Many open world video games have a ‘step out into the world’ second—keep in mind that feeling of leaving the vault in Fallout 3? Last Fantasy 7 Rebirth trades the soiled, cramped slums of Midgard for the open plains of The Planet. Seeing the sunshine of the unblocked solar spill onto verdant greenery for the primary time really hammers residence why these eco-terrorists are combating Shinra tooth and nail.
Throughout a latest preview occasion, VGC went hands-on with chapters one and two of the upcoming Rebirth, which is out February 29. Rebirth immediately follows the occasions of Remake, with Cloud, Tifa, Barett, Aerith, Pink XIII, and Yuffie making their escape from Midgard. Chapter one is a flashback Cloud narrates, taking us into his previous with Sephiroth on their first mission collectively as SOLDIERS. It acts as a tutorial for Rebirth’s up to date fight system, which is depraved quick—it makes Remake really feel sluggish compared.
Preventing in Remake may really feel slightly on rails at occasions, such as you have been holding a button whereas your occasion did all of the work. Rebirth maintains that stage of easy execution, however throws in a extra constant approach to get airborne alongside expanded synergy strikes, making gamers really feel like a extra lively participant.
Fights are slick, fashionable, and moreish, making me crave a God of Struggle-esque second when enemies overwhelm the display screen simply so you may minimize by them like a sizzling Buster sword by butter. Larger boss fights additionally embody a wholesome quantity of set-piece motion and seamlessly transition between gameplay and cutscenes, creating exhilarating exhibitionist experiences.
The ATB mechanic is again and serves as a welcome approach to break up the depth of the more durable fights by affording some respiration room. The extra open nature of Rebirth means fights generally is a lot more durable than they have been in Remake, as you may skip lots of optionally available materials and go in underlevelled.
We fought what was clearly a boss within the second chapter as quickly as we may, and obtained our arses totally handed to us. We nearly managed to safe the victory on spherical two, and truly having to depend on my objects so early within the sport was a welcome change of tempo from the relative ease of Remake.
Rebirth introduces crafting to the Remake mission, reinforcing how obligatory objects are going to be all through the sport. It’s a reliable system, nothing superb, nothing horrible – it simply works as you’d anticipate. What it does finest is encourage you to make use of things slightly than hoarding them, which means you may deal with the sport’s journey at your individual tempo, making up for being a decrease stage by utilising all of the instruments at your disposal and combating tactically.
Gathering the suitable supplies for crafting doesn’t detract from the exploration expertise both. You’ll be able to simply decide up substances whereas zipping throughout the open plains—no must cease and press and maintain Triangle or something like that. Clambering up and leaping down numerous heights can also be comparatively easy, making exploration a breeze, slightly than a chore.
“We fought what was clearly a boss within the second chapter as quickly as we may, and obtained our arses totally handed to us.”
Sadly, Rebirth continues a number of the pacing problems with Remake, slowing issues to a irritating crawl in some story segments that will work much better as cutscenes. We perceive the will to create pressure and maintain gamers in an emotional second, however hobbling by city with a limp and urgent R2 after which L2 to crawl ahead at a snail’s tempo solely served to frustrate.
The story on provide is enthralling, so we’re not annoyed as a result of we’d slightly be combating, however as a result of we wish to progress the narrative, not be caught behind motion that feels prefer it’s solely there to pad the run time.
The opening flashback of Cloud and Sephiroth clears a number of the mysterious fog that clouds the enigmatic villain, however nonetheless retains him attention-grabbing. Uncovering his origins and motivations makes his later acts of kindness towards Cloud much more intriguing.
There’s additionally a really clear homoerotic pressure between Cloud and Sephiroth. The normally cool and picked up Cloud is determined to impress the extra seasoned SOLDIER: “such a pet,” as Sephiroth says. I’m a sucker for an enemies-to-lovers storyline, and I’m curious to see how far the Rebirth leans into this.
Chapter two expands not solely the world, however the story, too. Everybody continues to be processing the occasions of Remake, and tensions are excessive. Different occasion members now react to the selections Cloud makes; it wasn’t clear how any of these relationships would play out additional down the road, but it surely’s attention-grabbing to see the significance of inter-party relationships be emphasised outdoors of fight. Fortuitously, there’s nonetheless time for card video games.
Queen’s Blood is Rebirth’s tackle The Witcher 3’s Gwent. There could also be a world-ending risk looming giant on the horizon, however what’s life with no little downtime? This minigame is all about positioning. You’ve obtained to put your playing cards in a method that extends your playable squares on the board and makes them capable of maintain extra highly effective models.
Like every card sport, it sounds complicated till you play a number of rounds and get the gist, but it surely’s nonetheless robust as nails. Scouring the world for opponents to battle and playing cards to gather encourages exploration, working nicely with Rebirth’s extra open environments.
The combating is epic, the traversal is straightforward, all the pieces seems totally attractive, and Queen’s Blood is a strong riff on Gwent. It’s only a disgrace Last Fantasy 7 Rebirth has introduced ahead Remake’s pacing points, particularly in a sport that feels giant already.