Square Enix has finally announced the second installment in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake project, though it's no longer calling itself a remake.
Officially unveiled as Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, it'll launch in Winter 2023 as a PS5 exclusive. Our first look at the title came during the 25th anniversary celebration of Final Fantasy 7 on Thursday. While we've always known this remake would launch in parts, producer Yoshinori Kitase advised the plan is to create a Remake trilogy, finishing with a currently unnamed third entry.
The brief snippet of gameplay showed us Cloud Strife, Zack Fair, and Sephiroth. You can hear a voiceover from Aerith too, which alludes to key events from the original PS1 game. It's a very famous moment in Final Fantasy 7 and there's no guarantee it'll happen again in Rebirth, but this may prove spoilery for some. If that's not a problem, you can watch the reveal trailer below:
Otherwise, the 25th anniversary broadcast held some additional surprises. Following six months of Epic Games Store exclusivity on PC, Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is rolling out on Steam today. Better still, it's also compatible with Steam Deck.
Finally, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion was also announced, launching in late 2022. Arriving on all major consoles and PC, Square Enix is remastering this once PSP-exclusive prequel, which focused on Zack Fair. Giving it a visual upgrade, Reunion includes fresh 3D models, full voice acting for all dialogue, and a newly-arranged soundtrack.
Is Rebirth what fans really wanted?
At this point, it's no secret that Final Fantasy 7 Remake took a drastically different approach, and there will be some spoilers in the paragraph below.
While Remake begins just like the PS1 game, we soon learn events take a drastically different turn. However, Remake simultaneously acknowledges what happened originally through the ghostly Whispers, who tried to preserve the original timeline. With their defeat, our group of heroes defy fate, setting course for a brand new timeline untethered by continuity restraints.
Remake ultimately reviewed well and while I personally loved this approach, it left some fans divided. After years of wanting a straightforward remake, Square Enix evidently wasn't content with resting on the laurels of the original Final Fantasy 7. It's no surprise then that Rebirth continues that approach, so dropping the word 'Remake' from the second part's name is rather fitting.
Right now, anyone looking for a straightforward Final Fantasy 7 remake might be better served by Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis. Retaining the original game's Active Time Battle system, this retells the wider Final Fantasy 7 compilation. So, expect this to adapt the original PS1 game, Advent Children, Before Crisis, Crisis Core, and Dirge of Cerberus.
However, Ever Crisis doesn't appear to cover the entirety of the Final Fantasy 7 compilation, just its key events. It's also mobile only and thanks to its episodic, free-to-play model, it's supported by loot boxes, I wouldn't claim its a perfect alternative, either. Still, if you're curious to try it out, the 25th anniversary broadcast did confirm an Ever Crisis beta drops later this year.