The world of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will offer a “high degree of freedom,” according to game director Naoki Hamaguchi, who addressed questions fans might have had about the second entry in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake project, which picks up right after Cloud and his gang left the walls of Midgar, arriving at the quaint village of Kalm, home to miners. While his comments don’t directly confirm an open-world format, we could still expect larger areas to explore, in addition to more flexibility in dealing with side content. In a separate tweet, producer Yoshinori Kitase confirmed that development on the game was ‘progressing smoothly and according to plan,’ suggesting that it’s still on track to release this winter.
While Square Enix is yet to confirm the rumoured 26th-anniversary celebration for Final Fantasy VII, it could possibly be revealed during the upcoming Summer Game Fest event, where the publisher is listed as a key partner. Of course, some final details of the high-octane action-driven Final Fantasy XVI is also expected, ahead of its release on June 22, exclusively on PS5. A PC version will also be released in time, though it could take longer than six months for optimisation. Circling back to Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the developers are working on setting a concrete release date, which producer Kitase confirmed last year, would be ‘released next winter,’ pointing toward a late 2023 or early 2024 launch window.
“Players will witness a chain of narrative developments that lie at the very heart of the Final Fantasy VII story while discovering each character’s destiny,” writer Kazushige Nojima revealed in a separate tweet. The promotion simply states that it will have a story, with threads that would reveal each character’s arc. In a press release from Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s announcement, producer Kitase claimed that the sequel is being developed in a way that new players could directly jump in without worrying about previous context.
“Making the middle part of a trilogy has its own challenges, but there are plenty of classic second instalments in the world of film that are defined by stunning story twists and deeper explorations of their characters. Often these second instalments become a favourite amongst the fans,” he added, hoping to make Final Fantasy VII Rebirth more gripping than 2020’s Final Fantasy VII Remake. The Remake project essentially reimagines the original 1997 PlayStation game for a new audience, tossing players into the dystopian cyberpunk metropolis of Midgar and dividing the chapters into three standalone experiences. Yes, it’s a trilogy, with some work on the final part already in progress.
The plot centres around Cloud Strife, an ex-SOLDIER operative, who joins a ragtag group of idealists called Avalanche to help destroy the Mako Reactor 1, whose bombing plunges the city into fiery chaos and brings visions of a bitter enemy long believed to be dead. Ditching the turn-based combat system of the original, Final Fantasy VII Remake employed a real-time battle system that has you switch between party members/ characters on the fly. Part one of the trilogy was released for the PS4 in 2020, before eventually making its way to PC and PS5 in the following year. The aforementioned sequel FF7 Rebirth, however, will not release on the previous-generation PS4.
Based on the current development timeline, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is expected to release this winter on the PS5.