Final Fantasy 7 Remake Preview Demo: Squares Love Letter To The Past Is A Modern Marvel (Pic: SQUARE-ENIX)
As Im carted into a brick-walled room at E3 full of zany Nomura 90s adverts, It starts to dawn on me – Im about to play one of the most hotly anticipated games ever produced.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is under extreme scrutiny thanks to its precursor – a game thought by many as one of the best ever made, without doubt a seminal genre-defining moment in the history of games.
Before Im allowed to get my hands on the prize theres a short theatre session involving a jolly ad from the Shinra Electric Power Company who are apparently “Transforming Midgar into a thriving metropolis.”
Eventually, Jessie breaks through the all too septic mould to brief us. As alarm bells ring were treated to an in-depth tutorial as the room is coated in red – it lays the groundwork for the games complex combat system.
Our mission as she puts it is to plant the bomb in the Mako reactor with the avalanche gang – but we all know of the iconic laser-tailed boss guarding it…
This roughly 20 minute demo was available on the show floor at E3 and best demonstrated how much of a passion project Final Fantasy 7 Remake is.
As you may know, it was revealed yesterday that the 2020 game is focusing on Midgar – with multiple games in the series planned.
Its also known that each game will have the size and scope of a normal Final Fantasy game – its going to ship on two Blu-ray Discs.
Now, if youve played the original this is something to ponder given that Midgar is about 5-10 hours of the 40 hour story – we may be looking at four or five games here.
Given that important context we can dive into what I saw. This was a slice of the game that kicked off right near the start of Final Fantasy 7. Cloud is acquainted with the AVALANCHE gang and theyre off to blow up the Sector 1 Reactor.
And almost immediately, I fell in love with the combat.
“Playing Final Fantasy 7 Remake, it feels like Im wearing those rose-tinted glasses without any compromise”
Cloud can repeatedly slash with his buster sword to dispose of his enemies, launching them into the air before entering Tactical Mode, which becomes available if you build your Active Time Battle meter.
Once filled, you can slow down time and pick abilities, spells or items to use to truly demolish your enemies.
At first I thought this was impressive, but it only really came into its own upon the introduction of another party member (and some formidable foes) to create a palpable challenge.
When the stars aligned the tactics came out, and I started to properly get to grips with the frenetic combat.
Barret is most useful at range, auto attacking sentry drones and turrets so Cloud can continue dominating with close-quarters combat.
Having the ATB meter and using this as a means to pay for abilities and spells is so rewarding – its tension and release every time.
You get a rush of endorphins when you pull it off and stagger an enemy, knowing you've saved your limit break to decimate them when theyre made more vulnerable.
The buster sword feels hefty – it has an awesome weight to it, but Cloud doesnt feel like an invulnerable god either.
Youre encouraged to use different kinds of magic to expose enemy weaknesses – thunder obviously makes short work of robots – you can also be restrained by enemies and will have to swap to your party members to embark on a rescue mission.
Chaining abilities in battle is very satisfying – Barrets barrage and Clouds triple slash go together perfectly, and can be coordinated with ease.
Theres an unseen layer of tactics to combat, especially in boss encounters. As you may imagine, I went up against the Sentinel Scorpion in my demo – a massive set piece that is constantly reinventing itself – ship of Theseus style.
The difficulty was finely tuned – whilst I felt I was overwhelming the Shinra grunts – the scorpion quickly unravelled my supposed skills. Whilst the original duel in FF7 is memorable, Square took it to a whole new level with the remake.
There are multiple phases, back and forth between Cloud and Barret and new concepts to learn Read More – Source