Final Fantasy 16 was an absolute thrill ride of a release earlier this year. It was a fantastic title with beautiful visuals, great performances, and stellar action gameplay. I mentioned in my review that it was a great evolution of a franchise that constantly tries to change itself with every release. That being said, I’ll always be down for what 16 had to offer, especially since the ending left me desiring for something more. Final Fantasy XVI Echoes of the Fallen provides exactly that, more of what made the base game so enjoyable but, it also fails to fix some of the minor gripes I had with it the more I spent time with it. Nevertheless, this DLC is a short but sweet extra adventure with Clive and the gang. What’s not to love?
Think of Echoes of the Fallen as more of an extra slice of cake. It takes place sometime in the latter half of the main story, before the concluding events so it doesn’t really affect much from the base game, narrative wise. One could argue that this could’ve just been a side mission that was included in the original release. Length wise, I definitely agree with that sentiment. It only takes a couple of hours to take on the DLC. The real value in this comes from how much you love spending time with the main cast, playing through great boss fights, and seeing the spectacle of the combat system.
The story of Echoes of the Fallen has mysterious crystals popping up on the black market in which the group believes to be connected to the Mothercrystals. This then prompts an investigation to track down suspicious traders that have been responsible for passing these around. That’s really about it. Nothing too special or out of the ordinary. It feels strange saying this in relation to a Final Fantasy story, but the truth of the matter is, the DLC doesn’t offer much value on that end.
Though I was initially excited about the fact that Clive, Jill, Joshua, and the best boy Torgal are all out and about again, they don’t really say much. It feels like a wasted opportunity to explore their relationships even deeper now that they are at a brand-new point in their lives without having much time to discuss what was. Fortunately, and as expected, Ben Starr still kills it with what little he has to work with.
Given that this is just a minor DLC, it doesn’t really affect anything in the base game. It feels oddly disconnected in some way. Maybe it’s a setup for the much larger “The Rising Tide”, which is expected to be a much larger and more substantial offering, but barely anything has been said about that. As it stands right now, you won’t be losing out on much if you decide to skip on Echoes of the Fallen.
At this point, I was feeling a bit disappointed in what I was playing. Traversal is still the same ol’ running around and the level design, particularly the dungeons, still feel a tad too linear for my liking. The only thing that holds the DLC up for me is the combat system, which was already a great highlight for me to begin with.
Go big or go home
The excellent combat of Final Fantasy 16 is carried over to Echoes of the Fallen. It still feels good and looks great. The DLC does recycle a bunch of enemies from the base game, which is a bit of a bummer. The latest addition to the combat are in the form of new accessories that provide buffs to Clive. That’s really about it. But what made it all worth it are the fantastic boss fights.
There are a few main and mini boss fights in Echoes of the Fallen that justifies the existence of the DLC for me. The finale one being a major highlight. I won’t be talking about it much or showing any visuals of it. Much like in the main game, these deserve to be seen with your own eyes. Great stuff.
None of them reach the heights of the Eikon fights, of course. Those are just on a whole new dimension of cool. But the boss fights here are still worth checking out. The last one does provide ample enough challenge that I personally felt like the main game sorely lacked. It was a nice change of pace and drove me to think more about what skills to use.
Final Fantasy XVI Echoes of the Fallen Review Final Verdict – 7/10
As it stands right now, Echoes of the Fallen is a nice short story that can tide FF16 fans over till The Rising Tide. With rumors that it may be able to provide an alternate ending to the game, I’m already sold with the premise.
It’s more of the same. If you liked FF16, I could see you enjoying this DLC. If you’re on the side that didn’t really click with what the base game was doing, then I don’t see anything here that will convince you otherwise.