Combat in Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Final Fantasy 7 Remake adopts an action-style battle system unlike the original game. Players can manually control any party members to attack, use abilities, cast spells, or use items. Despite this change, the active time battle (ATB) system makes it return from the original release with some key differences.
In the original Final Fantasy 7, each character in the party can act when their ATB gauge, indicated as Time, is full. The meter gradually charges over time, with the rate being different for each character. After performing an action, a character’s ATB gauge will be depleted and will begin to charge up again. Combat revolves around this process of waiting for a character’s turn to act in battle.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s combat system has a mechanic slightly similar to the original game. Each character has an ATB gauge, displayed as two bars under their HP. The gauge also gradually fills up during combat. Charging it, however, can be sped up significantly by landing regular attacks on enemies.
When the ATB gauge is full, a character will be able to use abilities, spells, items, and Limit Breaks. Performing any of these actions consumes varying portions of the ATB gauge, with magic expending MP as well. This makes regular attacks crucial in opening up more strategic options in battle.
Another key feature during combat is tactical mode. When a character’s ATB gauge is full, players will be able to slow down time to better decide what to do next. This mechanic is especially important in boss battles where adapting to the enemy’s changing behavior is the key to victory.
|L2 / R2||Issue commands to allies|
|Directional Pad Up / Down||Switch characters|
Since it is only possible to control one character at a time, players instead issue commands to their allies. Those not operated by the player are controlled by AI. Switching between active characters can be done at any time.
Unlike in the original game, avoiding or blocking damage is now done manually with assigned buttons. Of course, the amount of damage taken can be mitigated by equipping better armor or casting protective magic. Taking cover behind certain objects on the battlefield also shields against enemy attacks.
Abilities and spells can be hotkeyed by customizing command shortcuts. This is especially useful for easily casting defensive and healing magic as the fight becomes more intense.
It is also important to know which foe to prioritize when fighting a group of enemies. Locking-on focuses the character’s attacks on one target and makes it easier to dodge or block incoming strikes.
In addition to regular attacks, special commands unique to each character can be used with the triangle button. Cloud, for instance, can switch between Operator Mode and Punisher Mode battle stances. The former is a balance of speed and power, while the latter focuses on heavy but slow strikes.
Barret’s unique command is Overcharge. This allows him to fire a powered shot at enemies instead of a continuous hail of bullets.
Using abilities, magic, and items can be done by opening the command menu. Again, these actions are only available when a character has a full enough ATB gauge.
Limit Breaks, a character’s ultimate attack, can also be accessed from the command menu. The character’s limit gauge, however, must be full before it becomes usable. In the original game, a character charges their limit gauge by taking damage from enemies. This will likely be the same in the remake.
All enemies have a focus gauge that fills up as you deal damage to them. When full, the foe will go into a staggered state, temporarily making them more vulnerable to attacks. Because of this, offensive Limit Breaks are best performed when an enemy’s focus has been broken for maximum damage.