Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Everything we know so far

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth was revealed during a Final Fantasy VII 25th anniversary event and is slated to launch a lot sooner than expected. Seven years ago, Remake took the world by storm after its surprise announcement during Sony’s E3 2015 conference. While we expected a full blown recreation of the original game, it was confirmed shortly after that Midgar would be its primary focus. This made fans a little worried because it initially felt like Square Enix would be milking the original Final Fantasy VII across multiple remakes to get more money. 

But when the game finally launched five years later, that doubt faded. Square Enix’s plan for the Final Fantasy VII Remake project turned out to be a lot more than just padding the game’s length to fit multiple entries. And now, all of our hopes lie with Rebirth, the upcoming sequel to 2020’s Final Fantasy VII Remake. And with Final Fantasy XVI coming sometime next year, we’re hoping this signals huge shifts for the future of this game franchise. Final Fantasy is back!

Without further ado, here’s everything we know about Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, including details on its release date, gameplay, setting, narrative and more.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth release date  

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is set to launch next winter, which could imply any time between December 2023 and February 2024. Final Fantasy VII Remake launched around five years after its reveal, so a three to four year turnaround would be quite an improvement. We also know that the Remake project will be a three-part series, as confirmed during the Final Fantasy VII 25th anniversary event. This means there will be one more Final Fantasy VII Re-something game coming after Rebirth.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

It’s not uncommon for Square Enix to delay its games, especially coming off of Forspoken getting pushed to October from its May release date. Essentially, don’t get your hopes up too much. Next Winter might be the plan right now, but anything can change in the next year and a half.

We also know CRISIS CORE –FINAL FANTASY VII– REUNION is set to launch on December 13. It acts as a prequel to Final Fantasy VII and is a remake of the original Crisis Core game that released on PSP.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth narrative 

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s finale is jaw-dropping, and its sequel being titled “Rebirth” is brilliant. Spoiler alert! Stop reading if you haven’t played Remake yet

Cloud, Aerith, Tifa, Barrett and Red XIII fight against fate itself in the last few chapters of Remake. Small hints are sprinkled throughout the game, suggesting that something different is going on; something that original fans would not have recognized. Towards the end, a mind-blowing plot twist reveals that Sephiroth is aware of his loss in the original version of Final Fantasy VII and refuses to let himself fail again. Beyond that, it becomes clear that the events of the original game are not set in stone, pushing our beloved cast to fight to change the script.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

It’s hardly the first time we’ve seen characters battling against a future that’s supposedly set in stone, but what makes Remake so special is that players aren’t just fighting to change events that have been explained to them through exposition. We aren’t watching the party fight to prevent the upcoming destruction of Meteor; the player is actively part of wanting to change that future, a future that they experienced 25 years ago. I’ve been desperate to save Aerith from Sephiroth’s blade ever since I played Final Fantasy VII. And Remake isn’t just retelling that story — it’s putting the power in our hands to change that future. 

Narratives revolving around characters changing their fate is a popular trope, but this is the first time in any work that I’ve been an active participant in that fate. Players of the original not only experienced its story, but it became a part of them. And now, we are with the party in their battle to change those events. In many ways, Remake is a cleverly misleading title; calling it a sequel is more fitting because it trusts that the player experienced the original.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

With the reveal of the Remake project’s second game, Rebirth perfectly encapsulates where the series can go from here. This journey is no longer set in stone, and this isn’t a remake anymore. We’re now on our own path, continuing to push against a dark future.

Final Fantasy VII’s ending isn’t a happy one. We witness the world barely surviving in the face of Meteor’s destruction. Remake clearly prophesied that this will occur, but Rebirth can go any direction now. I’m almost expecting the third game in the Remake series to be entirely different from the original.

As the ending credits for Remake begin, we see “The Unknown Journey Will Continue” in text. No longer is this a remake; it’s now something entirely new. And the opening line of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s trailer continues to hint towards this, with Aerith saying “the future — even if it has been written — can be changed.”

