Final Fantasy VII Rebirth just got a new release window. During the Summer Game Fest event, held early Friday, Square Enix dropped a gameplay trailer revealing some key plot beats, as our heroes continue exploring the wider world outside Midgar. The second entry in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake project releases in early 2024, still sticking to the timeline producer Yoshinori Kitase originally set. The game also appears to be quite hefty in size, with the closing title card claiming that the physical edition comes in two discs on the PS5.
The trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth opens with a news broadcast of our heroes seemingly dead and getting carried around on stretchers, after having fled the wreckage at the Midgar Expressway in the first game. In the next shot, former SOLDIER Cloud Strife pushes open the door to the quaint village of Kalm, located outside Midgar and blooming with greenery and flowers. “It may look that way, but in reality, it’s barely hanging on” Red XIII warns Aerith, who swoons at the peaceful sight. Earlier this week, game director Naoki Hamaguchi suggested that the sequel will offer a ‘high degree of freedom,’ which is evidenced by glimpses of our heroes riding around on Chocobos and exploring large plains on foot.
Meanwhile, Tifa has been wondering what Cloud’s been up to in the past five years. “This is going to sound crazy, but as far as I know, Cloud was never in Nibelheim, five years ago,” she informs Aerith, in reference to a devastating incident that occurred in the mountain village, long before the start of the game’s events. The silver-haired antagonist Sephiroth has returned with a vengeance, after having bested our heroes at the end of Final Fantasy VII Remake. The FF7 Remake trilogy will likely continue messing with the original’s timeline of events, with a first-look teaser from last year showing bitter enemies Cloud and Sephiroth just peacefully frolicking in the woods. There’s even a scene at the end of this new Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth trailer — playing with what-if scenarios — implying that a younger Tifa got killed and the existing one is a reincarnated form of sorts.
The Final Fantasy VII Rebirth trailer also offered an in-depth look at the combat system, highlighting the Turks task force’s return and the ability to play as the aforementioned Red XIII, the crimson lion-looking creature with a flame burning at the end of its tail. Same as last time, Cloud unloads a barrage of strong slashes, as he juggles around enemies and easily synergises attacks with his party members, which also includes Yuffi from the Intergrade DLC. Despite this remake project being divided into three parts — yes, it’s a trilogy — its co-director Motomu Toriyama confirmed that the sequel was developed with ‘preparations‘ so that new players could jump in without prior context.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is slated to release in early 2024 on the PS5.