Square Enix showed off 20 more minutes of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth during a special State Of Play stream last night, and holy heck, they sure are bringing it with the mini-games in this one. There’s a whole Gwent-like card game called Queen’s Blood (watch out Triple Triad), dolphin ride obstacle courses, playing with Mooglets, the return of Intergrade’s Fort Condor battles, a strange bit of chicken wrangling, photographing Red XIII, frog jumping… and that’s before we even get to all the stuff at Gold Saucer. Honestly, Like A Dragon better watch out, as Rebirth is clearly making a play for its mini-game crown in this second part of Squeenix’s Final Fantasy 7 Remake project, and man alive, I’m so very here for it.
Yes, yes, I know Rebirth hasn’t been confirmed for PC yet, but let’s be real. It’s only a matter of time. Personally, I’m not putting much stock in the sneaky small print at the end of the stream that seemed to imply it will only be a PS5 exclusive “until at least 05.29.2024”, as three months seems like far too short a time period to realistically unveil and release a whole extra PC version. Besides, Final Fantasy 16 was supposedly only a PS5 exclusive until “at least December 31st 2023“, and there’s still no sight of the (now confirmed) PC version of that, either. So make of that date what you will.
But in any case, when Rebirth does eventually come to PC, cor, even without all the mini-games, it sure looks peak video game, doesn’t it? It’s so gosh-darned colourful, and the open areas of the world map look properly stunning – way more impressive than Final Fantasy 16’s secretly linear areas that are really just flat plains with fancy scenery dotted around in the background.
There will be eight distinct regions in Rebirth that Square Enix say will be “seamlessly interconnected”, starting with the Grasslands south of Midgar. You’ll then go to Junon – the one with the big gun on the cliff – before visiting the Corel Region with its sandy beaches, Yakuza-like segways and Barret cosplaying as Ghostbuster’s Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Gongaga, Cosmo Canyon and Nibel all have their own regions as well, and topping it off is the Meridian Ocean – the stretch of sea between the two main land masses – and Northwood right at the top of the map.
The stream also went into more detail about how your party relationships will work in Rebirth – and yep, your Gold Saucer date night is still going to be based on what dialogue responses you give to various party members. One welcome improvement here is that Rebirth will also have little smiley face emojis denoting your current relationship with that party member, making it easier to see if Cloud will go on a date with Tifa, say (the correct choice), or Aerith (the boring choice), or indeed “even allies who weren’t available in the original FF7”.
But party relationships also go further than that in Rebirth, as you have a Party Level to keep an eye on now as well, which feeds into a new system called Folios. Unlocking new nodes here gives you more Synergy combo attacks between different party members, and we saw quite a few of these in the stream, such as Aerith powering up Barret’s gun with her staff, Cait Sith wielding Cloud’s sword, or Tifa and Red XIII doing a mad tornado shakedown.
There are loads more details I haven’t even mentioned here yet, like the 400 new music tracks (yessss), the vehicles (Tiny Bronco!), and the return of our favourite nerd boy Chadley and his world intel quests to get more summons. But I’m so very pumped for literally all of it. Come on, Square Enix, give us a PC release date soon. Pretty please with a mooglet on top?