After waiting for so long, we finally have it. We have our first look at Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s combat, and we got an in-depth examination of the game’s mechanics. It was a big part of Square Enix’s E3 2019 conference, which makes a great deal of sense given how long they’ve been talking about it and previously, they provided no concrete details about the game. Until tonight. Now, they have a bunch of things they were ready to show off about the game, including the game’s release date, which is March 3, 2020. Let’s go over what we caught about the game’s combat and several neat mechanics we’re excited to try out.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s Combat
Real Time Action with Strategic Command-based Combat
During the first few minutes of gameplay was the central character cloud, fighting a handful of foot soldiers. Instead of the turn-based combat, the game is going to feature real-time action where every button click on the controller is going to Cloud slashing his sword to perform a basic attack. He can also block, dodge, and jump in the middle of combat, although the sword doesn’t do too much damage when it strikes and doesn’t deliver the correct amount of weight behind the attacks.
Players are going to have relied on their abilities, which they can pull out at any time. When a player switches over to using one of their character’s abilities, they’re going to pause the entire combat to move through the command menu. From here, they can choose which skill they’d like to use, and the character will lash out using it. These abilities use ATB, which a character builds as they hack into an enemy. So basic attacks serve a great purpose beyond only weakening an opponent. It’s a careful balance of figuring out how much a player wants to put into their attacks to build up their ATB, before unleashing their favorite ability to destroy a single target. Players can choose which opponent they’d like to hit from the tactical menu before the unleash their spell.
Players who prefer to act faster have the choice to bind spells to button shortcuts, ensuring they have had to go into the tactical menu if they don’t want to do so. It’s an option, and it’s available for anyone who wishes to choose this.
Switching Between Party Members
A player may seamlessly switch between their party members with a simple button press. It’s going to grant the player the opportunity to pick and choose how they want to approach a combat situation. All of the characters come with a unique playstyle, weapon, and series of abilities, so players are going to want to learn how to manage to swap exceptionally early in the game.
When the player is not controlling a character, they’re going to continue to fight as an AI unit. When a character has a full ATB bar, you can choose to switch to them, or you can issue a command for them to use their ability while you’re another character. Time is slowing down while in the combat mode, so players have the chance to think about their next move, despite the game sporting a real-time action fighting platform.
Hard Points on Bosses
At the gameplay trailer we got to see two main characters, Cloud and Berret, face off against one of the game’s early bosses. It was a massive mechanical scorpion that gave the two far more trouble than the previous grunts had. The two had to work together to take it down. While they were fighting the giant creature, there was a smaller bar below the creature’s health that showed how much it was going to stagger. When the two heroes filled this bar, it was going to stumble on the ground and received more damage. This mechanic was a great way to make the fight feel more satisfying, but a player has to do more than continue hitting the creature until its down. They’re going to have to use both of their characters to optimize their overall strategy.
For example, while Berret was firing at the mechanical Scorpion, Cloud would go around to the boss’ back and attack one of the smaller weak points located on the mechanical beast’s lower back. Cloud’s attacks would deal extra damage, while Berret distracted it. While the player could not control both party members at the same time, this type of combat still encourages a certain amount of synergy.
Additionally, the boss has the chance to grab and grapple party members, potentially making a massive attack. However, if a player switched to the free party member and attacked the boss enough times, they’d drop the captured character. Players are going to have to act fast, though, because if they don’t, they might lose someone during the fight. If things start to get rough and there’s a massive attack incoming, players can hide their party members behind pieces of debris to evade an enormous attack. It’s a creative way to mix real-time fighting with an old-school RPG.
We saw a lot from Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 7 Remake gameplay video. We’re excited about the game coming out, and it does have an official release date on March 3, 2020, for the PlayStation 4.