One of the bigger bits of news out of E3 this year had to come from Final Fantasy VII Remake as we had a release date and a few of the characters shown to us all during Square Enix's big media showcase. We know we can see the game hit the PS4 on March 3rd of next year and also had a chance to see Tifa and Aerith in action. Not to mention the fact that we had a nice chance to see the new battle system they are using for this outing of Final Fantasy VII in a better motion. It could only be topped by actually getting to play it, and that is what I had a chance to do behind the Shinra walls on the show floor. Here is how it all handled in terms of the fight scene we were all shown during the event.
As one would assume, the demo started out with the basics of movement and how the new action-oriented combat is going to work in Final Fantasy VII Remake. There was Cloud, who could swing his sword around to build up combos and charge up his ATB. Then there was Barret, who ignores a combat system for something a bit more fitting for a basic attack. In this, we hold down a single button for a continuous stream of bullets that we could spray across the screen at the enemy we were locked on to. Obviously, this is to highlight the fact that each character in Final Fantasy VII are going to feel different when we have control of them and not always need to be a button mash to build up the ATB gauge.
After tearing through a few smaller enemies, we moved along to another section to further highlight their differences as some enemies could only be targeted from a distance. This was to show off how smooth and easy we could transfer between each character and still have the other be effective in the fight. The obvious choice here was to move to Barret and gun them down while Cloud slashed at all of the ground units. This is something we will need to always pay close attention to, and possibly more so, in the game as each character will fill their role and we will need to maximize their use to make it through the episodes. I will say it felt like it could bog things down for Final Fantasy fans that are not used to it, but it felt 'right' after a few minutes.
Final Fantasy VII Remake — E3 2019
The Deluxe Edition, available to pre-order now, contains a hardback art book featuring stunning concept art, a Mini-Soundtrack CD, Summon Materia DLC allowing players to summon Cactuar in game, and a Sephiroth SteelBook Case. The Digital Deluxe Edition contains a digital art book, a digital Mini-Soundtrack, and Summon Materia DLC allowing players to summon Carbuncle and Cactuar in game.
The “1st Class Edition” includes all Deluxe Edition content, the Carbuncle Summon Materia DLC, as well as a Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife and Hardy Daytona box set (bundled separately), which is available to pre-order in limited quantities.
Those who pre-order any version of the game from select retailers will also receive the Chocobo Chick Summon Materia DLC at launch. Those who pre-order any digital edition from the PlayStation Store will also receive the Cloud & Sephiroth Dynamic Theme for the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system.
After moving along a bit more, I came across the next major portion to show off the combat of Final Fantasy VII Remake. That being the Tactical Mode we will need to use in the fights to make sure we are slaying with all of the efficiency out there. As you may have seen in the gameplay video below, this is where time slows down and you can issue all of the special commands to the characters to cast spells and take specific actions. Thankfully, when you enter in, you can issue all of the commands in one shot by using the trigger buttons to cycle through party members quickly while still retaining control of the one you were playing with.
This is where things felt a bit off to me for Final Fantasy VII. Given all of the action going on in general, I was constantly forgetting to issue out these commands or even that they were ready to go in the first place. Even when I made it to the main boss, the Guard Scorpion, I was still swinging my sword or firing my gun and not giving the orders. This could be just because of where the demo placed it all and how the final game will handle all of the lead up to it, but it never felt intuitive to dig in and give many commands. In fact, I had to be reminded about it by others and then dig through to cast Lightning or Cure as needed. Maybe in a fuller version of the game, it will work, but it just never clicked with me in this demo.
I will say that when it all did, it led to a more cinematic fight that I ever remember in Final Fantasy VII or any other in the series. I am almost certain that this is what Square Enix was going for with this game, but there feels like there is a learning curve that just could not be reached well in the fifteen minutes of the demo. It did feel like they took what the learned from Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts and put it to great use, so I will err on the side of me for now. None of this changes my excitement, though, as even just the button mashing made it so I could work through fights and thus the new take on the game we have all been hoping and waiting for.
Final Fantasy VII Remake — Gameplay Demo
There is still a lot of time between now and the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake's first episode, so there could be a few changes to tighten things up before then. I still had a whole lot of fun playing what I did and fought my way through some controls that were just dropped on me. I am certain that my experience will not be the same as many others out there, but do note that there is a lot more to pay attention to in Final Fantasy VII Remake when it comes to the combat. Once you get that down and are able to launch some of those Limit Breaks, you will forget it all as the cinematic fights carry on. I do hope this still paints a good picture for you.