Ultimate Fantasy VII Remake is without doubt one of the headline video games for Sq. Enix in the meanwhile, and it feels prefer it has been in growth perpetually. Lastly set to launch subsequent yr on March third, we had the chance to play a hands-on demo throughout PAX West 2019 and dive into the real-time fight on this episodic take of a traditional entry of the collection.
The presentation begins with an introductory video, providing up a glimpse of Midgard in a cutscene. In that glimpse, town was lovely and full of folks, coming alive in a approach I’ve by no means seen it earlier than. The video goes on to clarify all the brand new options that may be discovered within the recreation, significantly emphasizing FF7 Remake’s real-time fight and all its new options. It’s probably the most notable change when in comparison with the turn-based unique, and whereas it’s simple to put in writing it off as too fast-paced to be actually significant, there may be nonetheless a tactical element to it that’s important for survival.
Not turn-based, however nonetheless tactical
Ultimate Fantasy VII‘s Energetic Time Battle (or ATB for brief) continues to be current within the remake, however with a key distinction. Battles begin as quickly as an enemy engages along with your celebration, and characters can carry out combo assaults by urgent the sq. button whereas additionally having the ability to dodge and block assaults in between. The ATB gauge might be discovered proper beneath every character’s well being meter and is split into two separate bars.
Actions equivalent to utilizing spells, performing a particular, or utilizing gadgets throughout fight burn up half of the ATB gauge. As soon as your character has gained at the least one bar, you’re free to cease time fully and discover the menus to plan your subsequent command.
Take the primary battle from the demo for instance. A gaggle of troopers approaches Cloud, and the one factor he can do in these preliminary moments is pure close-quarters fight. As quickly as his ATB gauge fills, nevertheless, I used to be in a position to land a ending assault on one enemy, cease time, and use a special potential to strike down one other enemy as soon as I completed the preliminary command.
It’d sound complicated, however it’s simple to select up and encourages new methods to experiment with fight. Together with stopping time, the way in which you progress and use ATB is vital, for the reason that alternatives you’ll get in fight rely largely in your actions. For example, you need to use ATB proper when an enemy is about to land an assault, however this isn’t an excellent state of affairs to place your self in as this cancels Cloud’s motion and requires you to get well the ATB bar from scratch yet again.
Two extra elements that really feel important in fight in Ultimate Fantasy VII Remake are staggering and restrict gauge. Staggering exhibits itself as a secondary bar, and as soon as the enemy receives sufficient injury, they’ll grow to be surprised. As soon as extra, saving your ATB bar for events like this have an enormous benefit, particularly throughout boss fights. Restrict gauge works equally for Cloud, solely that when he’s dealt sufficient injury, he has the chance to ship a strong assault throughout ATB.
Bringing new life to acquainted faces
Exploration is revamped considerably in FF7 Remake by switching to a third-person perspective. You’re now free to totally transfer Cloud round ranges, smashing crates to seek out potions and gadgets, and on the lookout for chests in each doable nook. Whereas this was already current within the unique, the size of Ultimate Fantasy VII Remake is staggering to see in movement.
Through the demo, the mission I performed takes place earlier within the recreation throughout a go to to the primary Mako Reactor. The plan is to get inside, plant a bomb, and escape as quickly as doable, however this doesn’t go in any respect as anticipated. Cloud is joined by Barret, a celebration member that proves to be fairly helpful due to his concentrate on ranged assaults.
In comparison with Cloud, Barret’s presence is an enormous change of tempo, and Ultimate Fantasy VII Remake makes positive to underscore every character’s character by including conversations and dialogue that weren’t current within the unique. In Ultimate Fantasy XV, Prince Noctis and his buddies regularly make jokes each out and in of fight. This identical method is taken to FF7 Remake, bringing extra which means to the small moments in between exploration.
You may actively change between characters with an choice to open up a accomplice’s command checklist whilst you’re stopping time. This makes chaining assaults simpler, and feels particularly satisfying once you’re in a position to conjure up a plan and execute it in a matter of seconds. Altering between characters and on the lookout for the perfect alternative to strike got here into play throughout a boss combat in opposition to a scorpion robotic, the primary boss you encounter within the recreation.
Throughout this battle, there are 4 phases, every with a brand new habits or set of assaults from the scorpion. Not solely did I’ve to make the most of every character within the combat however I needed to navigate across the space, hiding behind large scraps of steel to defend myself from the scorpion’s lethal laser throughout the last moments of the combat.
Ultimate Fantasy VII Remake is shaping as much as be one thing particular, each for newcomers who’ve by no means performed the unique and for followers who need to relive a traditional in a extra fashionable type. What I skilled feels true to the unique however nonetheless packs in sufficient new options and modifications to really feel like a completely new title altogether. My solely concern is how lengthy it’s going to take for us to see the whole recreation, contemplating the episodic format Sq. Enix has deliberate for it.