As 2024 comes to a close, it seems my final review of the year will be a DLC review for Final Fantasy XVI. This statement should be a bit shocking if you listened to all the hype leading up to the game’s release. Square Enix promised that Final Fantasy XVI was going to be developed and released traditionally, meaning it was going to be a single player game without any gimmicky add-ons or forced multiplayer. However, once fans got a taste of the game they quickly called for more FFXVI content. SE finally released a statement indicating that they would listen to their fans’ request, but that they wanted to be cautious in how DLC was implemented. Well, the time has come and the first paid-DLC chapter for Final Fantasy XVI is here; Echoes of the Fallen. Having finally made the time to sit down and play through this new content, I’m ready to give my feedback.
At the time of this writing, there have been two paid-DLC addons announced for Final Fantasy XVI; Echoes of the Fallen and The Rising Tide. Currently, only Echoes of the Fallen is available to play. However, both scenarios are already available for purchase. The standalone pricing for Echoes of the Fallen is $9.99 or you can purchase both chapters for a discounted $24.99. (Individual pricing for The Rising Tide is currently unannounced.)
The first thing you should know is that Echoes of the Fallen is simply a new questline that’s integrated into the main game. It’s not a sequel or sidestory. Yes, you can open your “cleared game” save file and undertake the new quests (which is exactly what I did). But it’s really designed to be experienced as part of a standard playthrough. Aside from this new playable content, it is important to note that the DLC also increases the level cap by five additional levels. This is important because you’re probably going to need it. The new challenges included in this DLC chapter are pretty tough.
The content includes a new subplot focused on The Fallen – an ancient advanced civilization. If you’ve played through Final Fantasy XVI already, there’s no doubt you are familiar with them. Remnants of The Fallen and their impact on the gameworld are plentiful. At multiple points through the game, players will encounter ruins and artifacts. But until now, the story of The Fallen was left largely untold.
As a part of this addon, players will explore what is essentially a Fallen megadungeon. This dungeon is filled with plenty of new equipment and a handful of unique and memorable boss fights.
I completed everything this DLC had to offer in a matter of hours. Even though there’s not a ton of new content, the quality of what’s included is superb. The DLC includes all new music and voice acting. I could be wrong, but it seems like all of the original voice actors reprised their role for this new chapter. If this is not the case, whoever is filling in is almost indistinguishable from the original actors.
Finally, this DLC also includes a couple of in-game items that are unlocked as soon as the addon is purchased. These include a mid-level sword and an orchestrion roll.
For a $10 price tag, the amount of content included in this release feels pretty spot-on. I certainly enjoyed my time with it.
Overall Impression: A new questline integrated into the main game. It seems a bit odd to release this type of addon this late after FFXVI‘s initial launch. But, it’s very well done and easily accessible even for those who have already completed the game. The quality of the new content is excellent and fits right into the base game.
Value: $10 might seem a little steep for what is essentially a handful of quests and battles. But, I have to say, these new optional bosses are not your average fluff. Final Fantasy has a reputation for including some really brutal optional boss fights. The new penultimate boss included in this DLC, Omega, is a serious challenge for nearly any player. Plenty of thought went into these encounters by the dev team and it shows in the quality of these battles.
Main Game: Final Fantasy XVI Review