We're weren't totally convinced that Final Fantasy 16 needed story-based DLC, but now that we've played through Echoes of the Fallen — the first of two promised expansions — we're actually glad it's happening. If nothing else, this additional slice of adventure is a welcome reminder of how flashy and downright fun 16's combat can be.
Clocking in at only three to four hours, Echoes of the Fallen isn't the kind of RPG expansion that'll be remembered for generations to come. Essentially, it boils down to being a linear trek through a brand new dungeon, although it does slot quite neatly into the main game's existing story. Indeed, it takes place just before the conclusion of Clive's tale, and sheds some more light on the lost civilisation of the Fallen.
Initially setting off to uncover the origins of strange crystals that have suddenly found themselves in the hands of the populace, Clive and his pals follow up on a lead that takes them to a giant Fallen tower, known as the Sagespire. As you can probably guess, our heroes are tasked with climbing to the very top of this architectural marvel, facing off against all manner of monsters on the way.
The DLC's definitely a bit light on story — outside of, as mentioned, some fresh context surrounding the Fallen — but it makes up for that with some banging boss battles. The action's as enjoyable as ever, and while the combat system remains rooted in what the base game has to offer, you do get access to some intriguing accessories that might just inspire a slightly altered approach (alongside a sick new sword).
All in all, Echoes of Fallen feels like little more than another chapter in Final Fantasy 16's story — but it's a good one, especially in terms of action. Oh, and it might just feature the most insane boss encounter in the entire game, if you can believe it.