3DS action-RPG Final Fantasy Explorers premieres stateside in 2016

Square Enix’s multiplayer action-RPG Final Fantasy Explorers is due to launch in North America and Europe for the Nintendo 3DS in January, the publisher announced this week.

Inspired by Capcom’s Monster Hunter games, Final Fantasy Explorers is an action-focused take on Square Enix’s long-running JRPG series, offering a selection of character abilities, job classes, and summonable monsters that will be familiar to longtime fans.

Launched for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in late 2014, Final Fantasy Explorers abandons the franchise’s traditional focus on narrative for a quest that’s heavy on action and team-based combat mechanics. Players wander expansive worlds, taking down any monsters they encounter in order to fulfill quests while nabbing dropped loot and upgrades.

Final Fantasy Explorers lets up to four players team up to take on the game’s lengthy campaign. Players can form a party either locally or online via an Internet-connected 3DS. The game’s multiplayer approach is similar to previous action-focused Final Fantasy games like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the Nintendo GameCube and its follow-ups Echoes of Time, Ring of Fates, and The Crystal Bearers.

Like the Monster Hunter series, Final Fantasy Explorers features a number of upgradable weapons, and players can leverage each weapon type’s unique strengths when they team up in battle. Final Fantasy Explorers expands on Monster Hunter’s team-based combat mechanics with selectable job classes, many of which return from previous series entries like Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy Tactics.

Featured job classes in Final Fantasy Explorers include series mainstays like the Knight, Monk, White Mage, and Black Mage types, along with more exotic alternatives like Beastmaster, Geomancer, and Machinist. Each class boasts its own unique attacks, along with weapon-specific abilities that can be earned with experience in battle.

Though multiplayer is a focus for Final Fantasy Explorers, players can also tackle the campaign solo. For single-player quests, adventurers can summon up to three monsters to assist in battle, taking the place of human-controlled party members.

Final Fantasy Explorers launches in North America on January 26 and in Europe on January 29.