The world of gaming is holding its collective breath for the second installment of Square Enix’s ground-breaking Final Fantasy VII Remake trilogy. Titled “Final Fantasy VII Rebirth,” the forthcoming title has already sparked a wildfire of speculation and curiosity since its announcement. For veterans of the franchise and newcomers alike, Rebirth promises a fresh, but somewhat familiar, journey featuring Cloud Strife and his cohorts in their quest to stop the iconic villain, Sephiroth. Let’s delve into what we know so far about this highly-anticipated release.
Platforms And Release Date
Launching on February 29, 2024, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is initially coming out as a PlayStation 5 exclusive. While this might disappoint fans who joined the quest on PlayStation 4, there is a silver lining. Square Enix announced that its exclusive period will only last three months and is anticipated that PC owners could potentially see release before Xbox fans do – however there may still be delays for both versions despite plans from Square.
Storytelling: Defying Fate and Tradition
One of the most appealing aspects of Final Fantasy VII Remake was its willingness to deviate from the original story to explore new facets of its universe. In a somewhat unprecedented move for remakes, the game used in-story elements to explain and justify the changes. The phantoms known as Whispers served as arbiters of fate, intervening whenever the plot diverged from the original game. This thematic exploration of destiny returns in Rebirth, but with a notable twist: the constraints of fate have been shattered, setting the stage for a narrative landscape rife with unpredictability.
While director Tetsuya Nomura remains hesitant to label this a parallel universe, it’s clear that the game will not be a slave to its source material. So, although players can expect to visit familiar locations like Cosmo Canyon and Junon, the events that unfold there might unfold in unexpected ways.
Fresh and Returning Faces
Rebirth continues to broaden its character roster, with particular focus on once-optional characters like Yuffie Kisaragi and Vincent Valentine. They are now woven into the fabric of the story, reinforcing the game’s renewed vision. This promises to make the narrative richer and more expansive, especially given the rising tensions and interplay among the characters.
Gameplay Innovations and Nostalgia
The promise of returning minigames and challenges adds to the overall allure of Rebirth. From Chocobo races to the famous Golden Saucer, elements of nostalgia are well-integrated into the contemporary narrative and gameplay design. However, it’s worth noting that your hard-earned progress in the previous title won’t be carried over, in favor of providing a standalone experience. As compensation, unique rewards and bonuses await those who have ventured through the first installment.
Teaser Trails and Future Hints
The trailers for Rebirth have been calculatedly cryptic, teasing a story that follows in the original’s footsteps, but with room for divergences. They also highlight the advanced graphical capabilities of the PS5, promising an experience that’s both visually and emotionally stunning. Moreover, producer Yoshinori Kitase assures fans that they’re aiming to make Rebirth even more gripping than its predecessor, sparking high expectations for the middle installment of this planned trilogy.
For those eager to secure their copy, preorders are already available from major retailers. Apart from the standard edition priced at $70, dedicated fans can opt for Deluxe and Collector’s editions, each brimming with exclusive content and in-game bonuses.
A Journey into the Unknown
As fans eagerly await the journey from Midgar to The Forgotten Capital—the confirmed endpoint of Rebirth—it’s evident that Square Enix is holding its cards close to its chest. While the company has shared just enough to whet fans’ appetites, many mysteries remain. Whatever awaits players in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, it’s clear that it will defy expectations, challenge conventions, and most importantly, offer a fresh look into a world that many gamers hold dear.
As February 2024 draws nearer, one thing is certain: the unknown journey will indeed continue, and it promises to be a captivating ride.