Rumours have swirled around Square Enix supposedly linking up with Team Ninja to create a Final Fantasy spin-off game that's a bit Souls-y. And we may just see a reveal at this year's E3 if we're lucky. Count me intrigued.
Over the last few days, rumours have been flying over Reddit and Resetera around Team Ninja - Koei Tecmo's development team behind the likes of Ninja Gaiden, Nioh and (crucially) Final Fantasy's fighting game spin-off Dissidia NT - hooking up with Square Enix to make this Final Fantasy spin-off.
Fanbyte's news editor Imran Khan checked in with his sources, who corroborated the rumour and suggested that the name of the game is "Final Fantasy Origin".
According to Khan's report, the game appears to be exclusive to Playstation 5, but will have a PC release later down the line. It's also slated to be at Square Enix's E3 showcase as one of their big reveals. An alpha demo may arrive in the summer, too, with the title "Stranger in Paradise". And by paradise, I assume they mean a demon-infested hellscape that needs to be purged with steel, magic, and chocobos.
The report also suggests the game may play like Nioh or Dark Souls, but also be "more accessible for a wider audience". All good with me, as 'punishing' can spill over into 'aggressively unfun'.
The name "Final Fantasy Origin" is worth noting briefly, as "Final Fantasy Origins" is the name for Square Enix's Playstation 1 compilation of FF1 and FF2. Either they're taking things back to the old days, or it's just a placeholder. My vote's with the latter as it just seems a little too close to the PS1 collection.
Is this a combination I'm excited for? Absolutely. I reckon a Souls-like Final Fantasy game could work a treat, and I'm honestly a bit surprised it hasn't happened earlier. I'd like to see a real mixture of the two, perhaps with Nioh's fluid combat and FF's focus on strategy. I'm picturing a hybrid between Dark Souls and FF7 Remake, with the former's tough duels and the latter's ability to stop time briefly to fire off a spell, or sink a potion. The fact it's also supposedly being developed by the same team behind Dissidia NT, which features characters from the series beating each other up, also signals it will have that fast, flashy combat Team Ninja are known for, that looks both crowd-pleasingly good onscreen and is satisfying to pull off under the thumbs.
If this Souls-like Final Fantasy game does arrive, I'm well up for it. Nioh's combat is excellent and combined with FFs storytelling, it seems like a recipe for something very nice indeed. E3 isn't far away now, so we'll just have to wait and see if these rumours turn out to be true or false.