Square Enix opened up its E3 2019 briefing with the game you’d except it to. That’s right, there’s quite a lot of new information on Final Fantasy VII Remake to sift through now. A big part of that was an introduction to Final Fantasy VII Remake‘s core combat systems, which fans have been achingly curious about since the game debuted back in 2015. Fascinatingly enough, despite early footage suggesting combat would be all in real time, Final Fantasy VII Remake is actually a hybrid of real time hacking and slashing, and a sort of modified approach to the series’ classic ATB system.
To start off, players can mash the square button to have Cloud, Barrett, Tifa, or whoever to use basic attacks. Using basic attacks won’t be enough to really succeed in battle, however. As players use basic attacks, the ATB meter will fill up. Once it fills up, Cloud and company will enter into a state called Tactical Mode, in which time will slow down to a crawl, and some fancy camera action shows off the awesome visuals. When in the ATB-fueled Tactical Mode, you can access special moves, such as Cloud’s Braver. Longtime fans will notice that’s one of many Limit Break moves, so that seems to be a pretty big change in and of itself.
Tactical Mode is also how magic comes into play. Magic is once again connected to Materia, so the proper Materia will need to be equipped in order to use magic. Due to preorder announcements from a new trailer, we know that summons will also be making an obligatory appearance. Dodging and guarding are also options, which are part of the real time play. With the press of a button, the player can also swap between available characters. The gameplay footage on display showed Barrett in action, and the trailer shown later in the presentation showed Tifa in action as well.
Finally, the last major detail is the Focus Gague. Damaging an enemy will fill up a Focus Gague, and once it’s full the enemy will stagger, opening it up to more damage. A straightforward mechanic, but a crucial one indeed.
Tetsuya Nomura also took the stage to announce the content we see in the gameplay demonstration is playable at Square Enix’s booth on the E3 show floor. So if you’re there, we hope you’re able to survive the lines and get your hands on one of the most anticipated titles at E3 2019.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is set to launch on March 3, 2020.