We’ve seen a couple of trailers for Final fantasy XVI now, with the latest one showing more combat gameplay involving protagonist Clive. But these showcases only show him facing his foes alone, without any party members of any sort. But according to an interview with producer Naoki Yoshida by GamesRadar+, the producer says that the game will have “fully AI-driven characters in battle.
To quote the report, Yoshida says that “spreading out battle controls across multiple party members could end up hindering the action or making it more complicated”. As a result, Final Fantasy XVI will have you controlling Clive the whole time.
Which is very bad news, especially if you didn’t like the combat system of Final Fantasy XV pre-DLC, when you could only control Noctis. Post DLC, the game allowed you to control the other three party members using their control schemes from their respective DLC. This made the combat in FF15 so much better. Not only did it make combat a lot less bland, controlling any of the other characters increased your party’s DPS exponentially.
But with all its weaknesses also comes its strengths, in a sense. In addition to drawing aggro and helping with dealing damage, there will be party banter among the AI companions in FF16. And at certain parts of the story, you’ll have additional characters join or leave your party. Basically all the good parts of the FF15 party system, outside of battle.
In the interview, Yoshida also says that some of these Final Fantasy XVI party members will also play big roles in the story, and have their own arcs. Hopefully these are well-told within the story, in a coherent flow, and not get sequestered behind post-launch paid DLC the way FF15 was.
As for why none of these was shown during the most recent Final Fantasy XVI trailer, Yoshida says that this is to not overload players with too much information. Which is probably a good call, since the epic battles between Eikons is something that’s new and more interesting to look at in comparison.