Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the second chapter in the highly anticipated remake project of the hallmark 1997 PlayStation game Final Fantasy VII is slated to arrive on PS5 on February 29, 2024. Through interviews and trailers, developer Square Enix has shared quite a bit about what folks can expect from Cloud and co.’s next journey. Expect a large game, with open areas, side quests and locations that were never in the original, and much more.
Much remains unknown about this ambitious second chapter of FF7’s retelling. That said, here’s everything we do know.
Rebirth will feature a 40-hour campaign
According to Game Informer, Rebirth will feature a 40-hour main story. When you toss in side activities, Square Enix says players can look forward to a 60-100 hour experience. According to director Naoki Hamaguchi, the game has been designed for players of all styles, those who want “to dedicate themselves solely to the main storyline,” those who want to dive into all the content the game has to offer, and others who wish to strike a balance between the two extremes.
Rebirth is part two of a three-chapter saga
The original FF7 features a story that spans an entire planet with multiple twists and turns. As we learned back in June 2022, the remake project will span three full games. Rebirth will make up the second installment, with an unnamed third entry expected to wrap up the saga.
Unfortunately, character progress made in Remake won’t carry over to the second game. Speaking to PlayStation, director Naoki Hamaguchi said that “each game’s balancing is done independently and a player’s levels and abilities will not carry over from one game to the next.” Still, Hamaguchi teased “a little something extra” for folks who have completed 2020’s Final Fantasy VII Remake.
The world map is large and invites exploration
If you’ve played the original FF7, then you know the game opens up to its large world map once you leave Midgar. This is precisely where Rebirth begins. While the new game stops short of being fully open-world, the map will offer seamless exploration across different regions. Speaking to Game Informer, Square Enix director Naoki Hamaguchi said:
While each section of each region – in this case, Grasslands and Junon – is labeled on the map as separate areas, you can seamlessly walk between them. “We thought that it would be easier for players to go to just one region, and so from a U.I. perspective, we have it separated – Junon and Grasslands – but in actuality, you can traverse, and they’re all connected with each other.
If the more open playspace has you worried you’ll get too distracted from Rebirth’s main story, rest easy. In a PlayStation blog, Hamaguchi also said that it will “be possible to return to any of the regions in the world even after the main quest moves on from that area, so you don’t have to worry about leaving things behind or unfinished.”
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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is also taking inspiration from another wildly popular open-world RPG: 2015’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Speaking with Game Informer, Hamaguchi described The Witcher as an influence Rebirth. As a result, the game is expected to offer a number of sidequests, and even the ability to go out into the wide world and hunt. It’s likely these hunts will be reminiscent of those seen in Final Fantasy XV and XVI, but that remains to be seen.
Rebirth has locations not seen in the original game
Hamaguchi also told Game Informer that Rebirth will feature “totally new cities that did not exist in the original to go deeper and create this whole worldview of Rebirth.” These new spaces seem to add to the larger scope of worldbuilding, and will be an opportunity to explore more sidequests and take part in minigames.
Rebirth’s story changes up the order of the original game
If you have the original Final Fantasy VII’s story beats memorized like the back of your gunarm, prepare for some surprises. Rebirth is mixing up when certain locations appear in the story. Speaking to PlayStation, director Tetsuya Nomura said that “the order in which you can explore the locations is not the same as the original.”
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One such location is Wutai, the hometown of Yuffie Kisaragi, protagonist of the INTERmission DLC for Final Fantasy VII Remake. Unfortunately, this location won’t be featured in Rebirth and will make its appearance in the third game of the remake trilogy. In the original game, you can visit Wutai fairly early on, but that won’t be the case here.
Rebirth ends where the original game’s first disc concluded
The original FF7 shipped on three discs to accommodate its massive story and many rendered cutscenes. These discs, however, aren’t a 1:1 representation of the new trilogy’s story beats. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will take players all the way to the end of where the first disc of the original game ends. We’ll leave out where that is exactly in the world and the story to avoid spoilers (and because the remake project might still have some twists and turns of its own), but it’s fair to expect the internet to be on fire by the time players get to the conclusion of Rebirth.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth itself will ship on two discs for PS5, coming in at a 150 GB install. So expect to clear some space on your SSD.
