Final Fantasy VII Rebirth State Of Play Dives Deep Into World Exploration, Side Content, And Character Relationships

During today’s PlayStation State of Play, Square Enix gave us new details for what to expect when Final Fantasy VII Rebirth arrives later this month. The game continues to impress with each passing look, earning its spot as the “Most Anticipated Game” at The Game Awards 2023.

The world of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is broken into various regions, which seamlessly blend into one another. After the intro sequence, players enter into the Grasslands, a grassy area south of Midgar. From there, you travel to Junon, a vast open area in the shadow of Shinra’s military; this area also features chocobos that can climb up cliffsides. The game also includes Corel, which features the touristy beach town of Costa del Sol, the massive playground known as Gold Saucer, and the dusty portion of the region to the south. The Gongaga region allows you to explore Zack’s hometown and explore the Mako Reactor. The Cosmo Canyon region lets you learn more about Red XIII’s roots and glide around on special chocobos. The Nibel region lets you relive Cloud and Tifa’s younger days and visit Shinra Manner. Finally, Meridian Ocean allows you to explore the waters.

As you explore, you can assist Chadley with side quests to let him develop new Materia. These World Intel quests sometimes require you to wrangle chocobos or play with mooglets. They also include exploration tasks like unlocking the secrets of divine entities in their sanctuaries or fighting powerful monsters in optional lairs. There’s even a protorelic investigation sequence that transports the cast to look closer to their appearances in the original game, though it’s uncertain if each protorelic investigation will include this gimmick, as the stream said each will include different characters and objectives. What we do know is that once you recover all the protorelics, something big will happen.

Odd jobs are also scattered worldwide, allowing you to learn more about the world and its inhabitants. These odd jobs will also strengthen Cloud’s bond with his party members. These sometimes pay homage to classic storylines in the original game, or expand beyond the scope in exciting ways. If you’re concerned about moving on from a region before finishing all the side content, don’t fret: Square Enix assures players story progression won’t affect your ability to complete side content. As director Naoki Hamaguchi stated in the presentation, “This freedom to experience the story how you want, is one of Rebirth’s greatest strengths.”

Completing side quests, fighting alongside your party, and choosing different dialogue options will improve your relationship with your party members, which can influence who you take on a date in Gold Saucer. On top of that, characters can also develop deeper relationships with one another, raising your Party Level. As your Party Level rises, you can unlock more skills in the characters’ folios, Rebirth’s version of the skill tree. You can reset the characters’ folios at any time.

Speaking of Gold Saucer, that fan-favorite location has plenty of minigames on offer, including chocobo racing, G-Bike, and 3D Brawler. Each has been remade from the ground up. Fans can even take part in Star Fox-esque space battles, gallery shooting, and what looks like soccer against chocobos. Others, like riding dolphins and performing in the military parade, have been fleshed out substantially in Rebirth. And of course, the card battler Queen’s Blood is one that director Naoki Hamaguchi recommends players check out. 

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

From the graphical perspective, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth continues to impress. This second entry in the Remake trilogy delivers more and higher quality cinematic storytelling content than its 2020 predecessor. Rebirth takes full advantage of the PS5’s SSD to deliver higher resolution textures faster than ever before. This entry includes a graphics mode, which delivers 4K resolution, and a performance mode, which offers constant 60 frames-per-second performance. The music aims to pay respect to the original tracks while also expanding to include new tracks that accentuate the feeling of the new scenes. Square Enix recorded well over 400 new tracks for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, so if you’re a fan of Final Fantasy music, you’re in luck with Rebirth. 

As you move through the world and progress through the story, you utilize the various abilities of the party members as you control different characters. Barret can shoot objects other characters can’t reach, Yuffie can swing across gaps, Tifa can grapple up ledges, Red XIII can climb up walls, Cait Sith can pick up and throw items, and Aerith can manipulate the lifestream. All of these abilities will allow players to solve various environmental puzzles and further explore the world. And of course, each character has special Synergy Abilities with one another, further showcasing not only the characters’ unique abilities, but their bonds with one another.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

The State of Play ended with news that a demo for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is available now. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth arrives on February 29 on PlayStation 5. For more, check out our latest hands-on preview and interview here.

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