Final Fantasy XVI

Platform(s): PlayStation 5
Genre: RPG/Action
Publisher: Square Enix
Release Date: June 22, 2023


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PS5 Review - 'Final Fantasy XVI' Echoes of the Fallen DLC

by Chris "Atom" DeAngelus on Dec. 11, 2023 @ 12:45 a.m. PST

Final Fantasy XVI brings players into a world where Eikons are powerful and deadly creatures that reside within Dominants—a single man or woman who is blessed with the ability to call upon their dreaded power.

Echoes of the Fallen starts near the endgame of Final Fantasy XVI. With the Origin in the sky and the Mothercrystals destroyed, it seemed like Clive's mission was nearing its end. However, Charon brings Clive's attention to a new type of crystal, known as Dusk Crystals. They are significantly weaker than the standard, but their source is unknown. This raises the threat of there being another, unknown, Mothercrystal that Clive missed, and that could threaten the entire world. Clive must track down the source of the crystals, with his journey leading him to a mysterious tower called The Sagespire.

The bulk of the DLC's content is centered on The Sagespire, which is a brand-new dungeon. It's a bit longer than a standard dungeon but follows the same basic sensibilities as the previous ones, with a repeating pattern of mobs and then bosses. Most of the mobs are familiar enemies, but there are a few twists. There's a new status effect that enemies can give each other called Hearthfire, which functions like Clive's Will o' The Wisp spell. Hearthfire surrounds enemies in a shield that requires ranged damage to take down, and it will damage Clive if he tries to melee; this would've been more impactful earlier in the game instead of toward the end, where I can deploy Gigaflare at will.

The boss fights are largely fun and well designed. The fight against Omega, one of the recurring bosses in the franchise, is the big set piece of the DLC. It's a really cool fight and is one of the best on-foot fights in the game, with a ton of different attacks to weave around, really great visuals, and a fantastic remix of Omega's theme from Final Fantasy XIV to round it out. The only real complaint I have about the game is that it doesn't have one of the cool expanded Eikon fights, which genuinely feels like a missed opportunity.

There is a handful of new pieces of equipment to be found in the tower. This includes a set of armor that, on Final Fantasy mode, is better than the current best armor in the game, and there's a new weapon that is just one step below the Ultima Weapon. Finishing the DLC also lets you craft a weapon that is identical in stats to the Ultima Weapon, but it has a new design. None of this is particularly game-changing, but the new equipment might be nice for the next DLC down the line. There's also a Buster Sword weapon that is useless for anything but being a cosmetic overlay for your weapon, but it's a nice bonus.

The actual items that will be of interest to those players who've gotten into the Arcade mode are the new Bit accessories. The accessories are found throughout The Sagespire and are all exceptionally powerful; they're probably the new best in the game. One shows you the timing needed to parry enemy attacks and improve the slowdown. Another reduces cooldowns every time you perfectly dodge. A third improves the effects of your Limit Break and causes it to automatically trigger if you take lethal damage. They're a lot more fun and interesting than most of the standard accessories, showing the developers clearly took that criticism to heart.

Ultimately, Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen DLC is just another FF16 dungeon, albeit a fun one. There's a bit of scattered lore and a thin story to justify the exact events, but you're paying $10 for one more dungeon with a cool boss fight. If you were hoping for something a bit meatier or delves into some of the mysteries of the setting, you're probably going to be disappointed. Echoes of the Fallen feels more like fan service and a precursor to the upcoming The Rising Tide DLC.

Score: 7.5/10

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