We had the opportunity to try a build of Final Fantasy VII Remake. No footage or photos were allowed, but we can share with you our 15 minutes hands-on experience.
Cloud has his signature Braver ability, along with Focused Thrust and Triple Slash. Barret was also in the build, with Steel Skin, Focused Shot and Bullet Barrage as his ability loadout. Abilities, spells and item commands were open to use. If the limit gauge fills, then the limit command will open.
Abilities and Item usage will use the ATB gauge. The demo only allowed a maximum charge of 2 ATB bars per character. Presently, we don’t know if this will change in the future. Spells will use MP on top of the ATB bar. MP doesn’t really replenish after battle, so MP management may become necessary, as you’ll need to use items or rest to regain MP. You might be able to get some from destroying objects!
For Limit Gauges, they can only be filled when hit. Cloud’s Limit Break is Cross Slash. We couldn’t get to see Barret’s. Him being a ranged character meant he’d naturally draw less hits to himself.
You can guard and take reduced damage. It would seem that you don’t need to face the direction of the attack to do so. If not guard, you can also dodge. You’re allowed a lot of freedom of direction of movement. You can execute a dodge just after an attack.
The Scorpion Sentinel was the boss for the demo. It has a stagger gauge – officially dubbed the “focus gauge” – which you can fill by attacking it, filling it more with attacks it’s weak against. Once the gauge is full, the boss will be staggered. In this condition, the boss will be temporarily disabled and will receive more damage. Regular minions will also have their own focus gauges.
Final Fantasy VII Remake certainly offers a fresh take on the original game, having vastly different gameplay from the old school JRPG. New elements and mechanics are implemented; staggering bosses, different uses of the ATB gauge, and using the environment to your advantage. The boss fires a huge charged up laser beam during a phase in the fight, and you need to take cover behind debris to avoid damage. The boss goes through several phases. The Scorpion Sentinel has 4-5 of these, and the scene transitions between phases gives the feel of a sci-fi movie.
Characters all have their distinct style of play. Barret will be able to attack enemies from a safe distance, along with damaging enemies Cloud can’t reach. Level mechanics, Materia or presence of skill trees are still unknown for now. Should they be added, it’ll only give even more depth to the game. Look forward to Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s release 3 March 2020.