With Final Fantasy VII Rebirth now dated for arrival next year, Square Enix has lifted the curtain on even more information surrounding the second entry in the Final Fantasy VII Remake series. The company shared a wealth of information and new footage during their Tokyo Game Show stage festivities, which was presented by members of the staff including producer Yoshinori Kitase, director Naoki Hamaguchi and creative director Tetsuya Nomura. Special guest comedian Nobu was also in attendance to sound off on the upcoming sequel.
After a quick introduction, we’re introduced to the grassland area south of Midgar where Kalm is located. In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the game experience will start here and there are dungeons and other terrain that can be explored in seamless fashion. There are various items in the field that can be picked up and crafted such as potions and other restorative items. Field actions will allow you to jump or climb to areas with various heights. There’s other points of interest too, such as a baby chocobo that Cloud and co. can follow to unlock chocobo stop fast travel points.
Red XIII is playable this time around and his unique skill is that he can charge a Vengeance gauge. Activating Vengeance mode will allow him to power up and attack faster.
Characters can traverse through swimming in rivers and oceans and even use hooks to get around too.
You’ll meet up at the chocobo ranch to rent a chocobo. Some chocobos can climb hills, swim or fly. Whilst we saw Chocobo Sam in Remake, this time we’re introduced to Chocobo Billy, who is an important character in Rebirth.
Similar to the original FFVII, you’ll need to find and follow chocobo tracks to catch one. However, in this game, you’ll need to sneak up on them in order to capture them. Red chocobos in particular are difficult to catch. Cloud can throw a stone, for example, to divert a chocobo and close in.
Caring for chocobos comes into play with the ability to feed them, and customize them with barding. From here the chocobo will return to the ranch, and to make this easier you can fast travel to areas you’ve already been to.
During the showcase we also learned that Chadley is back from the first game. He asks if you remember him and you can respond accordingly. Here, he will task Cloud and company with collecting information on the world map. He can utilize Shinra communications towers to expand the map Cloud can use. Once Cloud activates these towers, Chadley can update the map with areas of interest. Exploring these points of interest will also help Chadley develop new types of materia.
Once called, everyone can ride a chocobo, even Red XIII. The chocobo can use a scent ability to find items on the world map. A ‘Mog House’ is briefly highlighted and apparently they will give you a moogle medal if you explore there.
Using the device Chadley gave him Cloud identifies monsters of interest to collect more information. Once engaged, there are various requirements that must be met in a time limit to fulfill the report.
Switching characters often builds the Synergy Gauge, and is recommended for better battle performance as more Synergy Abilities can be used.
In Rebirth, Kalm is a fully realized town and will have a notice board with quests posted that Cloud and company can undertake. You can travel to the location the NPC is located in and hear out there request. These quests will also involve a party member where you can increase your relationship. For example, Cloud and Red XIII team up to investigate a monster attacking livestock.
A card game is also in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Queen’s Blood. It also has as its own story. Chocobo minigames are also featured. You can also pick flowers with Aerith just like in Remake. Strong monsters appear in requests, and Cloud can even play the piano minigame.
The piano minigame is of particular note because you’ll be selecting songs and timing inputs in rhythm game fashion using the analog sticks. Each performance is ranked and there is a free play option for the piano as well.
We’ve included the full broadcast below. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will launch for PlayStation 5 on February 29.