Final Fantasy VII Remake. It’s here and a tangible thing at E3 2019. Square Enix gave out limited appointment tickets for some hands-on fun times, and yours truly managed to snag one. Let’s talk about what happened! (And only talk. No pictures or video were allowed.)
The Final Fantasy VII Remake presentation
Upon entering a booth with some Shinra posters plastered on the walls, I was seated with a group of around 40 people in front of a television screen. When the presentation started, a propaganda video played from Shinra itself, which is the greatest thing I’ve experienced at E3 2019 so far. It was quickly hacked by Jessie from the resistance group, Avalanche. She explained the mechanics of the game before Shinra took back control of the feed. Afterward, we were ushered into a separate area to play an actual demo!
The gameplay tutorial
The portion of Final Fantasy VII Remake on hand began with Cloud, Jesse, and Barret above a Mako reactor. Sadly, Jesse did not join us on our journey to blow it up. A missed opportunity, for sure.
As Cloud and Barret made their way to sabotage the core, I familiarized myself with the controls. Cloud and Barret have complete control over their movement and can be switched between seamlessly. They can do basic attack combos, dodge, guard, and slide down ladders! Players can mash Cloud’s basic attack button to have him slice and dice with the sword; Barret’s gun arm attack must be held. Barret is also your go-to for any flying or enemies out of range. Basically, gameplay consisted of me having Cloud attack Shinra soldiers up close while Barret mopped the floor with flying robots.
Upon attempting to set up the bomb for the reactor, a giant cyborg scorpion boss attacked the duo. This is when strategy became necessary. I raised Cloud and Barret’s ATB charges by landing successful attacks on the beast. Once full, I made use of the party’s myriad abilities, such as Barret’s Focus Shot attack and Cloud’s Triple Slash. These special combat options were particularly effective after Barret cast Thunder on the beast, which caused a stagger state that lowered its defense considerably.
Big bad had many phases. For instance, it clung to faraway walls, launched a barrage of missiles, and even healed itself intermittently. In addition, the boss had restrain attacks that forced a character switch and quick rescue. Effective use of cover, spells, and abilities were key to bringing the scorpion bot down. My uses of unrelenting offense, defense, and limit breaks were the deciding factors that led to my victory.
I was impressed with what I played of Final Fantasy VII Remake. Slowing down time to use items, abilities, and spells added a tactical element to the RPG that was not present in the original. The revelation that magic needs both an ATB charge and MP to use showcased the game’s hard stance against spamming. Final Fantasy VII Remake is also gorgeous and a joy to hear; the Mako reactor theme plays low-key in the background to stir your nostalgic heartstrings. My only complaint was how the game did not run as smoothly as it looked in the trailers. It’s still a ways off, though, so I’ll cut it some slack.
Enthusiasts, are you pumped for Final Fantasy VII Remake? Did this impression post make you more or less excited to try it out? Let us know in the comments below. You don’t want to disappoint the Shinra employees, do you?
-by Arthur Damian