After years of anticipation, we finally got a glimpse of how Final Fantasy VII Remake’s combat is going to work.
This came alongside a release date for the game – we’re not sure just yet whether this means the full game is coming out on March 3rd, 2020 or just the first episode (many think the game will have a staggered release!)
Regardless, it was a very exciting glimpse into the real-time/tactical basis that underpins battle in FFVII Remake.
We first saw Cloud slashing away at enemies with his buster sword whilst dodging and weaving around enemies. It’s a far cry from the turn-based style of the original, but it none-the-less looks good and seeks to capture the spirit of FFVII’s combat for a modern audience.
Its easy to compare it to something like Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts, both games with real-time tactical combat. In Final Fantasy VII Remake, there’s also the active time battle meter, a gauge adjacent to limit break that when filled affords the player the ability to slow down time and pick spells and abilities from the command menu to give you more control over an engagement.
You can also create shortcuts to your favorite spells so that you can use them without stumbling through the menu in the heat of the moment. After the combat was introduced we received a look at both Tifa and Barret in action – with the player able to switch between them at a press of the L2 button. There’s also the focus gauge system, a meter below an enemies health bar that can be abused to stagger foes and lay the smack down on them.
At long last, we got a look at a boss battle too, as Cloud and Barret faced off against the Scorpion Sentinel. It looked like a lot of fun, what with the boss mounting the wall and hopping around the arena, growing a barrier to ward off attacks. It seems that you’ll have to swap between players to save them sometimes, evidenced by the flashpoint when Cloud got picked up by the claw arm of the scorpion.
It was a tantalizing set piece oozing with care for the original – even this small battle during the tutorial section of the game looked like a fully fledged and realized boss, and a difficult one at that!
After a few limits breaks, the jig was up and the Scorpion Sentinel fell. That was it for Square’s FFVII Remake’s combat showcase, but we’re sure we’ll see more of this in-depth set of mechanics as the game approaches its 2020 release date.