We all knew Final Fantasy 7 Remake was just the beginning but had no idea how long we would have to wait for the next part, or even how many parts this incredibly ambitious project would stop stretching over. Since fans have been asking Square Enix to redo what is probably the most popular and important JRPG of all time for several years, there was obviously a lot of pressure on them to get it right. Although there was plenty of skepticism for the first part that changed so much about the core formula, once we had it in our hands, it became almost universally famous.
After Remake, there was almost no news on when Cloud and his ragtag team’s adventure would continue. That is, not until the 25th anniversary of the original PlayStation 1 game, when Square Enix released a ton of information about all of us at once. The biggest news was obviously the official unveiling of Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, the second part of what we now know is a trilogy of titles. After hitting the first part, you should know that your knowledge of the original title will only serve you so well in the future, so here’s all we know about Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
Note: There will be spoilers for both Final Fantasy 7 Remake and the original Final Fantasy 7.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth was revealed with only one release window for now. As of this writing, it is planned to come out “next winter”, which means that the winter of 2023 will run into the beginning of 2024. Considering Final Fantasy 16 is scheduled to be released sometime during the summer of next year, we would imagine that Square Enix would like to provide a good space between these titles, so our bet is that it will come either very late 2023 or, more likely, January or February 2024.
This is another interesting aspect of the whole Final Fantasy 7 narrative trilogy. We all remember the first part, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, be an exclusive PS4 at launch, to later get a PS5 upgrade as well as a PC version. However, that game has still not reached any other platforms. Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, at least as far as the trailer reveals, will follow the same formula, but skips the PS4. When it comes out, you can only play this game on PS5.
We suspect that again, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will come to PC within a year after the PS5 version, if the same kind of deal between Sony and Square Enix exists for this game as it had in the first place. As for the Xbox player, while we knew it Final Fantasy 7 Remake was just a timed exclusive, the fact that it still has not appeared on that platform yet, suggesting that either the deal keeps the games exclusive to Sony consoles until the next game in the series comes out or even possibly until the entire trilogy is out. It’s pure speculation, but it’s the only thing that makes sense when it’s been over two years without it coming to the Xbox.
Our first look at Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth was in a fast trailer that revealed the game during Final Fantasy 7 25th anniversary event 2022. It begins with Aerith saying that although the past may be carved in stone, the future may change, even if it has been “written”. This clearly refers to the recent game where remarkable changes in history were not only made but were actually a point of action that we will go into a little more later.
We get a picture of the iconic meteor crashing into the planet with the simple question being asked: “What will happen to the planet?” From there, we see Cloud for the first time walking with Sephiroth towards a forest area when he says that “he wants to finish what he started – regain his birthright and rule the planet with Jenova by his side.” This scene is almost certainly from the flashback that occurs right after Cloud and his team leave Midgar and he explains his past with the villain in his hometown.
As the two continue to walk, we hear more conversations, where Cloud probably talks about how he thought Tifa was already dead after Sephiroth went crazy, burned down their hometown and tried to steal Jenova from the reactor. Tifa stops him and asks what he means and if he thinks she is a scammer. This strongly foreshadows the reversal that Cloud’s memories of this event are incorrect, leading perfectly to the next block of text, asking: “What are facts and what is fiction?”
Then we see the change that may have the biggest consequences for this new timeline in the future: Zack. We see Zack carry Cloud against Midgar instead of Cloud advancing on his own after Zack died to protect him. Cloud says, “You were here with me … five years ago. Where are you? What happened to you?” This raises many questions about when this line will be delivered because the original cloud did not realize that he and Zack were different people until after he fell into the stream of life much later in the game. Aerith says, “I’m trying so hard to find you,” is much more meaningful because she never knew Zack died at this point and the two were in a relationship before they met Cloud. Zack’s only line, which could very well be to either Cloud or Aerith, is, “Sorry … feel I let you down.” And then we cut to the new title Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
We do not want to go too deep into what happened in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, especially not theories here, but there are some things worth noting that will be important for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. First, the only games we see are Cloud and Spehiroth which are apparently on their way to the city or the reactor in the mountains of Nibelheim. This means that the events of this retrospective will not change – not because Sephiroth, or any other force, can or wants to disrupt what happened there, but because this is Cloud’s erroneous memory of these events. This story is told in the first city you visit after leaving Midgar, Kalm.
Zack is the other major player to consider. His survival may be the biggest change in history to date and seriously affect not only the story but also the character relationships. We are very curious to see what happened to him after reaching Midgar and how, or why, he was separated from Cloud and never reunited with Aerith.
Of course, the big question is: Will Aerith survive this time? This is impossible to answer right now and can easily go both ways, which is exciting in itself not knowing what is coming. Since we know that this series will be three parts long – at least based on storytelling technique – the other part is usually where our heroes are at their lowest, so even though it may not happen the same person or in the same way, the odds are something will happen at the end of this game that puts Cloud and the others at a low point.
As for where the story will go, we can only guess based on the original game, but since they have essentially broken away from the boundaries of that game, who knows how much things will change. For fans of the original, this is perhaps the most important part of this new event story.
OK, so even though we saw gameplay in the first trailer, it was nothing more than walking around. It leaves many questions in mind, the most prominent being how they will deal with the open world aspect. Now that we’m out of Midgar, things will open up enormously if the game is similar to the original. In the original, moving in the upper world was represented by a large model of clouds that went over the terrain, which would not stylistically fit with the hyperrealistic models and environments we have in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. However, this can be remedied when you start traveling by vehicle, so maybe traveling early becomes more truncated or automatic until you get your first Chocobo to ride.
In terms of combat, again, nothing was shown, but based on how well received the new action- and turn-based hybrid system was in Final Fantasy 7 Remake was, it would be foolish to think that they would walk away from it. Of course, they will expand it, not only with new materials but also with new party members. Red XIII, for example, should finally become a playable character, plus Yuffie, Cait Sith and hopefully Cid and Vincent as well. Everyone will no doubt have their own systems. In that respect, we expect less changes in the core but more variation via new characters, equipment and materials.
Outside of the main story, we are a little curious about how much page content we can expect. Final Fantasy 7 Remake added lots of side quests and filled in lots of gaps to make the Midgar section hold a full game, but now that we’re out there are already a lot of headlines, open worlds and dozens of great places to get through in just two titles which, if they add as much page content as the first game, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth could easily balloon up to a 100-hour game. While some may love it, it may not be realistic.
Even if it has not been technically stated, we feel confident in adopting it Final Fantasy 7 Rebirthlike Remake before it and the OG title before that, will only be single player. There are ways we could see some odd multiplayer-like things added here and there, like charts or games in the Golden Saucer, but we’m pretty sure Square Enix wants to keep this as a pure single-player experience.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth was just revealed and is still a long way off. When the “winter” release window is focused down to a date, we expect pre-orders to start appearing. When they do, we will fill in all the editions and details you need.
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