A certain remake!
One of the bigger lines at the Electronics and Entertainment Expo belonged to the Square Enix booth this year. They brought with them to California a hands-on demo for their marquis title, Final Fantasy VII Remake. One of the benefits of the media is that I didn’t have to wait in that long line to get some hands on time so lets get right to it!
For starters, newcomers and veterans of the series were shown a short trailer that gave you a brief introduction to the story as well as the controls. You got your basic attack commands as well as the gist of the start of the story. What I mean by that is, you get the basis of what the Shinra Electric Power Company is up to as well as Cloud Strife breaking into said Power Company to infiltrate it. Graphically the game looks gorgeous and doesn’t lose anything from the original version. You’ll be able to see the depth of each floor as you traverse the Power Company and each locale.
The battles aren’t turn based this time around and instead have changed to a more tactical/strategy based as you’ll be able to move freely and attack. You’ll also be able to use magic spells during battle as well as items to heal your magic and health. The battle phase will feel similar to the original where you’ll be able to heal during battle and restore magic but you’ll also be able to hack and slash the enemies if you see fit. During exploration in the demo, you get to play with two characters, Cloud and Barret, each with their attacks and special attacks. You’ll have to learn which play-style you feel more comfortable using but you’re in luck as you can switch characters at anytime. If you want to use Cloud’s sword, you can but if you need Barret’s long-range attacks, switch to him and use his.
During the demo, you have to take down the Scorpion Sentinel inside the Power Company and you really have free reign to do that. You can button mash the whole time but that looks like it would take a long time. You could use a combination of spells and attacks but you will need to charge up during battle so you can use your special attacks/spells or use items to replenish your magic. Another option is to use both Barret and Cloud in unison and attack together, where one of them might have a special attack that the Sentinel is weak to. As I mentioned before, you’ll be able to switch between characters and you will have to as the Sentinel can grab one of your fighters and the only way to break them out is to attack it. There will also be terrain that you will have to hide behind as your only means of protection from the Sentinel’s attacks so make sure you know how to run away!
The layout of the controls during the demo were a little subpar as I kept pressing the right shoulder button on the PS4 controller to enter Lock-on mode when I wanted to enter the attack menu but other than that, the controls were crisp. The tactical/strategy gameplay works for Final Fantasy VII Remake as it doesn’t feel forced and it allows you to play at your own pace/style. It will be interesting to see how Square Enix decides to release it but from what is already known, it looks like a real winner!