Today during the PlayStation Experience keynote, Final Fantasy VII Remake made a big appearance with a new trailer showing off cutscenes and gameplay – all in-engine.
For such an occasion we decided to piece together a quick analysis – taking a look at Final Fantasy VII Remake’s battle system, gameplay, gameplay mechanics and anything else you might’ve missed on your first perusal.
Starting off with the trailer itself, the first thing we notice is the abundance of real time footage – showing off iconic characters, scenes and moments from the game that’ll knock your socks off. The setting of the video mostly consists of Midgar and the beginning of the game with Cloud and crew facing off against Shinra soldiers. According to both Kitase and Nomura, “This footage only represents a small part of the game.” It’s clear things are very early.
Moving on to gameplay we see a lot of Cloud and his friends at AVALANCHE. It is nice to see the impressive character models along with the English voices. Speaking of voices voices – the English trailer clearly features the voice talents of Steve Burton, who has voiced Cloud in other games and in Advent Children.
We also see Cloud running around Midgar through the chaos as we know happens during the beginning of the original game – including some iconic scenes such as the train scene. While we know FF7R isn’t running on XV’s Luminous Engine, we wouldn’t be too surprised to see this confirmed as an Unreal Engine 4 title similar to Kingdom Hearts III.Some elements from Final Fantasy XV seem to resonate here along with Uncharted.
Moving away from game features we finally get to the big showcase of the trailer and honestly the highlight – the battle system. The combat in VII Remake is indeed action-oriented from first glance. You can get a good look at the current user interface in the image below. As we can see we have a very similar UI to most SE modern IPs such as Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy XV. The party’s MP and HP bars are located to the right side along with a Limit Gauge. The true question is what is the bar under the character’s name. Could it be an Active Time Battle bar? Or perhaps tied to the game’s combo systems? Some characteristics we see from the bar during the video is that it increases through the damage taken and given by the player and could be tied with time as well. We also note free movement when in battle too. This implies the battle system is similar to Final Fantasy XII and there can possibly be a gambit like system for the party. Another big factor is that Nomura’s brought back character switching in real-time – similar to his original plan for Final Fantasy Versus XIII. The player switches to Barret. This is supported by the fact the UI color scheme changes and Barret attacks when the button is set on Attack. We can also note Magic, Summons, Items and Defending will be present during combat. The Defend button also supports the theory of a command-based combat system because most real-time combat games would have a dedicated button to guard or dodge rather than a selection from a command menu as we see from Final Fantasy XV and previous Kingdom Hearts titles.
After analyzing the combat, gameplay, gameplay mechanics and engine we can safely say that development for VII Remake seems to be going along smoothly. Nomura and Kitase also seem happy to show us more information in the future. It is currently unconfirmed, but it’s likely more information will spill out of PSX over the weekend. In the meantime, you can check out our video of the analysis as well as some screenshots below.