When we last left our Final Fantasy VII Remake heroes, they had just made it out of the dystopian industrial nightmare of Midgar, embarking on a quest to stop Sephiroth from being so Sephiroth-y. Departing significantly from the original game in the end, Final Fantasy VII Remake left fans in uncertain territory about what the future may hold for Cloud and his ragtag bunch of eco-warriors. Today, we finally had our first look at that future thanks to a trailer for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, coming to PlayStation 5 in winter 2023.
While brief, the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth announcement video showed off a brief snippet of gameplay featuring Cloud and Sephiroth travelling through the wilderness together with a mysterious voiceover conversation between Cloud and Aerith about her impending death.
“Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is being designed so that people can enjoy this game whether they know the original game or not,” said creative director Tetsuya Nomura. “In fact, new players might even enjoy starting their Final Fantasy VII journey with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Cloud and his friends embark on a new journey in this game, and I believe that the scenes that they witness after leaving Midgar will give players a fresh, new experience. I can’t wait to share the intention behind naming the first title ‘Remake’ and the second title, ‘Rebirth.’”
Final Fantasy VII Remake, as we were surprised and pleased to discover, wasn’t afraid to mess with the OG game’s plot, which means events that happened in the classic RPG can and will change. Maybe Aerith will live. (Please.) Maybe Cloud and Sephiroth will finally have the hot makeout sessions fans have been dreaming about since 1997. I’m totally here for that, but we’ll see what director Tetsuya Nomura and co. cook up when the sequel comes out.
Read More: Final Fantasy VII Remake: The Kotaku Review
Last year’s enhanced PS5 release Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade showed us how far Square Enix is willing to twist the original game’s narrative to deliver a new experience. It added a whole new chapter starring enthusiastic ninja Yuffie Kisaragi, one of the optional “secret” characters in the original game who normally wouldn’t run into Cloud and the gang until well after the Midgar opening. In this new altered timeline, anyone could show up at any point.
While there is no word on when Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will drop, Square Enix has said it wants to get it out as soon as possible. In Square Enix language, that probably means we’ve got a few more trailers and gameplay reveals at special events before we get our hands on the next instalment.
Still, with FFXIV’s dominance, FF7R‘s success, and FF Pixel Remasters’ nostalgia trip, Final Fantasy is in one of the best places in the series’ history — managing to pull itself into the future while remaining in conversation with the games that laid its foundation. Couple this with the possible series reinvention in Final Fantasy XVI, and it’s looking pretty good for fans of big-budget JRPGs.