Final Fantasy XVI

This is an image from the video game "Final Fantasy XVI.” (OSV News photo/Square Enix)

(OSV News) – Even as the action roleplaying title “Final Fantasy XVI” (Square Enix) invites gamers to reflect on inequality and discrimination, it also gives them the chance to fight for a better future in its fictional world. These appealing characteristics, however, come accompanied by content that’s suitable for grown-ups only.

With a blight sparking armed conflict among the six nations that make up the larger realm of Valisthea, the player-controlled protagonist, Prince Clive (voice of Ben Starr), sets himself two goals. First, to find his missing brother, Joshua (voice of Jonathan Case), and ultimately to prevent the drought by which Valisthea is beset from destroying its civilization completely.

Clive is joined on his double quest by two principal allies: his childhood friend Jill (voice of Susannah Fielding) and a rebel called Cid (voice of Ralph Ineson). As for Clive himself, while he’s something of a reluctant warrior, he demonstrates the qualities of a true hero.

This is an image from the video game “Final Fantasy XVI.” (OSV News photo/Square Enix)

Thus he frequently shows remorse when forced to kill, whether his adversaries are human or fantastical creatures. Clive has a shadowed past with which to deal, moreover, having been displaced from the line of royal succession and enslaved by a power-hungry enemy country.

Yet, far from allowing these misfortunes to embitter him, he remains idealistic.

Clive is especially solicitous for the welfare of Valisthea’s most downtrodden, namely, those born with the ability to wield magic. Viewed as second-class citizens, they’re liable, if discovered as infants, to be taken away from their families, branded and raised as slaves. The exercise of their powers also takes a toll on their bodies, with excessive use causing petrification and death.

Generally, the game’s depiction of warfare is relatively mild, though cinematic cutscenes do portray dismemberment and some gore. Additionally, as a result of the systematic oppression prevailing in Valisthea, Clive comes across the corpses of innocent villagers who have been hanged and left to decay as a public warning to passersby.

Confronted by such gruesome sights, Clive displays compassion and kindness, often seeing to it that the dishonored bodies are buried with dignity and respect. Thus he carries out one of the corporal works of mercy traditionally highlighted in Catholic theology.

This title’s treatment of sexual matters is not, unfortunately, as restrained as its approach to violence. Albeit infrequently, some cutscenes show bedroom encounters, though the nudity of those engaged in them is obscured. The inclusion of such material necessarily puts “Final Fantasy XVI” beyond the reach of youthful gamers, its numerous virtues notwithstanding.

Playable on PlayStation 5.

The game contains mostly stylized combat with occasional blood effects and grisly sights, semi-graphic sexual activity with partial male and female nudity and some rough language. The OSV News classification is A-III – adults. The Entertainment Software Rating Board rating is M – mature.

Scroll to Top