The long wait for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is nearly over. The second chapter in Square Enix's three-part remake of the 1997 classic will be coming at the end of this month and, with it, a new spin on some old-school adventures.
During a hands-on with a preview build of Rebirth, we got to see the third-person fantasy action role-playing game (RPG) for ourselves and we were very impressed. Its fluid combat and gorgeous cutscenes not only do justice to the original but meaningfully improve on its predecessor, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, in every way. Though we'll need to see the finished product before confirming, Rebirth could well be in the running to join our lists of the best RPGs and the best single-player games.
However, following in its predecessor's footsteps, Rebirth isn't going to be a carbon copy of the game that spawned it. New battle mechanics, story beats, and opportunities for exploration have been added, not to mention some significant changes to the narrative which could substantially shake things up in the long run. Though dead in the original, heroic supersoldier Zack Fair is making a return. Given his role as mentor to protagonist Cloud, this is likely to be the cause of more than a little drama. Read on to find out more about what to expect from one of this year's most anticipated upcoming games.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth: cut to the chase
- What is it? The sequel to Final Fantasy 7 Remake
- When is it coming out? February 29, 2024
- What can I play it on? PS5
- Who is making it? Square Enix
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth release date and platforms
The Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth release date is February 29, 2024, with the game coming out on PS5. This was revealed during a Sony State of Play event that aired September 14, 2023, alongside a new release date announcement trailer.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth trailer
The latest trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is four minutes of jaw-dropping excitement. Called the 'Final Trailer', this four-minute preview shows off some scenes from the Temple of the Ancients, while also giving us more of a look at Cid, Vincent, and even Zack.
While you can see the trailer below, we advice caution since it arguably contains minor spoilers for the game. Still, if you don't mind seeing a couple of story beats ahead of time, the Final Trailer makes for a great watch.
We also saw the release of the short yet punchy 'Destined for Rebirth' trailer in January as well as a trailer for the game's theme song, No Promises to Keep, which was revealed in December 2023. The trailer shows off scenes from the upcoming game as well as its tear-inducing theme song. We advise bringing tissues for this one.
Those keen for more Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth content can find the 2023 Summer Games Fest trailer as well as the Release Date Announce Trailer and the first-look trailer on Final Fantasy's official YouTube channel.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth gameplay
The Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth trailers have all shown off the game's combat mechanics. At a glance, we seem to be in for more of what we got with Final Fantasy 7 Remake: a satisfying action RPG with slick swapping between characters and a pause mechanic to help with decision-making.
As you carry out normal attacks, you'll build up an action gauge which can be cashed in for more complex techniques through the command menu. These might be spells or more specialized attacks tied to your character's weapon. Just like in Remake, every character in Rebirth handles differently, each with their own sets of abilities and approaches to battle.
During our hands-on with a preview build of the game, we got to experience Rebirth's battle system first-hand. More polished than its predecessor, the responsiveness of the controls and freedom of movement gave the likes of Devil May Cry 5 and Final Fantasy 16 a run for their money.
What's more, improving on systems tentatively introduced in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth introduces powerful synergy attacks - special moves performed by two characters at once. In addition to run-of-the-mill tag team techniques, you can use by spending action points as usual, you also have access to a suite of more powerful synergy attacks that not only offer strong effects but also show off the emotional dynamic between the two party members using the move.
Off of the battlefield, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth introduces new Chocobo riding mechanics as well as a range of new minigames, all of which were teased in the release date trailer. There's also a sizable explorable world, full of monsters to fight and secrets to discover.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth story and setting
In terms of story, we don't know much about Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. If it were more of a straight-up remake, then we'd have a far clearer idea about where the narrative is headed. Though Final Fantasy 7 Remake mostly stuck to the script of its original counterpart, there were a few significant differences that could signal a radical shift for the plot. Either way, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will be taking us out of the sprawling dystopian city of Midgar, across lush forests and foreboding badlands on a quest to pursue the villainous Sephiroth.
The Whispers, ghostly antagonists keen on preserving the original Final Fantasy 7 timeline, were a key element in Remake. According to a blog post in which co-director Motomu Toriyama spoke about Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, these ethereal meddlers aren't going to be around to keep the timeline in order this time around.
"As it says at the end of the game 'The Unknown Journey Will Continue', and Cloud and his friends will be on that journey for a while yet," co-director Motomu Toriyama says in the final installment of Square Enix's FF7 Remake blog series. "From here on in the Whispers cannot act to maintain the destined timeline, so fans can look forward to seeing what kind of future awaits the team."
Since Final Fantasy 7 Remake ended with the defeat of the Whispers, this narrative decision by Toriyama makes a lot of sense.
The Theme Song Announcement Trailer from the 2023 Video Game Awards has given us plenty more tidbits, too. Not only does it give us a proper look at Vincent and Cid, but it also gives us a sneak peek at Zack and Biggs' roles in this new canon. In the original timeline, both characters perished tragically, but it looks as though these two will be joining forces after the events of Remake. We also see Zack looking after a sleeping Cloud later on in the trailer. This means that the two will have a reunion of their own in Rebirth - a meeting that could have big ramifications for both of their character arcs.
We also know from an interview with Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth co-director Naoki Hamaguchi that Zack's role in the story will allow players to "experience and understand more of the Final Fantasy 7 worldview" including the "policies and rules governing [the] world." This likely means that Zack's sections in the game will deal with yet unseen aspects of the Final Fantasy 7 setting. We can't wait to see what this entails.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Deluxe Edition
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth comes in four different editions: Standard, Digital Deluxe, Deluxe, and Collector's.
The physical Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth Deluxe Edition is currently retailing for $99.99 in the US and £99 in the UK. It includes an art book, a mini soundtrack, and a Steelbook in addition to the base game.
