Special thanks goes out to the kind folks at IN.FOM and Microsoft for providing us with a Microsoft Surface Pro for some of our TGS articles. It really helped to get these out in a timely manner!
Final Fantasy VII Remake.
It’s undeniably THE most anticipated game of the next few months, maybe even the decade! Remaking one of the most beloved titles in the franchise was an inevitable and I’m frankly surprised it’s taken so long.
Unlike most gamers, I haven’t completed the original Final Fantasy VII (FFVII) because I think turn-based games are just too slow and tedious with their grinding for me to enjoy them.
Weirdly, I picked up Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII on the PSP, which (unexpectedly) blew my mind. It planted a seed in me; the need to play FFVII…but no way was I going to play a turn-based RPG!
It felt like I’d never enjoyable experience FFVII.
Years passed and finally, the Game Gods saw fit to end my suffering; Square Enix announced the Final Fantasy VII Remake! Now that I’ve had hands-on experience with it, I think I might be in love with the franchise all over again.
At TGS, Sal and I met with Square Enix’s representative, Imai-san, who lead us to a secret location to try out the demo ourselves. Ok, it was just a special room Square Enix had in the Makuhari Messe meant for press demos but it was still secret though!
The demo itself was available to all to try out at Square Enix or Sony Entertainment booths; however, the waiting time was as long as three hours (Imai-san dropped that bomb when we asked her about it) so we lucked out in getting an exclusive appointment.
Led to our demo room, Sal and I sat down and I grabbed the demo while Imai-san left us to our own devices. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to film or record our demo but with the release so close, it’s no deal-breaker.
The demo begins in the Sector 1 Reactor location and gives you control of Cloud and Barret. One of the first things that caught my attention was the gameplay graphics.
I was quite amazed by how the graphics. I knew Square Enix was going for a photorealistic look for the game (I’ve seen the same screenshots AND watched the same videos as you guys too) but to see it with my own eyes is a whole new experience.
It’s one of the best looking games on the PS4, if not THE best. I was blown away by every aspect of it; the lighting, the character models, the detail present…EVERYTHING.
The game utilizes a hybrid real-time and turn-based battle mechanics which allows you to feel more immersed as the character you’re playing and that is something I honestly enjoy when it comes to roleplaying game genres.
The real-time battle mechanics are quite similar to the gameplay of the Crisis Core game; which allowed the player to attack, block and dodge enemies in real-time instead of turn-based.
However, the uniqueness with the remake is that the Command menu; the screen that allows you to select: items, abilities, spells and limit break, utilizes turn-based mechanics. Open the menu and everything goes into slo-mo while the player makes their choice.
The idea of using a slow-motion display for the turn-based mechanics instead of the traditional method of the game being paused was something interesting to experience during the gameplay and also pretty cool to watch!
Cloud and Barret play differently too! Cloud is a melee combat specialist (as he should be) while Barret guns down everything from long range with his gun arm. You’ll need to change characters (or direct the AI via the Command menu) depending on what enemies you fight. Some might be weaker to melee slashes while others may not even be in melee range.
At the near end of the demo the game pits you against a boss called the ‘Scorpion Sentinel’, which should be familiar to the fans of the original game; but I can assure that the battle will be a lot more different and engaging than before.
As a Dark Souls player, I thought to myself to approach this battle with the idea of utilizing the standard dodging and striking method to overcome this boss; however, it didn’t take long for me to realize that it wasn’t going to work out as I had planned. The rockets to the face started to put things into perspective rather quickly.
The real-time battle mechanics weren’t as clear cut as I had assumed them to be at the beginning.
There were limitations to the dodging and blocking mechanics which required proper strategy and planning to be efficient. Knowing when to use these actions and which actions to use ensured victory.
Intelligent use of abilities and staggering enemies are the key to victory in the Final Fantasy VII Remake. I can’t wait to see how this design is improved upon in the final game.
The demo concluded after defeating the boss, and I was pretty satisfied with it completely. I was already going to get the game when it releases but now after knowing what to expect it is just making the wait all the more difficult!
Good things come to those who wait, so I’m guessing we’ll just have to wait for the game to be finally released on March 3 2020…