Alongside the plethora of awards handed out and announcements made at last night's Game Awards none shocked fans as much as Square Enix releasing Final Fantasy XVI DLC for fans to pick up. Final Fantasy XVI Echoes of the Fallen adds a new dungeon and boss fight before the final battle, is it worth picking up though?
The DLC - available after reaching the 'Origin' main story quest and having completed the Side-Quests to add Jill and Joshua to your party - kicks off with Charon letting you know since destroying the Mother Crystals a strange black crystal has started appearing on the black market.
Starting The Echoes of the Fallen DLC
After learning of the ambitions of the Fallen in the past, attempting to attain godhood through creating their own crystals, Clive can track down crystal salesmen who lead him through a mysterious door in the Dim and onto the Sagespire.
Immediately hopping into a high-level DLC with a game I had some worries having not played since release. Luckily the first part of the quest has you venturing through Western Rosaria. Plenty of fodder to relearn your favorite combos, sort out your equipment, and practice dodging.
One thought I kept having as I made my way through the Sagespire was how much it made me think of an MMO raid in all of the best ways. After a few rooms of fodder enemies, you'd make it to a different boss fight, a small opportunity to refresh consumables like potions, and then back to fighting fodder enemies. Unlike the lackluster side-quests of the base game, the 'MMO-ification' of this DLC was an inspired choice.
MMO Style Boss Fights
Of the boss fights encountered in Echoes of the Fallen my favorite was with the Ahriman-style enemy. On top of the normal ocular attacks, this boss was able to create duplicates of itself to launch multiple attacks or add extra AOE to already powerful moves.
My favorite attack of his was a roulette wheel of warning that spun on the ground, when it stopped you only had a limited amount of time to make it into the safe areas. As the battle continues you also have to compete with slow-moving targeted lightning balls and beams of energy that sweep across the battle-field.
These Raid boss mechanics continued to the final boss of the DLC, Omega. This multi-portioned boss battle was an epic! Much like the Ahriman as the battle continued attacks that used to come out one at a time suddenly started getting stacked together, or one attack would flow into another with different patterns.
The feeling of tension continues to rise as you reach the end of the battle, it's one of the more satisfying and technically complicated battles Final Fantasy XVI has to offer.
Mechanically Sound, Narratively Light
While mechanically the DLC was a lot of fun, and a great experience to shake off some rust narratively it didn't add too much to the plot of Final Fantasy XVI. There was some re-affirmation for Clive that his goal of destroying the Crystals and their magic was the correct thing to do, but if you've already finished Final Fantasy XVI then you've already known that.
Outside of the main quest content this DLC will also award players with a Buster Sword, while it's only got 160 attacks it does offer it as an option for you to reskin your current weapon with.
Having completed Echoes of the Fallen in a little under two hours, and walking away with the new Omega Weapon, I do wish that it had been longer. Even if it had been through revisiting parts of the already-established world and tracking down crystal salesmen. I've warmed up my muscle memory and now sadly need to wait until Spring 2024 for the Rising Tide DLC.
Final Fantasy XVI Echoes of the Fallen Review | Final Thoughts
If you want more from Final Fantasy XVI in terms of story content, this DLC is not going to be the one for you. However, if you're a fan of the combat and raid-like boss mechanics that were the highlight of the original release then Echoes of the Fallen will get you excited for it all over again.
If you're in no immediate need to experience more Final Fantasy XVI, or are working your way through your backlog, this is also a DLC that you can wait to pick up.
Knowing that Echoes of the Fallen is a shorter DLC and that more Final Fantasy XVI is on the horizon playing both at the release of Rising Tide will mean you only have to relearn that muscle memory once.
Final Fantasy XVI Echoes of the Fallen was reviewed on PlayStation 5 with a code purchased by the reviewer over roughly 2 hours of gameplay. All screenshots in this review were taken by the reviewer during gameplay.
- Exciting Boss Mechanics
- New Combat Challenge