Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes Of The Fallen Review – Lost In The Echo

Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes Of The Fallen Review - Lost In The Echo

Final Fantasy XVI was one of 2023’s most successful and acclaimed titles, and fans have been clamoring for more. Square-Enix have heard the pleas from fans, and recently announced a double dose of DLC for Final Fantasy XVI, the first of which, titled Echoes Of The Fallen, launched day and date with the announcement, following The Game Awards 2023. Echoes Of The Fallen is another opportunity for fans of XVI to jump back into the world of Valisthea, with Clive Rosfield and co, and while it is fantastic to be back, Echoes Of The Fallen’s 2-3 hour duration fails to inspire in the same way that the core game does.

Upon the completion of the core Final Fantasy XVI narrative, players are whisked back to a point immediately prior to engaging in the final mission, and that is where the Echoes Of The Fallen plotline begins. Assuming that the player has completed a small number of pre-requisite side-quests, a conversation with Charon is what spurs the Echoes Of The Fallen questline, a story that unfolds about a secret other Mothercrystal, one that is man-made, and presents another curveball in the broader Final Fantasy XVI narrative. Upon learning of this new Mothercrystal, Clive, Jill, and Joshua embark on yet another quest to destroy this mysterious new menace, and the Eikon associated with it. While it is hard to heavily invest in the narrative expansion due to its positioning within a broader narrative that has itself, already played out, hence guaranteeing the narrative weight to be minimal, it’s an engaging plotline nonetheless. The dynamics of the people responsible for the construction and maintained secrecy of the dusk crystal is intriguing, while the setting and combat are fascinating to be apart of.

One of the big omissions from the core Final Fantasy XVI experience was that of the superboss, the non-essential big bad who you could take down for plentiful rewards (or personal satisfaction) and yet, had no bearing at all on the core plotline. With Echoes Of The Fallen entering the mix, players now get their Superboss, Omega, and the build up to the encounter as well as the the fight itself are just as refreshing as the main campaign. Echoes Of The Fallen adds a couple of new variables to the mix in the combat arena, with enemies being more aggressive, and possessing the ability to throw up a shield that reflects physical damage back at Clive and the party. Beyond this, the Final Fantasy XVI playing experience has been respectfully preserved through this expansion.

Echoes Of The Fallen also takes us through a previously unexplored nook of Valisthea, a Sagespire, that atop is houses the Mothercrystal, and the Omega threat. The tower is a beautiful piece of architecture, and as Clive and the party weave in and out of its many intricacies, players will have the opportunity to breathe in some amazing vistas, both of what lies within the monolith, but also as they look out over the wonderful world of Valisthea. The voicework is as strong as ever with each of the key cast being reprised by the wonderful actors, headed by Ben Starr as Clive, though it does seem as though the amount of dialogue for both Jill and Joshua was kept to a minimum. There are the occasional quips in scripted scenes, but the moment-to-moment dialogue doesn’t feel as prominent as it was in the main game. 

Final Fantasy XVI was already one of the games of the year, and while Echoes Of The Fallen finds itself lost in a narrative middle ground, players are bound to find a few hours of enjoyment, reuniting with the team as they hoid Valisthea back from the brink of destruction once again. With new combat systems at play, a fantastic new boss encounter, and more incredible world design, Echoes Of The Fallen is a very enjoyable, though, non-essential new chapter in Final Fantasy XVI’s extraordinary story both on-screen and off it.

Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes Of The Fallen was reviewed on PS5 with a code kindly provided by Square-Enix

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