Square Enix Reveals More Gameplay Features at E3 2019
Square Enix went live at E3 2019 today to showcase more upcoming features for the much-awaited Final Fantasy VII remake. Those revealed during the company’s press conference include information on the game’s new combat system, the Scorpion Sentinel boss battle, and the appearance of Aerith and Tifa in battle. More story cutscenes were also shown in the story trailer below.
New Combat Features
The Final Fantasy VII remake will introduce a new combat mechanic called ATB, which likely stands for Active Time Battle. This feature is represented by two gauges that gradually charge over time. They fill up at a much faster rate when a character lands regular attacks. When the gauge is full, a character will be able to go into Tactical Mode to slow down time. This gives the player opportunities to make better decisions in battle.
Tactical Mode also allows characters to perform some of their unique abilities. Among those for Cloud are Braver and Focused Thrust, the first being one of his Limit Break attacks in the original game. Barrett’s abilities shown in the trailer are Steelskin and Focused Shot.
Using items and magic also depends on a character’s ATB charge, though the latter will still require materia and MP. This means that keeping the ATB gauge filled by performing regular attacks is crucial for opening up more strategies in battle.
The combat controls were also revealed in the demo. The L2 and R2 buttons issue commands to allies, while the Up and Down directional buttons are for switching control of characters. Enemy attacks can be evaded and blocked with the circle and R2 buttons respectively. The L1 button opens up a shortcut menu to easily perform player-assigned commands. Locking on to an enemy is done by pressing the R3 button.
Scorpion Sentinel Boss Battle
Lengthy footage of the Scorpion Sentinel boss battle was shown in the video. Cloud and Barrett can be heard talking about how to defeat the massive construct as they engage it in combat.
The battlefield will have various objects scattered about it that the player can use to their advantage. One of these is a pile of debris that gave Cloud and Barrett cover from the boss’ powerful laser attack. The party members’ AI seemed generally reliable as well, knowing how to block attacks in time.
Enemies have a focus gauge that can be depleted by damaging them. As seen in the boss fight, Cloud and Barrett successfully staggered the Scorpion Sentinel when it ran out of focus. When staggered, enemies will be helpless and take more damage for a certain period, allowing the player to unleash attacks at will.
Towards the end of the fight, Cloud can be seen using his Cross Slash Limit Break to finish off the boss.
The Air Buster, the game’s second boss, was also included in the video. Cloud and his party also came across the hulking Aps in what is likely the sewer area underneath Don Corneo’s mansion.
Aerith and Tifa in Battle
Footage of Aerith and Tifa in combat were finally revealed as well, much to the delight of fans. Aerith retained her preferences for staves, though the video showed her engaging enemies with spells more. Tifa showcased her martial arts fighting style with her variety of unarmed strikes against the game’s foes.
Both characters’ unique combat commands can also be seen in the video. Aerith has access to Tempest while Tifa can use Bash and Omnipunch. It is still unclear what these commands actually do as they were not described in the gameplay demo.
New Motorbike Gameplay
Cloud and the AVALANCHE team were shown fleeing from Shinra troops during the bombing mission. Players will assume control of Cloud as he fends off enemy riders with his Buster Sword. This section was not included in the original game, as the motorbike battle was only playable during the party’s escape from Midgar and as a mini-game at the Golden Saucer arcade.
Additional Story Cutscenes
More cutscenes revealing Marlene and Tifa’s 7th Heaven bar were revealed. Others include the party being attacked on a train by Shinra robots and the villain Sephiroth appearing to taunt Cloud about his past.
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