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Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth State of Play: Open world, story teases, more

There’s a whole lot going on

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth State of Play has come and gone, 20 minutes crammed with features from the upcoming RPG. The FF7 Rebirth State of Play highlighted what to expect from Rebirth’s open world, teased even more story changes compared to the original Final Fantasy 7, and sped through half a dozen or more additional tidbits about the next phase of Cloud’s journey.

There's a lot to get through, but we narrowed down some of the biggest reveals and teases below.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s open world is massive…

Square Enix broke down some of the regions we’ll visit in Rebirth, and while they correspond roughly with the original game’s map regions – Junon, Corel, and so forth – they seemingly couldn’t be more different. Chadley, the little kid with the summons challenges from Remake, is back, and he gives Cloud exploration tasks that encourage you to explore. Completing tasks earns you items to help power-up Cloud and the party, so it all sounds a bit more promising than just checking activities off a list.

…But it’s also forgiving

Every side activity, including quests and Chadley’s tasks, exists independently of the main story. Regardless of where you’re at in the narrative, you can cut back to Junon and play with some chocobos, hunt down a bit of treasure, or play the piano with a roomful of cats. Yes that’s a real activity. FF7 Rebirth borrowed The Last of Us Part 2’s guitar gimmick and lets you play music for an audience.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s getting creative with the story

We’ve known since the Intergrade DLC that Square Enix had something going on with the Final Fantasy 7 story. Zack Fair was back, and dead people don’t usually come back to life – well, okay it’s pretty common in RPGs and anime, but Zack was canonically dead. Now, not only is Zack back in some form, but there’s another possible antagonist who may have ties to the Cetra or even Jenova, a being who wants nothing more than to break the endless dream cycle he and his people are trapped in.

He needs the Black Materia for that, which is something only Sephiroth wanted in the original game, and between that and some comments Aerith made in the trailer, it looks like the Black Materia’s going to play a much more important role this time around.

That’s just the start. The final trailer has several more little tidbits and teases, from Cloud attacking Tifa to Red XIII learning how to dance.

Final Fantasy 7’s Gold Saucer date is back

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth's Cait Sith stands in front of a mud buggy with his hands spread wide

How 'bout a date

The original’s famous Gold Saucer date is back, and Square Enix promises it’s even better than before. Not only can you properly date everyone in your party – something the original didn’t let you do – but you’ll have to think carefully about your relationships. FF7 Rebirth includes more chances to bond with your allies – and, by extension, more chances to mess things up.

Rebirth’s Synergy system encourages flexibility

Square Enix said Rebirth’s Synergy system gives you freedom to experiment with any party combination you want to try. Each combo has unique Synergy abilities, so there’s no disadvantage for sticking with, say, Cait Sith and Aerith over Cloud and Tifa.

As your party level – a new feature in Rebirth – increases, you can unlock new Synergy skills via the party’s Folio, which is also a new feature.

Rebirth has so many mini-games

So many mini-games. Fort Condor is back, as is every Gold Saucer mini-game, revamped and built from the ground up. The Moogles have games for you, the cats, as we’ve said, want you to sing, and Square Enix teased new games and contests as well, including an expanded soldier’s march during Rufus’ presidential parade.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth launches on Feb. 29, 2024, on PS5, and if you can't wait that long, Square Enix released an FF7 Rebirth demo that covers some of the game's opening segments.