Final Fantasy VII Rebirth may not be a true open-world game. It may be something even better. During Sony’s State of Play today, the presentation focused entirely on the much-anticipated Square Enix title. Sharing 11 minutes of new gameplay, the footage covered highlights from every main area of the world map—and then some.
Like Final Fantasy XVI, Rebirth will feature multiple large areas joined together, as opposed to a single open-world. However, this time around the areas appear jam-packed with activities. In addition to Chocobos, players will be able to traverse areas on various modes of transportation, including buggies and wheelies.
The world features several mini games, including Queen’s Blood, a new card game that was shown off previously. Classic mini-games from the 1997 original, like the Junon Military Parade, appear to have a fresh coat of paint. And Final Fantasy VII Rebirth will include other new games. One, from the looks of it, has Red XIII playing soccer. Another cheekily incorporates the original game’s polygon models.
The State of Play also hinted at a number of changes to story and gameplay—minor spoilers to follow. In the footage, Aerith is shown reunited with Zack. She’s also revealed giving the white materia to Cloud early on, which could suggest a potential major story change. Gameplay-wise, the footage showcased the Gold Saucer date with Tifa, but also shared that this event can occur with partners not previously available in the original. Combat will feature synergy moves unique to each pair of characters, suggesting much more variety in combat.
And while the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth State of Play may make the wait for the game all the more agonizing, there is an appetizer. Or rather, two.
A demo for the game has just arrived on the PlayStation store. In this one, players venture to Nibelheim as Cloud and Sephiroth. A flashback scene from the original game, it likely features towards the very beginning of Rebirth.
But another demo will arrive later on, before the game’s release. The events of this one will occur slightly later on in the story, with the party venturing to Junon. It may prove lighter on story, but it should showcase more of the detailed world of the game.
And for the full Final Fantasy VII Rebirth experience, which will arrive on February 29th for PlayStation 5. This State of Play, showcasing more of the game than ever before, has made the wait more excruciating. But thankfully, the two demos should help tide players over until then.