‘Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’ Sets a New High for the Series

The reboot cycle that started with 2020’s Final Fantasy VII Remake was a artistic threat. It remodeled a single PlayStation sport right into a trilogy meant to retell some of the celebrated RPGs of all time. Remake was a slower, extra elaborate imaginative and prescient of Square Enix’s beloved 1997 hit; it took the primary few hours of the unique and turned them right into a stand-alone sport. And, it labored. Remake was an exhilarating, easy-to-love sport the place iconic characters like Cloud Strife and Aerith Gainsborough felt like totally realized variations of their earlier polygonal counterparts.

With Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the stakes are larger. Rather than being contained within the metropolis of Midgar, its backdrop is all the world of Gaia and the impacts Shinra’s political and planetary machinations have had there. Square Enix has already pulled off the inconceivable: Remake took a narrative followers knew by coronary heart and flipped these expectations on their head with just a few main plot deviations and the promise of an “unknown journey” when credit rolled. With Rebirth, the corporate delivers on that promise—and within the course of has set a brand new normal for all of its Final Fantasy video games to return.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, which drops subsequent week, picks up instantly after Remake’s finish. Cloud and the gang have escaped Midgar as fugitives and are actually on the hunt for Sephiroth. Their activity will lead them on the same path as the unique—parades in Junon, the Vegas-like Gold Saucer, a non secular quest in Cosmo Canyon—however Rebirth performs with its freedom by increasing the sport’s lore and including new storylines.

It’s a extra sturdy telling in each manner. The world is break up into totally different areas, big open-world maps with towers to climb, scouting, aspect quests, chocobo catching, fiend combating, a brand new card sport, and plenty of extra experiences. Rebirth is as massive as gamers need it to be; should you’re extra focused on shotgunning by means of the principle story, there’s no penalty for skipping aspect tales that may grant you additional time together with your celebration. Rebirth may have simply refined graphics and gameplay and known as it a day; as an alternative, it opens up a world that feels alive.

Rebirth performs a lot the identical as Remake—the battle type, talent units, and enemies will really feel acquainted—however iterates on these methods. Skill bushes add a stage of customization to character strikes, and Rebirth’s expanded celebration means extra combating kinds and mixtures to check out. Teamwork is the underlying construction of the sport. In battle, characters can staff as much as ship specialised strikes. Outside of it, Square Enix has added a brand new relationship system that helps decide story outcomes, like which date you’ll take on the Gold Saucer.

While in idea this isn’t a brand new concept—the unique sport additionally had a hidden system to find out how a lot you most popular characters like Tifa or Aeris—Rebirth’s emphasis on it provides a pleasant contact. You can deepen your relationships between Cloud and his companions by taking the time to speak with them individually. These moments are small however heartening. Cloud and his celebration really do appear to love and care about each other quite than performing as a gaggle of strangers thrown collectively by destiny.

The solid has actual charisma collectively, and Rebirth shines when it provides them the room to work together. While the unique sport was largely from Cloud’s perspective, gamers get management over duos like Barret and Red XIII, or Aerith and Tifa, on their very own, and the sport is best for it. New, fleshed-out character backstories give the sport extra depth than its supply materials. Barret and Red XIII, particularly, are given extra room to shine, whether or not it’s small moments like Barret placing on a pair of sun shades to cover tears or Red proudly telling you about his sense of scent each probability he will get (usually by implying that Cloud smells horrible).

Square Enix’s reimagining of Final Fantasy VII additionally takes care to elucidate extra of the sport’s world and the forces inside it. Black Materia, arguably the MacGuffin of the unique sport (why would a world-ending orb exist if to not give heroes a cause to battle, I suppose), really is smart this time round. The identical goes for ideas just like the Lifestream, which Rebirth presents in far higher element.