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth trailer 

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth was revealed at the Final Fantasy VII 25th anniversary event. However, the contents of the announcement trailer are pretty underwhelming. It opens with Aerith narrating that the past needs to be forgotten for now, as even if the future is written, it can be changed. 

The trailer then cuts to Cloud and Sephiroth walking toward a bridge leading into a forest, and then cuts back to the two of them walking together in a slightly different position, now climbing some rocks to overlook a cliff. This goes on for far longer than necessary before the final shot shows Zack carrying a wounded Cloud with a bunch of random dialogue cut between these scenes. It’s a poor trailer, but the title reveal and promise of a release date next winter are pretty exciting. 

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth gameplay

Final Fantasy VII Remake’s innovative approach to real-time combat is immensely fun, and assuming Rebirth only improves upon this foundation, it should offer a lovely time. Remake put the classic materia system back in player’s hands, allowing them to upgrade each ability and skill to customize every party member’s build. Alongside actively attacking, dodging and blocking, characters on the field can be freely switched between — and time can be paused to pull off special abilities, cast spells, summon creatures, and use Limit Breaks.  

(Image credit: Square Enix)

This seamless blend between action-oriented combat that appeals more to modern players alongside the old-school pause system seemed risky at first, but it turned out to be a perfect fit for a game like this. Final Fantasy VII Remake easily has the best combat system in the series.

We know nothing about how Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will innovate upon the previous game’s foundation, but there are many things to ponder until we see official footage. In regards to progression, I wonder if players start from the beginning and must level their materia from scratch, or will they be set at level 50 already, which is where Remake ended. The same can be said for materia and equipment. Will the game give our items back (and maybe even detect our previous save file to keep things accurate) or will there be some sort of narrative excuse for the player losing everything they had from the previous game?

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth setting

Final Fantasy VII Remake put players on a 40 to 50-hour long journey that took place entirely in Midgar. The finale of the game has Cloud, Aerith, Tifa, Barrett and Red XIII escaping the desolate, smog-infested Midgar in the face of overwhelming struggle. We battle giant robots, a living god, and fate itself to finally break through the final layer of this suffocating city’s wall. 

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Rebirth is taking players outside of Midgar, allowing us to explore far more of the world. After all, Midgar is only a small portion of the original Final Fantasy VII. We’ll finally see Wutai Village, the Gold Saucer, and get our first look at Kalm, which is one of the franchise’s most peaceful little towns.

Now that the player is in the world, I wonder how that’ll shift the game’s style mechanically. Final Fantasy VII Remake was mostly linear, but now that the environment is open, that could change. I mostly hope they keep things guided though, as Final Fantasy XV’s approach to an open-world was largely disappointing.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth characters 

Final Fantasy VII Remake only featured four playable characters, but the original game had nine. With the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intermission, we got a taste of Yuffie’s gameplay, bringing that number up to five. Red XIII is already with the party in the final stretch of Remake, even though he’s not playable, so he’ll probably be available right from the start of Rebirth. 

(Image credit: Square Enix)

That leaves three characters left to be introduced in Rebirth: Cid, Vincent and Cait Sith. Cait Sith was briefly glimpsed in the scene where the plate falls on Sector 7, so it’s only a matter of time before we see him introduced. 

I’m most curious how Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will handle each character’s presence, as the player has no choice of who’s in their party during Remake. Since there were only four characters, it probably wasn’t necessary to give the player that decision at any point, but once that number is increased to nine in Rebirth, it wouldn’t make sense (or in the spirit of the series) to railroad who’s in your party throughout the game.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth PS5 

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will have indefinite exclusivity on PS5. We’re expecting the game to take full advantage of DualSense capabilities, including haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but it’s doubtful that a PS5 exclusive wouldn’t have these features.

(Image credit: Square Enix)

I’m also excited to see how Square Enix takes advantage of the PS5’s power to make the game look as great as it can be. Final Fantasy VII Remake is a good looking game, but there are plenty of moments with low-quality textures and grainy background images that can occasionally break immersion. Freed from the shackles of PS4 compatibility Square Enix should be able to take Rebirth to a whole new level.


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