Square Enix embarked on a major project with the project of telling the story of the classic differently Final Fantasy VII from 1997 with what is now a trilogy of games. Final Fantasy VII Remake was able to conquer fans around the world by recreating the adventure Midgar of Cloud and its companions while bringing novelty, and its successor Final Fantasy VII Rebirth intends to raise the bar even higher with the exploration outside the walls of part of the planet Gaia, recreating the experience of surveying the world map in settings more grandiose than ever. Even before the release date was revealed, we had the chance to be invited to the premises of Square Enix For try out this second “FFVIIR” for an hour through two distinct demos. Yes, these are the same ones that will be playable in Tokyo Game Show 2023which we discovered with French dubbing in line with his predecessor and in fashion Quality to impress us in 4K.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has already brought meteors to our eyes.
The first segment titled The beginnings of destiny made us relive a very small part of “Cloud”’s pastnamely the ascension of Mount Nibel next to Sephiroth, Tifa and a poor soldier of the Shinra whose presence is quickly forgotten, from the passage in a cave where our angelic friend speaks of materials and energy Mako. We were pleased to find certain dialogues from the periodbut that’s about it, because everything that followed was unprecedented. No longer a question of a simple path leading to the reactor, the group must now make their way through beautiful rocky settings, climb sections of the mountain, walk along the wall on makeshift boards and survey a dilapidated installation of the Shinra. Besides, the developers took inspiration from some AAA Westerners like God of War for parkour with yellow marks on the surfaces to be climbedrequiring only to maintain R2 and move us in the right direction, in addition to blue markers on the ground. Suffice to say that it is difficult to get lost, a mini-map is also present, especially since the whole thing is quite linear, with still a few areas on the sides to open chests. Various destructible elements are more present (crystals, crates, etc.) and we were happy to draw the Buster Sword to demolish them, sometimes revealing some useful objects. And in order to access an elevator, we even had to… vacuum ! At least this is the best description we can give of the passage requiring moving a purifier so that it sucks up the emanations of Mako. It’s original and has the merit of varying the content while expanding the lore.
Besides this slight aspect of exploration, this demo was mainly used to let us discover the combat system of this episode and… control Sephiroth (lvl 40) ! Yes, like back then, Cloud (level 36) is not alone during the confrontations of this flashback and we can therefore alternate between him and the SOLDIER from 1D class for slaughtering creatures. The difference is immediately felt in the power of the blows he delivers using Masamunewith the ability to attack from a distance by holding Square and trigger his techniques Zanshin And Hell’s Gate when the gauge ATB is filled. Furthermore, if R1 serves to warn oneself with Cloud, Sephiroth can counterattack him following an enemy blow with Square when the timing is right and even teleport using Round. It’s a real pleasure to be able to play him.let’s hope that the passages with him will be numerous. The real-time combat system therefore takes up the basics of FFVII Remake. We therefore find the lock enemies and changing targets via R3shortcuts for techniques related to L1the special skill assigned to Trianglethe gauge Transcendence and the state of Shock with the gauge Fragility. The command menu is still present, slowing down the action while we select our next move and take a breather, and we can give an order to an ally via R2 Or L2.
But Square Enix did not just take this good formula and enriched it with synchronized actions between two characters. We were able to get a first glimpse of it against the boss Materia Guardian which concluded this first demo, capable of clinging to the ceiling of the cavern, making it more difficult to reach. When the different bars under the gauge ATB are filled, we can thus unleash a powerful technique, all through a very stylish animation. During the rest of the adventure, it will even be possible to have up to four shortcuts.
The second playable segment transported us just after the team comes out of a cave, apparently the Mythril Minesmaking us discover the surroundings of Juno. We were thus able to access the main menu to view the map of the world – or at least of this region – which promises to be truly immense (the visual opposite only shows a small part of it). The change of scenery is total, because apart from the general appearance of the city in the distance, the degree of detail and care put into the environments makes the work of the period very bland. However, the exploration was a little limited for this demo so as not to spread ourselves too thin, even if there was already plenty to do. We could climb on the back of Chocobos by calling them with R1which gave rise to a good delirium when seeing Red XIII sitting on the animal. In addition, these mounts are capable of sniffing out treasures and can be equipped with accessories that modify their appearance, which can be purchased in stores. Fast travel points can also be unlocked following an adorable baby Chococo up to a panel that must be put back upright, offering us in passing a Golden feathera type of item that should be used to unlock other rewards.
A whole regional analysis system is also presentwhich will require carrying out activities, including combat on THE Hunting grounds. These are replayable challenges against a group of enemies with varied conditions to fulfill, whether it’s beating our opponents within the time limit or eliminating them in a certain way. Object synthesis is accessible via the main menu to prepare potions with the ingredients collected, further encouraging exploration.
Finally, the scenario therefore led us to Sub-Junointroducing the mayor Rhondawho despite the juicy wanted notices placed on the head of our group by the Shinra decided to close his eyes. Quickly, the young Priscilla asks for help and following her near the bay, a cutscene begins, where a very familiar face appears. It’s this dear Yuffie who is in trouble on a boat, while a sea creature attacks himbut fortunately for her, a dolphin comes to rescue her. If the events are slightly modified from the original, we still have to overcome the Terror of the Abyssa boss more devious than ever, which like back then can trap our characters in bubbles, requiring us to change them and attack them. The platform on which the confrontation takes place offers various tactical possibilities to our enemy, making the fight thrilling until its quite spectacular outcome where Cloud rewards us with some acrobatics.
Our first impressions: Strongly!
Between its still dynamic combat, its exquisite graphics and its world to explore which completely transforms our vision of the era, this little preview of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has already brought meteors to our eyes and we look forward to being able to discover the richness of its content in more detail.