While there’s still more to be revealed, many fans are likely happy with everything revealed so far with Final Fantasy 16. The Eikons, the political intrigue, and the fates of Clive and Joshua are all intriguing, and it seems to have promise. Of course, until it releases, there’s no way to know for sure.
For example, much of the above could be said about Final Fantasy 15 following its initial. It’s a divisive entry, to say the least, with many loving it and some hating it. However one feels about it, it’s hard to deny that there’s one fatal flaw in its design—fully realized in its DLC run—that it’s super important Final Fantasy 16 skips.
It’s not certain yet, of course, whether the new game will feature DLC. Final Fantasy 16 needs to release first, and that’s where Square Enix’s priorities should be. But it’s becoming more commonplace in the industry, and it’s likely to bolster engagement with FF16…if done right.
Final Fantasy 15 DLCs’ Fatal Flaw
Final Fantasy 15 had several promising DLCs in the works, before they were abruptly canceled. Its most promising episodes—Episodes Aranea, Lunafreya, and Noctis—would never see the light of day. Episode Ardyn was a good DLC to end on, but it didn’t have much momentum going into its release. This is because Episodes Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto filled in holes that were obviously and intentionally left it in the core game.
Oftentimes, when someone lobbies the “cut it from the game to sale as DLC” argument against DLC, it doesn’t quite hold up. But with Final Fantasy 15, it’s hard to ignore that BIG parts of the game were missing and then filled in with DLC. Episode Gladiolus fills in what happens when he leaves the party early in the game, Episode Ignis fills in what happens when he is separated from Noctis in chapter 9, and Episode Prompto fills in his capture during chapter 12. Without these, the importance of these events goes unstated in the base campaign, including the major reveal about Prompto.
Even though Episode Ardyn added tons of context that built up the world, it feels like information that was vital to understanding the base campaign. This may be because the other DLCs made the base campaign feel like it was intentionally not giving players info to package it into DLC later. The Gladio, Ignis, and Prompto episodes all covered information that feels like it should have been part of the base game. It’s not exactly like the DLC filled intentional plot holes, but it feels a little too close to that for comfort.
Final Fantasy 16 Should Not Have These Narrative Gaps
So, in short, Final Fantasy 16 has to be story and narrative complete at launch. DLC is a great way to bring more stories into a game, but Final Fantasy 15 omitted key details that came out later in DLC.
It’s hard to say what these stories could be—perhaps it’s an exploration of past events like Episode Ardyn, perhaps it’s a new country coming into play in Valisthea, or perhaps it’s just a new story boiling over by the endgame. Either way, as long as it’s something new and not something that feels pulled out of the base campaign, Final Fantasy 16 DLC—if it happens—would be off to a good start.
Final Fantasy 16 releases summer 2023 for PS5.
MORE: Final Fantasy 15 and Final Fantasy 16 Seem Likely Completely Different Franchises