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Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen Review – Shards of Destiny

Echoes of the Fallen is the first major expansion for Final Fantasy XVI and is included in the game’s season pass. It’s one of two expansions planned for the game, with the next one expected to be released in 2024. These expansions are designed to serve as an epilogue to the main story, aiming to provide a definitive conclusion and tie up any loose ends in the plot.

Final Fantasy XVI, celebrated as one of the standout games of 2023, represented a notable shift in the series. It moved away from the classic party-based gameplay typical of previous entries and focused instead on character-action gameplay centered around a single protagonist. This new direction was well received by both players and critics, highlighting a successful evolution in the series. For those who finished the main storyline, there may have been a sense of some narrative elements being left open-ended or possibly reserved for future installments. While there’s no direct sequel planned, Echoes of the Fallen aims to address and expand upon these remaining narrative elements, enriching the overall story of Final Fantasy XVI.

In the Echoes of the Fallen expansion for Final Fantasy XVI, the narrative content, while not extensive, adds a meaningful dimension to the game. Players who have finished Final Fantasy XVI will need a save file just before the final dungeon. This save can be used to begin the DLC quest, and this is true even for players who have started the new game plus mode. This setup ensures a smooth transition into the expansion.

The expansion introduces a new plot element: a mysterious Mothercrystal that has started to be exploited and mined by the public. Clive and his allies, who had previously destroyed the sources of the Mothercrystal, are intrigued and confused by the appearance of this new crystal, symbolized by a shard they come across. Their investigation into the origins of this new crystal leads them to a tower, which they must scale and ultimately dismantle. This DLC not only extends the current storyline but also acts as a vital bridge to the forthcoming second expansion, The Rising Tide. Despite its concise nature, it’s a crucial addition to the overarching narrative of Final Fantasy XVI.

Fans of the combat in Final Fantasy XVI will find much to enjoy in the Echoes of the Fallen DLC, as it introduces a set of new and challenging battles, including a significant boss encounter. The combat mechanics remain as immersive as they were in the main game, but players may need some time to get used to the controls again. Since the DLC continues from near the end of the main storyline and doesn’t offer a tutorial on the controls, players are expected to re-familiarize themselves with the gameplay mechanics on their own.

Regarding the duration, Echoes of the Fallen is quite short compared to the main game. Final Fantasy XVI provided a rich experience filled with a variety of quests, hunts, and opportunities for equipment upgrades. In contrast, this DLC can be finished in just a few hours. My experience of playing through the expansion was under 5 hours. While this length isn’t excessively brief, it might not feel as crucial to the overall narrative. For those contemplating the right time to return to the game, it might be more satisfying to wait for the release of the more extensive The Rising Tide expansion, which promises a more significant addition to the world of Final Fantasy XVI.

If you enjoyed the combat in Final Fantasy XVI, the Echoes of the Fallen DLC offers a good reason to revisit the game. It’s an ideal time to try out the New Game Plus mode, especially on the challenging ‘Final Fantasy’ difficulty setting. However, if you were more drawn to the game’s narrative than its combat, this DLC might not entirely satisfy your expectations. In that case, waiting for The Rising Tide, the upcoming expansion, might be a better choice. This next expansion is expected to be more extensive, with a stronger focus on story development and the addition of a significant summon, which should appeal more to those who are story-driven.

From my experience, Echoes of the Fallen was enjoyable, but I felt that splitting the content into two parts somewhat lessened the impact of the story. While I understand the developers’ desire to give fans a taste of the new content sooner, this approach seemed to dilute the narrative focus. This was somewhat disappointing, as there was potential for the expansion to offer a more substantial and unified story experience.

Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen Game Information

  • Price: $24.99
  • Publisher: Square Enix
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
  • Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher
Score
8

Summary

Echoes of the Fallen, the first expansion for Final Fantasy XVI, extends the main story with a new quest and enriches gameplay, but its short duration and segmented narrative set the stage for the more anticipated expansion, The Rising Tide.

Total Rating

8.0
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Salal Awan

Salal's main hobby is photography but he is also interested in learning the latest about Technology including Smartphones and PC Hardware. He is the co-founder of Twisted Voxel and always on the lookout for the news.

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