From the outset Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has a big challenge: how to depict the world of Final Fantasy VII that lies outside Midgar. For players that have only played Final Fantasy VII Remake, they might be curious to find what’s out there in the rest of the world as Cloud and company pursue Sephiroth. Well, it seems that fans of the original probably have the same amount of questions.
In the original game, players proceed across a world map in a linear fashion, from story beat to story beat, aside from the occasional distraction. Yes, you can roam around “chunks” the early sections of world map access and engage in battles to your heart’s content, but by and large you’re moving from A to B to C.
In a new tweet from the development team, they share that you will “journey across a wide and multi-faceted world with a high degree of freedom, experiencing a myriad of different stories.” Naturally, you may be curious about what exactly a ‘high degree of freedom’ entails with the original game’s context in mind, but the rest really does line up neatly with the rest of the early parts of FFVII outside of Midgar.
From the people of Fort Condor repelling Shinra invaders, to Barret’s past in Corel, and to Yuffie in Wutai… most of these are somewhat self-contained stories that flesh out the cast and world to varying degrees, but it’s got me thinking. Is it entirely necessary that they should be tackled in a specific order? Would it be enough to simply go to that location?
While we see Cloud and Sephiroth stroll along the backroads outside of the Nibel mountains, in a map that seems to be much larger than what was in Remake. Consider, why is the team showing this first and in the way they are? While this might be a moment that’s from an early part of the game where Cloud is retelling events from his past, setting up the rest of the adventure. I’m sure some may immediately think ‘open world’ at these latest comments, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case just yet.
However, the concept of a more ‘open story’ Final Fantasy VII where the same bits play out but you’re otherwise left to wander is an intriguing thought.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is currently announced for PlayStation 5 and is scheduled to release “in Winter.”