We got invited to a Final Fantasy VII Remake Hands-On Session, thanks to Playstation Asia! The FFVIIR demo build at the hands-on session is the same as the one you’ve heard about from previous events, rather than something new. Still though, it was an opportunity to refresh the memory! After all, the full game’s been delayed, and some Final Fantasy VII Remake might be better than none at all. As is the case, photographs or video of the demo were disallowed.
Going back to the hands-on, Cloud keeps his abilities:
- Cloud jumps into the air and lands a powerful strike
- Focused Thrust
- Strikes that stagger the enemy faster
- Triple Slash
- A circular arc attack; hit more enemies for better efficacy
Barret also has the same abilities which are:
- Steel Skin
- Temporarily reduces damage taken, and makes it less easy to be interrupted
- Focused Shot (uses all ATB gauge)
- Energy attack that staggers enemies faster
- Bullet Barrage (uses all ATB gauge)
- Fires a long stream of bullets, single target
Both of the characters in the demo had Cure spells, while Cloud has Fire and Blizzard, and Barret Thunder and Aero instead. Thunder is specifically noted to never miss, while Aero summons a tornado that damages and draws in enemies. Barret’s abilities using both bars of the ATB gauge may increase its damage, but it’s hard to tell accurately. You can also opt to use the skill at only one gauge, so it’s not a big limitation.
We’d expect these related spell materia to be far more varied in the full game. Something we managed to see this time was Barret’s Limit Break. Simply called “Fire in the Hole”, it fires a large orb of energy that creates an explosion. Do note this being a demo, the skill names and effects could change.
Trying to experiment more with the so-called “Tactical Mode”, it slows down time as you plan your inputs and choose targets where applicable. The Classic Mode was not available to test, which can be awkward to get used to for those unfamiliar with a more active battle system.
Should there be another demo before release, trying out the good old turn-based style would be great. An added layer of nostalgia for some of us, and to try it out to decide which mode we like! Luckily though, you can pick it up and gradually get used to it. Nevertheless, being able to remap keys would certainly be plus.
Facing against the Scorpion Sentinel once more, it’s more accurate to say it had 3 phases, with each phase adding new mechanics accordingly. The second part had a shield generator that Cloud as a melee character wouldn’t be able to get to without spells, so Barret shines here. Not mentioned previously was the presence of unavoidable attacks. A character can be disarmed/trapped/disabled, so you’d need to swap to another party member to break them out.
You can maintain control of a character, and press the left/right triggers to directly issue commands to the AI to execute. Abilities, spells, and items all use a bar of the ATB gauge, so there’s a certain sense of micromanaging. As a small note, though your party members walk behind you, you can’t chat with them, which is too bad. The demo itself certainly remains enjoyable, so look forward to it regardless!