Rebirth features a relationship meter
Players could influence Cloud’s relationships with other characters in the original FF7, resulting in special scenes with his closest companion. Though that original mechanic was based ondialogue choices throughout the game, Rebirth will provide more opportunities for Cloud to make meaningful connections with the party.
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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth features an “Affinity” system which you can influence through various side quests. Play your cards right, and who knows, maybe Cloud will even be able to take one of the characters out on a date?
Characters who die in Rebirth will stay dead
Though the FF7 remake project takes several liberties with the original plot, Nomura has stated that themes of death and loss are still central to the story. Speaking with Game Informer, Nomura said:
Prior to Final Fantasy VII, there have been other titles where characters have experienced tragedy, but many of them have come back or been revived in some way. But I believe that loss is something that happens unexpectedly, and it’s not something so dramatic or drawn out, but is something in which a person that you have just conversed with is suddenly gone and never to come back. I believe that the person who dies should not return in this title, and that is what we did with the original.
So while Remake may have toyed around with player expectations about who will and won’t die, it seems like Square Enix is still aiming to achieve similar gut punches to the original. So yeah, maybe buy a box of tissues when you pick up your copy of Rebirth.
A key side character is getting an entire episode
Though he plays an important role in the backstory of Final Fantasy VII, Zack Fair doesn’t have a major role in the original game.
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If you’ve finished FF7 Remake, however, then you know Zack might be playing a more important role this time around. Speaking to IGN, producer Yoshinori Kitase confirmed as much:
We see at the end of Remake that [Zack] has appeared, which, you know, is quite a difference from the original title. And as for Rebirth, there will be a new episode with [Zack], that will contain even more of him than [Remake].
Zack, notably, was the main character of FF7’s prequel Crisis Core, which received a full makeover back in 2022 with Crisis Core – Final Fantasy VII – Reunion.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has a large cast of playable characters
Rebirth will feature Cloud, Tifa, Barrett, and Aerith–anda few more characters will be joining the group, too. Red XIII, who joined the party as a non-playable character in Remake will be fully playable this time around. That’s in addition to Yuffie Kisaragi from the INTERmission expansion, and Cait Sith.
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Fan favorite character Vincent Valentine will be present for Rebirth’s story, but like Red XIII in Remake, he won’t be playable. The same is true of Cid Highwind, who we saw in a recent trailer. Sephiroth, the game’s big bad, however, will be playable during select flashback sequences in Rebirth. (This was also the case in the original FF7.)
Remake’s thrilling combat returns, but with a twist
Final Fantasy VII Remake managed to achieve the impossible: a thrilling combat system that feels as tactical as it does responsive. That system returns in Rebirth, but expect to have a few more tricks at your disposal.
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This time characters can use “Synergy” abilities with each other, allowing for combined attacks. According to Polygon, these abilities charge up overtime and function similarly to Limit Breaks, high-powered attacks accessible once a gauge fills up.
Yes, the mini-games are back
Back in 1997, FF7’s extensive mini games made its world feel memorable and lived-in. This is particularly the case at the Gold Saucer, an enormous amusement park filled with games and rides.
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Thus far we’ve seen glimpses of boxing, chocobo racing, and an arcadey spin on Final Fantasy VII Remake’s motorcycle chase scene. Rebirth will also feature a deck-building card game not too dissimilar to The Witcher 3’s Gwent, which allowed players to challenge various NPCs to a game of cards.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will ship with three different editions
Launching exclusively on PlayStation 5, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will be available in three editions. The standard one retails for $70 and includes the two-disc game. If you haven’t played Remake, you can preorder the $70 “Twin Pack” for both games.
The Deluxe Edition is $100 and comes with the game, an art book, a mini soundtrack, and a steelbook case.
Finally, the Collector’s Edition, which is currently sold out, sells for a Huge Materia-sized $350 and comes with a large statue of Sephiroth, adorned with his signature single wing. The collector’s edition also comes with two unique summoning materia, the Moogle Trio and Magic Pot, as well as two in-game items: a Reclaimant Choker accessory and Orchid Bracelet.
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth ships on February 29 for PS5. What has you most excited about the upcoming game?