Final Fantasy is a series that likes to try its hand at a lot of different genres, but we finally have confirmation as to whether or not FF16 is an open world title.
In recent history, we saw Final Fantasy 15 attempt an open-world setting, complete with a car to drive around the environment freely. FF14, of course, is an MMORPG with an enormous world to explore.
That said, while the recent Final Fantasy 7 Remake comes with some open-world elements – by and large, the game is linear.
So which of its predecessors does FF16 most closely resemble?
Is FF16 Open World?
No, Final Fantasy 16 is not an open world title, according to publisher Square Enix. The decision to create a more linear experience was reportedly decided upon early in FF16’s development.
According to Producer Naoki Yoshida, the most important reason behind this decision was to ensure that the gameplay of Final Fantasy 16 fits with its story.
“We had the story we wanted to tell, and we knew from the beginning that it wouldn’t work in an open-world structure, Yoshida confirmed in an interview with MeriStation. “So we decided not to do it that way.”
The Producer stated that for himself and the other developers, the “essence of the Final Fantasy story is not about going to a single area and having the whole adventure there.”
Instead, the adventure takes place over several regions of Valisthea, which would make the open-world format a little tricky to implement.
Why Is Final Fantasy 16 Not Open World?
Final Fantasy 16’s opening takes place in Rosaria, the birthplace of protagonist Clive, and it is there that the story kicks off.
However, before long, players will depart to the Republic of Dhalmekia – a nation that’s 1,000 kilometers away, across an enormous desert.
Should the game be open world, players would either have to have Clive hopping aboard a Chocobo for a ridiculously long trip, or the development team would have to fill the desert with activities for players to explore.
“If we implement fast travel, why build a giant desert?” Yoshida continues. “Having an open world is not a right or wrong answer, it depends on what kind of story and gameplay you want to do.”
That’s not to say that FF16 will be incredibly linear. Much like Final Fantasy 7 Remake, we can expect Clive and his party to be able to explore smaller, more compact areas of the world.
But it seems that fast traveling around to re-visit major areas is out of the question. If you’re yearning to return to a previous location, you’ll need to save that for FF16’s incredible New Game Plus offering.