Sure, you’ll be capable of play as Sephiroth. As part of a new gameplay trailer earlier this year, Closing Fantasy VII Rebirth confirmed a key scene from the unique would characteristic on this, the second entry in a three-game challenge of the seminal PS1 basic. In 1997, that second – a youthful, revenge-driven Tifa dealing with off towards Sephiroth – fashioned a part of an prolonged playable flashback. Again then, the SOLDIER legend was however an NPC in your social gathering. In final week’s State of Play, a new trailer revealed not solely would that flashback be current in Closing Fantasy VII Rebirth in some capability, however an accompanying interview confirmed the One-Winged Angel shall be DualSense prepared. And now, because of a brand new hands-on with a preview construct of the sport, we all know what enjoying as Sephiroth will really feel like.

That construct is definitely a two-part demo. The primary half is a combat-heavy however story-driven part charts Cloud and Sephiroth’s mission to the mountainous Nibelheim and is round 20 minutes in size. The second half – Cloud and firm’s post-Midgar journey taking them throughout a sweeping valley sat within the shadow of Junon – is of comparable size, if you head straight to the marked vacation spot on the HUD. Play time could possibly be and is prolonged because of the space’s expansive world and facet actions that beckon: Chocobo chicks to observe, Chocobo farms go to to customise your newly-acquired mount, beasts to thrash with one eye on elective goals. (It’s additionally an space rendered in such gorgeous element, that I lose time simply panning the in-game digital camera round to admire my environment.)

The demo as a complete is curated for attendees at this week’s Tokyo Recreation Present. As such extra tutorials are built-in to clarify mechanics and new additions, to refresh or familiarize gamers relying on whether or not they’re getting back from Closing Fantasy VII Remake or not. We managed to get an early look forward of the showfloor opening, and right here’s what we found.

The mountain of Nibelheim was wealthy in collectable, equipable Materia, the demo egging me on to alter my setup often to check the brand new varieties. Examples included Amplify Materia, rising the variety of enemies struck by an attack-type Materia if Amplify was slotted in alongside them. Enjoyable but probably highly effective was the  ‘Spare Change’ Materia, with my assault energy based mostly on how a lot Gil I’d forged (toss?) at an enemy. 

Kickass Angel: The Nibelheim flashback pairs Sephiroth with a youthful Cloud, the latter’s inexperience serving as a window for gamers to obtain world-building exposition from each his comrade and Tifa (pre-Avalanche and accompanying the visiting Shinra navy as an area information). Within the unique sport, the Masamune wielder performed NPC in your social gathering, commanding instantaneous respect together with his four-digit lengthy stack of HP and skill to one-shot most enemies with a single swipe of his sword. In Closing Fantasy VII Rebirth, you’ve the selection to direct or management him. That side of the battle system shall be much like Closing Fantasy VII Remake gamers (use DualSense triggers to situation instructions to allies, D-Pad left or proper to change character). He’s not a one-strike man, however nonetheless boasts some spectacular takedown expertise that continually catches the attention (enjoyable be aware: whereas his and Cloud’s HP stats are comparable in FFVII Rebirth, Sephiroth’s HP remains to be within the 4 digit vary). Alongside some trendy and distinctive Talents he’s in a position to deploy throughout fights, he may also group up with Cloud to execute one in every of FFVII Rebirth’s flashy new options: Synergy strikes (extra in these in a second). Sadly this demo sequence is all-too transient, however the embellished fight and story moments from the unique leaves me in an identical awe of Sephiroth because it did again within the day.

The Nibelheim portion of the demo had me slowly ascend the mountainside, with slim paths and cliff face climbs. Panning the digital camera as I explored revealed glowing Materia, suggesting elective routes I hadn’t noticed. Relaxation Stops allowed restoration of HP and MP. At one level a harmful construct up of Mako fuel blanketed the foyer space of an elevator, triggering a lockdown, forcing me to cleanse the world with a close-by air purifier unit earlier than the raise reactivated.

Synergy Expertise and Talents: These let two characters in your energetic social gathering be a part of forces for a strong assault throughout fight. They’ve been developed with every member’s struggle model and strengths in thoughts, which means there’s distinctive Synergies for each pairing – one more reason to repeatedly combine up your energetic social gathering whereas exploring. Some Synergies are AOE, others directional. You’ll uncover which of them could be deployed instantly, which want a wind up earlier than unleashing. All require you to weigh up and measure enemy (and generally pleasant) placements appropriately to make sure these strikes land. Synergies are available two flavors: Expertise and Talents, every getting a subsection of the command menu (sluggish time to a crawl with a press of X to enter Tactical Mode and cycle by way of fight choices to strategize your social gathering’s subsequent strikes).  

Your whole group – even these not actively in your social gathering – mount up on Chocobos and observe your lead as you discover. Sure, that features Crimson XIII. And sure, it appears to be like as splendidly absurd as you’d think about.

Junon: As talked about, the second part of the demo granted (nearly) free exploration of a rugged stretch of land between the Mythril Mine and Junon. Sure sections have been closed off for the demo, however nonetheless there lay a beneficiant part of terrain for me to information my Chocobo-riding social gathering round. This space particularly actually bolstered the sport’s visible splendor, Sq. Enix making its rendering of the towering Junon and the encompassing panorama wallpaper-worthy. Much like the primary luscious in-game pans of Midgar in Closing Fantasy VII Remake, I’m dazzled by what was as soon as finest offered in innovative CG cutscenes within the 90s is now outstripped by an in-game mannequin. That features Below Junon, a township constructed beneath the ft of Junon and which I’ve fond reminiscences visiting the primary time, and who’s next-gen growth retains the unique’s vibe however higher captures the contrasting scale of it and the colossus towering above.

The Open Wilds of Junon disguise many secrets and techniques, a few of which could be sniffed out by your Chocobo, others requiring you to assist Chocobo chicks. Assist a chick reactivate a Chocobo cease and also you’ll earn a Golden Plume, which could be cashed in at a close-by Chocobo farm to unlock cosmetics to your chicken mount.

A stowaway ninja, a dolphin and a boss struggle: Below Junon is designed as the top vacation spot of the second demo, however the demo’s climax performs out in an epic battle by the shoreline close by. The serpentine monster from the unique returns as the world’s boss battle, although the rationale for its assault is a bit of totally different this time spherical. In Closing Fantasy VII Rebirth it’s the introduction (and rescue) of Yuffie Kisaragi (who gamers final encountered in Closing Fantasy VII Remake EPISODE INTERmission) as she sails landward that units up the reimagined conflict between seaborn risk and Avalanche’s most interesting.

The demo concludes with a cutscene that’s so audacious but so consciously tongue-in-cheek that it earns my second massive snigger of the session, a piece of which you’ll be able to watch under (though a dolphin-assisted Cloud assault nonetheless locations second to the sight of Crimson XIII using a Chocobo for my favourite second of the hands-on).

The 2-part demo is a charming slice of what we are able to count on come February 29. With new gildings to the fight system, the visible splendor of a reimagined world past Midgar already on show because of the ability of PS5 and significantly juicy moments teased on this second act of the sport’s story, Closing Fantasy VII Rebirth is trying very promising certainly.


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