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Final Fantasy XVI will receive a mature age rating from PEGI, and it's got fans all in a flutter over what the themes and story of the next game may be.
In tried and true Final Fantasy fashion, the reveal trailer for XVI was a sparkly spectacle. Boasting a more medieval-inspired world, players will look forward to using a mix of melee-based weaponry and magical abilities to turn the tide in battles. Speaking of which, that swamp creature shown in the trailer looked like it had taken a wrong turn from The Witcher 3, and the castle where Joshua lives is very like Kaer Morhen.
All in all, it's worlds away from the realm of Eos in Final Fantasy XV, which was inspired by modern-day North America. The series has always drawn from elements of the fantasy genre, be they steampunk soldiers and airships, or divine beings and legends. However, director Naoki Yoshida confirmed that Final Fantasy XVI will be playing up the genre and tropes of high fantasy, and this new rating infers that it will be a gritty, not glittery, interpretation.
The PEGI 18 symbol was spotted on a European newsletter about the game, and even though it's a provisional one at the moment, it's got big ramifications. The last Final Fantasy game to receive this rating was Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, but that only applied in North America.
So, what constitutes a PEGI 18 rating? According to the official website, this is applied for games where "the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence, apparently motiveless killing, or violence towards defenceless characters." It may also include "the glamorisation of the use of illegal drugs and explicit sexual activity." Goodness gracious.
Details on the plot of Final Fantasy XVI are light on the ground right now, but from this classification, we might expect that those battles are going to be very bloody. The conflicts between the factions may be borne of historic unconscionable crimes against each other, or the magical abilities that the player uses may have a physical cost, like in The Witcher. With regard to "explicit sexual activity," I'm going to guess that this isn't in Final Fantasy XVI, because the series hasn't really shown us anything saucier than a flirt or an open shirt (I'm talking about you, Gladio).
Final Fantasy XVI is on its way to the PlayStation 5, and will be a platform-exclusive for six months. We don't know when the game will launch, but apparently, it will arrive sooner than we would expect.
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