Skip to main content

Review: FF16 Echoes of the Fallen has one cool boss fight

Final Fantasy XVI's first DLC is too short, but ends incredibly
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Final Fantasy XVI has some of the coolest moments to ever happen in any game. The giant Eikon fights are some of the most visually wonderful and intense scenes of any PS5 game, but the pacing elsewhere was dragged down by some truly tedious side quests. If the game was cut down a bit, streamlined, and had those big moments put into focus, the game would be incredible. At least, that’s what I thought before playing the first part of FF16’s new expansion, Echoes of the Fallen.

Echoes of the Fallen is the first half of the expansion pass, with the second part, The Rising Tide, due to launch next year. The Rising Tide seems set to be the bigger piece of the expansion pass puzzle here, at least that’s what I’m hoping, because Echoes of the Fallen is just too short. What we have here is a cut-down slice of FF16. A brief chat at the Hideaway is followed by a romp through the wilderness, and finally, a climactic climb through a tower full of tough monsters.

The nations of Valisthea survive from the Ether they can draw from the Mothercrystals, but not all nations are prosperous enough to have a crystal of their own. This leads Clive to discover the Dusk Crystal, a growing Mothercrystal created by human hands by the people of an impoverished nation.

Jill and Joshua are too quiet in this DLC.

Jill and Joshua are too quiet in this DLC.

The existence of a manmade Mothercrystal is a nice addition to FF16’s lore and manages to fill out how other people struggle to survive in this universe, but it all feels like a lead-in. I’ve basically given you the full rundown of what actually happens in this DLC, and, spoiler alert: Clive destroys the Mothercrystal in the end, just as he does all of the others in the main game.

It’s nice to have Torgal, Joshua, and Jill all in the party again, though they’re often entirely silent, which is a bit of a disappointment. Echoes of the Fallen justifies itself primarily by being a great way to revisit these characters months after launch, but it doesn’t feel like it does enough with them. The Dusk Crystal’s destruction in this DLC may take place before the main game’s finale, chronologically, but the entire event feels disconnected from everything else in the game – for obvious reasons.

The final fight gets intense.

The final fight gets intense.

I was feeling a bit down on Echoes of the Fallen, a bit unimpressed, but then the final fight came along. The climactic battle with a new Eikon that just might be familiar to fans of the classic Final Fantasy games is brilliant. This could be the best battle that you fight as human Clive throughout the entire game. The explosive action of Eikon on Eikon battles is unmatched, but this fight gives you an opportunity to go all-out with Clive’s base moveset. There are a few absurd attacks in this fight that target the entire arena save for a few locations, and I’m tempted to say it’s ridiculous, but I loved it. I died against it several times, but learning its moveset and persevering throughout the fight was beautifully satisfying.

Everything leading up to that moment was fine – it felt like any other relatively uneventful quest in the game – but that final fight justified it amazingly. Echoes of the Fallen, by itself, doesn’t feel like an essential in any way, but if The Rising Tide is a bit meatier with the same highs, then the Final Fantasy XVI expansion pass will be a solid way to revisit Clive and the gang.

Dodging these attacks will be a huge test.

Dodging these attacks will be a huge test.

Echoes of the Fallen by itself isn’t anything incredible, but it finished strong and had me excited for the next expansion pass installment. If you loved Final Fantasy XVI, then this is a great way to revisit those characters. If you’re on the fence, then wait until The Rising Tide launches before making a purchase.

Score: 7/10

Version tested: PS5

  • Visuals: 8/10
  • Story: 5/10
  • Gameplay: 9/10
  • Performance: 6/10

Final Fantasy XVI: Echoes of the Fallen technical breakdown

The game runs identically to the main game – as you’d expect. While exploring the world while attempting to hit 60fps, you’ll basically never achieve it, and the framerate will often drop outside of the VRR window, creating jittery gameplay even on fancy monitors. Battles hold at a solid 60fps, though. If you want consistent performance at all times, stick to the 30fps Quality mode.