Final Fantasy 16 may not be available yet but fans who’ve played its two-hour demo have latched on to one new feature in particular: Active Time Lore.
This lets players pause the game at any moment, whether they’re in the midst of normal gameplay, combat, or cutscenes, to see what is essentially a mind map of relevant lore.
“Active Time Lore is the best implementation of an in-game journal I’ve seen in an action-adventure title,” said Reddit user beholdthebean. “It is such a small thing but really made a difference in guiding me through the game’s lore without being too clunky and overwhelming.”
Games typically build up what’s more like an encyoclopaedia of background information as players progress through, leaving those who aren’t checking it consistently with an often overwhelming amount of journal entries to catch up on.
Active Time Lore, however, “provides only the bits that are relevant to and concurrent with the in-game scenery and even cutscenes, meaning I can catch up quick and learn the context of certain information or dialogue in a pinch,” added beholdthebean.
Duke_Silver1987 agreed: “Not many games these days try to implement features that should be included in every game,” they said. “However, Active Time Lore should be industry standard from here on out.
“For someone who loves lore but does switch off from time to time, this feature has been amazing. Stopping a cutscene to get some lore on a side character really adds some depth. Better yet, the text changes on the fly when the story changes.”
That seems to be the intention behind Active Time Lore: it lets players catch up on which of the dozen handsome, spikey-haired characters they’re currently talking to and why it matters.
Final Fantasy 16 launches on June 22 but Square Enix has warned spoilers may have already leaked online due to the “illegitimate acquisition” of physical copies. Fans looking to spoil the first couple of hours themselves can jump into the aforementioned demo though, with progress carrying over to the main game.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelance reporter. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.