments was to take full advantage of the technology. So when we made that decision, we thought the direction to take that full action was the way to do it. And when deciding whether ‘okay, are we going turn-based or are we going into action?’ I have made the decision to act.
It is certainly a valid point to make. That doesn’t mean Yoshida believes this is the end of turn-based combat in Final Fantasy games, though. He thinks the next game might as well include pixelated graphics and turn-based combat, since after all, the defining feature of the IP is its ability to switch completely between different episodes.
Final Fantasy XVI will launch sometime in Summer 2023 for PlayStation 5. It won’t be a fully open world game like Yoshida-san confirmed yesterday†