Square Enix have released a new cinematic (with a teeny sliver of gameplay) trailer for Final Fantasy 16 today, and crikey, there's a heck of a lot of summons action in there. Technically, the summons are called Eikons in this version of Squeenix's long-running JRPG series, and from the looks of the trailer, you'll be battling as them directly in big, dramatic battle sequences. A bit like in Final Fantasy X, just with an infinitely higher number of enormous explosions. Let's take a look, shall we?
Eikons and their specially chosen human wielders, known as Dominants, look like they're going to be a major theme for Final Fantasy 16. The trailer introduces us to all the major players in the game, including the newly announced Dominants of Odin and Bahamut, the wanderer Barnabas Tharmr and the crown prince of the Holy Empire of Sanbreque, Dion Lesage. But it also touches on some deeper themes about their place in the world and how their respective kingdoms have used (and most likely abused) their cosmic powers. I'm intrigued to see how this plays out in the game's wider story, as it looks like there will be plenty of politicking involved and nationwide back-stabbing. Mostly, though, I'm just looking forward to Clive fighting Odin on a big spinning plate.
FF16 producer Naoki Yoshida and director Hiroshi Takai explained more about the new trailer over on the PlayStation Blog, saying they wanted to focus on the game's lore this time round, instead of the action (although, let's face it, there's still plenty of action to be seen here). It's mostly all cinematics, but it does include some very quick, and slightly chaotic, snippets of the game's real-time battle system. It's all over in the blink of an eye, but cor, it sure does look pretty spectacular.
Yoshida also re-iterated that "the team has turned the corner and entered the home stretch" on the game's development, and that they're "currently concentrating its efforts on debugging, tweaking, polishing, and optimization" - a sentiment he expressed the last time they showed off a new trailer for the game back in June.
Alas, the trailer still ended with a vague Summer 2023 release window rather than anything more specific, but if all goes well, here's hoping it won't get delayed again.