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"The world's ending. At least, that's what everyone says."
A Final Fantasy VII remake trilogy has been in the works for years, and the second chapter is just around the corner. Join Cloud, Tifa, and the rest of the party to take on the latest chunk of this reimagined take on a classic game from an iconic franchise.
Square Enix has set its eyes on the latest console hardware to bring this new chapter to gamers. And we’ve rounded up everything you need to know ahead of release.
What is Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is the second installment of the Final Fantasy VII remake trilogy developed by Square Enix. In 2020, Final Fantasy VII Remake was released on PlayStation 4. Rebirth is next on the agenda, and will be followed by a trilogy-capping game that has yet to be named.
The original game, released in 1997 on the PlayStation, is considered a high point for the franchise and helped catapult the series into the mainstream. It also required three separate discs to play. So while it may seem like overkill to release a remake trilogy, rather than just one game, it does sort of recall the original approach in that sense.
It's important to note that the trilogy is not a direct remake of the original game, instead giving the creators creative license to reimagine the events that occur—and spread out the experience too, making it much larger in the process. Some speculate that the events of the last game happened in somewhat of a “parallel world.”
Development has already begun on the third title, even before the second entry is released.
When is Final Fantasy VII Rebirth being released?
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is scheduled for release February 29, 2024. That makes it four years since the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake on the PS4.
In addition to the standard game, which spans two discs, there are two special editions: the deluxe and collector's editions.
Pre-order the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Collector's Edition, featuring a 19 inch Sephiroth statue, from the Square Enix Store while stocks last: https://t.co/iBkWzvRhpe
— FINAL FANTASY VII (@finalfantasyvii) September 21, 2023
The deluxe edition ($100) will include an additional art book, mini soundtrack, and SteelBook case. Meanwhile, the collector’s edition will run you back $350. With your purchase, you'll receive four pieces of downloadable content and a 19-inch "highly detailed statue" of Sephiroth, as well as everything that the deluxe edition gives you.
What platforms will it be released on?
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is currently scheduled to release exclusively on PS5. It will not be released on PS4, with Square Enix now focused on the latest generation of consoles.
For now, it looks like the game will be a PS5 exclusive. However, the first installment of the remake trilogy was eventually released via Steam, so there is a chance it could make its way to PC following an initial period of console exclusivity.
What do we know about the story?
Final Fantasy VII Remake explored the concepts of fate and determinism while breaking away from the events of the original game. As a result, we can't use the original game to speculate on what will happen this time around, given the way the reimagined series is being expanded.
This is especially the case with Tetsuya Nomura, video game director and character designer at Square Enix, telling fans to expect "surprising developments" in Rebirth.
If the original game is anything to go by, though, then the first thing that should happen is that the gang will travel to Kalm Village, where Cloud will tell a story about when he visited Nibelheim with Sephiroth. However, it remains to be seen whether the original story flow remains intact.
A gameplay trailer shown at Summer Game Fest 2023 reveals that Sephiroth lives after a fight that happened in the previous game. Cloud's appearance in Nibelheim is questioned, and the party is told about Lifestream, which is "the very essence of our star, the blood coursing through its planetary veins."
Nomura said in an interview with Game Informer that the story of Rebirth "runs up to the end of the Forgotten Capital (a.k.a. The City of the Ancients)", where one of the franchise's most iconic moments happens. We won’t spoil it for you.
Which characters are in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?
There are nine confirmed playable characters in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Cloud Strife, Barret Wallace, Aerith Gainsborough, Tifa Lockhart, Red XIII, Yuffie Kisaragi, Cait Sith, Sephiroth, and Zack Fair.
Cid Highwind is confirmed to appear in the game, as well as the popular Vincent Valentine, who is set to make his first full appearance in the remake trilogy. Unfortunately, however, Vincent and Cid will not be playable characters in Rebirth. Instead, they'll be companion characters—but they will be playable in the third and final chapter of the trilogy.
Which new features are in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth?
Remake was mostly a linear experience, but it appears Rebirth is opting for more of an open world for players to explore. In the trailers, we've seen the gang using the bird-like chocobos to travel the world, as well as new vehicles like a Segway. During the game, players will venture to the Golden Saucer, the home of mini-games such as chocobo racing.
Director Naoki Hamaguchi stated in a PlayStation blog that the canine-like playable character Red XIII will add a new look to the combat system. Red will have a "revenge gauge" mechanic, which builds as he blocks enemy attacks and can then be spent to activate abilities.
This same blog post also highlighted "new synergy moves" as a serious upgrade to the combat system. By filling up a gauge, "synergy commands and abilities" can be used "freely at any time." This development in the combat system should add new depth to the bonds created between characters.
Square Enix's choice to focus on developing this game for latest-generation hardware shows through in its lavish graphics. The landscapes are striking and the player models are equally as detailed, using the power of the latest hardware to bring this classic back to life.