There certain have been a variety of low factors for Last Fantasy as a sequence because the halcyon days of the PS1 Last Fantasy period. As quickly as FF12 was out the door, the sequence started to stumble – weighed down by its personal legacy, so determined to reinvent and re-establish its place as an business chief that it regularly made guarantees it couldn’t maintain.
This pre-adolescent id disaster manifested most clearly within the Last Fantasy 13 trilogy, the place Sq. Enix tried its damnedest to develop a recreation worthy of the sequence’ identify, however got here up towards drawback after drawback after drawback – all underlined by the Crystal Instruments engine, an incomplete and inefficient platform that hobbled each Last Fantasy 13, and the doomed preliminary launch of Last Fantasy 14, too.
Rumor has it that a lot money and time was spent on making this engine work that Sq. Enix determined it wanted to extract as a lot juice from Crystal Instruments because it might as soon as it was (lastly) up and operating. Therefore, the Last Fantasy 13 trilogy was born. The entire thing was a little bit of a farce, culminating in Last Fantasy 13: Lightning Returns – a recreation developed in 18 months with a genuinely good battle system on the coronary heart of it, however little else to put in writing dwelling about outdoors of that.
Right here it's, the notorious FF13 pooch. Take a look at its face!
The sport was one thing of a dichotomy; on one aspect you had lush environments, unimaginable pre-rendered cutscenes, and methods that appear to be actively apologising for the duology of video games that got here earlier than. On the opposite aspect, you've… this canine. The results of making an engine not designed for open world gameplay do… open world gameplay. This canine wasn’t just a few background asset that was solely humorous if you happen to bought shut sufficient to essentially interrogate it, just like the cheering crowds in racing video games. No. This canine took centre stage. It may very well be present in a hub. There was an entire quest revolving round it.
This little PS1-style pooch was a central asset in Lightning Returns, and have become one thing of a lightning rod (no pun meant) for the standard of the sport as an entire. On this one canine creature, the rushed improvement and obvious lack of take care of Sq. Enix’s prized franchise was lionised. Poor little man.
That is the FF16 canine. You will see him a number of instances in your journey.
So, why the historical past lesson? Effectively, as a result of Last Fantasy 16 additionally has a low-poly canine. The beagle has landed, once more. However, in comparison with Lightning Returns, this low-poly pooch appears a rattling sight higher – and represents simply how far the corporate has come, actually. As a substitute of being a PS1-looking canine in a PS3 recreation, our barking pal in FF16 appears extra like a PS4 canine in a PS5 recreation. That’s an enchancment of three entire console generations!
This new canine – a extra throwaway asset than the one in Lightning Returns – matches into its world higher. Positive, it’s a much less curated creature than Torgal (beneath) however you solely see this flap-eared critter a few instances within the recreation; it’s not a companion you've by your aspect all through. It doesn’t look misplaced, and it doesn’t break your immersion; as a lot care and a spotlight has been positioned on this canine because the grapes you come throughout earlier within the recreation.
Essentially the most good-looking companion.
Last Fantasy 16 is definitely probably the most polished and full video games we’ve seen at launch for some time. Higher but, it’s a technical showcase that actually outlines what this present technology can do. It’s an costly, well-executed instance of what huge funds video games can and must be doing in 2023.
And it’s becoming that a bit low-poly canine has the facility to indicate that off. Good boy.
Last Fantasy 16 is out now on PS5, and can come to PC at a later date. In all probability. You'll be able to learn our 4-star FF16 evaluate on the hyperlink.