The Digital Deluxe Edition includes a digital mini soundtrack and a digital artbook. It's currently going for $89.99 in the US and £84.99 in the UK, so it's markedly cheaper in both regions.
Both forms of the Deluxe Edition come with the Reclaimant Choker and the Orchid Bracelet, which are both equippable in-game.
The Collector's Edition, which goes for $349.99 in the US and £349.99 in the UK, comes with all of the Deluxe Edition items but also includes a foreboding 19-inch statue of the sinister Sephiroth. You'll also get the Moogle Trio Summoning Materia and the Magic Pot Summoning Materia for your troubles. These Materia give you access to extra summons, but we still don't know exactly how they'll affect battles beyond giving you a new magical beastie to call upon during tough moments. The Collector's Edition can only be bought first-hand directly from the Square Enix store.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth news
A new relationship system can "alter portions of the story"
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth has a new system for tracking the affinity of party members that can "alter portions of the story," according to co-director Naoki Hamaguchi. "For Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, a lot of people understand that there's that very famous date scene on the gondola coming. So because people sort of know where this is heading, if it was still kept in the dark and they didn't know roughly what level of affinity they were with each character, this could be quite stressful for the players."
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth demo is available now
In a special State of Play event, it was revealed that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth now has a fully playable demo available on the PlayStation Store. This reveal came alongside a brand new trailer as well as over ten minutes of yet unseen game footage.
Game director teases "loads" of minigames for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth co-director Naoki Hamaguchi has teased that there will be "loads of minigames in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. He also spoke more about the chocobo racing, stating: “We've adapted the chocobo race into a very modern racing game, so that’s quite a big difference from the original."
New story trailer shows off iconic Nibelhiem scene
A new trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth shows off some tantalizing frames from the Nibelheim Incident, one of the key moments of the story. In the trailer, we see Cloud prone on the floor as Sephiroth burns down our hero's hometown. We're also treated to clips of many of the game's central protagonists, including Barret, Tifa, Aerith, Yuffie, and Red XIII playing over a dramatic arrangement of the Final Fantasy 7 battle theme.
Zack will help players "deepen their understanding" of the game's world
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth co-director Naoki Hamaguchi has revealed more about what we can expect from Zack's arc in the game. “Through him, players will be able to experience and understand more of the Final Fantasy 7 worldview and it will deepen their understanding of the Final Fantasy 7 world.” This includes the “policies and rules governing [the setting]," too.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth features a scene that makes the director want to cry
Creative director Tetsuya Nomura remarked that there's a scene in Rebirth that brings him to tears. "There's a scene where I truly want to cry when I see it," he said hinting at the work he'd done "not only [on] Aerith's arc for Rebirth, but even other characters like Dyne [Barret's childhood friend and biological father to Marlene]."
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will include "totally new cities," says game director
Game co-director Naoki Hamaguchi has revealed that "totally new cities" not featured in the original Final Fantasy 7 will be making an appearance in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth. These new locales are designed to encourage players to embark on "different adventures and [to] go on their own journeys according to their [own] interests," he elaborated.
Making Sephiroth playable will help you "understand his point of view"
In a 2023 interview, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's co-director Naoki Hamaguchi made it clear that he wanted fans to "feel more empathy for Sephiroth" during his playable segments. "We believed that making him playable was the best way to create a bond with the user," he continued. "Having Sephiroth as a playable character is the best way to allow the player to understand his point of view, and thus adds an additional emotional layer to all future encounters with the character."
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth has "violence" and a "bodacious beach bod"
The ESRB has given Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth an official 'Teen' rating while also revealing some of what we can expect from the upcoming sequel. In particular, the rating mentions that characters will be "impaled or slashed by swords" causing many to speculate that Aerith's iconic death scene from the original will be taking place in Rebirth. The rating also tells us that one of the characters boasts about their "bodacious beach bod" - a quote which we feel speaks for itself (via GamesRadar).
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 3 already has a "tentative first draft"
Producer Toshinori Kitase revealed at the 2023 Tokyo Game Show that a "tentative first draft" has been composed for the third part of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy. That said, Kitase also made it clear that "although we've gotten some work done, there will still be parts we create by combining players' responses and reactions and going over that feedback."
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth won't have Chocobo breeding
Though the title will include Chocobo racing and Chocobo Customization, the classic Chocobo breeding minigame from the original Final Fantasy 7 will not be making an appearance. All of this was confirmed in an interview with game co-director Naoki Hamaguchi, where he said that, in place of a breeding system, there would be an "enhanced new Chocobo capturing feature".
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is available for preorder
As of September 1, preorders are available for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth on Amazon.com and Best Buy in the US. Readers in the UK can preorder the title from Game. Despite preorders being available, however, there is still no word on an exact release date for the title.
Microsoft states that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth may not come to Xbox consoles
While we do know that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth will only launch on PS5, it was also hoped that the game could then head to Xbox. However, according to comments by Microsoft (via Eurogamer), Sony has "entered into arrangements with third-party publishers which require the 'exclusion' of Xbox." The report then goes on to offer examples of what games Microsoft is talking about, which includes Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
For now, there's been no confirmation as to whether these 'exclusion' agreements are real. It's worth noting, however, that Final Fantasy 7 Remake still hasn't come to Xbox platforms, despite releasing back in April 2020.
Will Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth come out on PS4 or Xbox?
Unfortunately for PS4 owners, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth won't be a cross-gen release like part one of the trilogy. We expect, however, that like Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Rebirth will also arrive on PC at a later date once its PlayStation exclusivity deal runs out. Though, it's worth noting that this hasn't been confirmed yet.
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Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent.
Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure.
Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.