Final Fantasy XVI: The Rising Tide Review – PlayStation 5

A Fitting Farewell to Clive and His Journey

Final Fantasy XVI: The Rising Tide Review
Initial release date: April 18, 2024
Platform: PlayStation 5
Publisher: Square Enix


The Rising Tide, the second and last DLC for Final Fantasy XVI, is now available! Following the enjoyable dungeon crawl and formidable bosses of Echoes of the Fallen, the first DLC, players were eager to see what this next chapter had in store.

A Well-Written Story that Complements the Base Game

This time, the production team concentrated on creating an independent story that enhances the main game without changing its conclusion. After finishing the main story and taking on a few side missions, players will discover that The Rising Tide seems like a genuine continuation of Clive’s journey. It offers an engaging stand-alone story with lots of turns, turns, and well-developed new characters that are all linked into the game’s larger mythology.

The story starts with Clive and his friends getting a request to save Leviathan’s Dominant, who hasn’t been heard from in almost a century, from an unidentified source. Drawn in by the moniker “Leviathan the Lost,” they travel to Northreach in order to meet up with Shula, a new character whose clan vanished around the same period. They journey to Midia together, a colorful place with sweeping waterfalls, verdant forests, and crystal-clear blue skies.

When building Midia, the art and graphics team really went above and beyond. With its beauty and serenity, Midia provides a welcome diversion from the gloomy and blight-ridden parts of Valistia. Since Clive is the first visitor they have seen in years, the characters you meet in this new area similarly view him as an outsider and approach him with interest and awe. The numerous side missions, which primarily entail killing monsters or performing standard fetch quests, reflect this fascination.

New Abilities and Challenging Encounters

The revelation that Clive may now utilize Leviathan’s powers is one of the main plot points of The Rising Tide. There is nothing like these powers in the original game. On Clive’s left arm, Leviathan appears as a projectile-focused symbol that turns it into a tiny serpent. Gamers have the option to shoot a stream that detonates upon impact or a shotgun-like spread of water shots. While the latter can dispatch lesser groups more rapidly, the former is excellent for creating stagger on larger opponents. Nonetheless, players must learn to time their reloads correctly to maximize their efficacy because there is ammo management to take into account.

New adversaries and difficult boss encounters are also included in the DLC. Some adversaries can still be easily defeated, but bosses like the Timekeeper and the Hedonistic will test your ability to dodge bullets. With its severe mechanics, the Timekeeper in particular reminds me of a certain boss encounter from Gray Raven. But the legendary fight with Leviathan itself is the real centerpiece. This gorgeous combat has a lot of visual appeal, but it’s also tough, with several phases that can be overpowering at times.

Cairo's Gate: A New Endgame Challenge

After completing The Rising Tide, Cairo’s Gate, a new endgame task, becomes available. This is a run-based challenge with 20 stages called Circles with a big boss battle every 5 stages. Enemy waves will be encountered by players, and their performance using Clive’s legendary skills, damage taken, dodges, and other factors will determine their score. You will be allowed to freely swap between iconic skill loadouts between stages, but you will not be able to utilize your normal arsenal of weapons or gear. Instead, you will be given a default set.

Testing your command of the fighting system and iconic skills is highly recommended before playing Cairo’s Gate. Gaining enhancement points will allow you to raise Clive’s stats and activate boons, which offer different benefits like boosted damage or faster HP recovery. Although these Boons are essential for attaining high scores, their duration is restricted to a certain number of Circles. It becomes crucial to plan your Boon consumption as part of the task.

Final Verdict

The Rising Tide provides a nice wrap to Clive’s journey even though it doesn’t materially alter the base game’s design. The primary plot completes unfinished business, makes allusions to earlier incidents, and includes thrilling boss fights with a brand-new soundtrack that flawlessly blends in with the music of the base game. Although gamers seeking a significant shift in gameplay may not find it here, The Rising Tide offers an exciting journey with a gripping story, difficult material, and a plethora of new things to explore. It serves as the ideal farewell for Clive, his companions, and Final Fantasy XVI enthusiasts.

Hope this article on Final Fantasy XVI: The Rising Tide Review is helpful. If you have questions regarding this article, feel free to comment down below.

The GoodThe Bad
Compelling StoryLimited Exploration
Beautiful New RegionRepetitive Side Quests
Leviathan's AbilitiesNo Randomness in Cairo's Gate
Challenging BossesShort Playthrough
Cairo's Gate


The Rising Tide is the second and final DLC for Final Fantasy 16. It offers a new story campaign that complements the main game’s narrative without affecting its ending.

If you enjoyed Final Fantasy 16 and want more Clive, a compelling story, challenging boss fights, and a new combat experience, then The Rising Tide is definitely worth checking out.

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