Square Enix finally released the free demo for Final Fantasy VII Remake through the PlayStation Network on Monday, nearly five years after the game’s announcement. It gives players the chance to try out one of the game’s early iconic missions, and those who play it early will get a free bonus on PlayStation 4.
Final Fantasy VII Remake comes out as a PS4 exclusive on April 10, and the first episode has been a long time coming. After bouncing between Square Enix and CyberConnect2, it went to Square Enix in 2017 under Kingdom Hearts III director Tetsuya Nomura, who took over the project.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake demo covers the game’s first chapter, which is the Mako Reactor 1 bombing mission. This mission was also shown during E3 2019, where Square Enix offered an extended look at the game’s new combat system. It features protagonist Cloud alongside Barret as they make their way into the Mako Reach 1 and plant a bomb before facing off against a boss.
“This pump’s sole purpose is to drain the planet dry,” Barret says in the trailer. “You’re going to stand there and pretend you can’t hear the planet crying out in pain?”
The two characters’ combat styles are quite different, just as they were in the 1997 original. Cloud relies heavily on melee combat via the Buster Sword, while Barret can deal damage from afar with a gun attached to his arm. Unlike the original game, combat flows in real time, but players can gradually build up points and then select special attacks from a menu in a nod to classic turn-based role-playing games.
Those who download the Final Fantasy VII Remake demo before May 11 will get an exclusive PS4 theme that unlocks when the main game launches a month earlier) and should be available instantly for anyone who downloads the demo after that date. Another dynamic Tifa theme will be available to those who purchase two Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, or Crunch bars.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is releasing episodically, and the first part only covers the story up through Cloud’s escape from Midgar. Despite the first game’s slight delay from March to April, Square Enix said the second part’s development wasn’t affected. It isn’t clear how many parts there will be in total, as the company has apparently not decided how it will cut up the rest of the content yet.
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