Impressions of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Demo battle system

Forty-five minutes might not seem like much to spend with the new and improved world of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but the demo sure packs a lot of action and character development into that short amount of time.

Just about everything in the opening sequence is straight from the PS1 version. Midgard looks fantastic, and the music mercilessly gets you in your feels.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Cloud and the mako reactor

Now, we all knew this game was going to look amazing, but how does it play? Well, here is my impression of the battle system.

SquareEnix has been building up to this hybrid battle system for years. The action-based battle system games that predated Final Fantasy 7 Remake were regarded with mixed feelings. Final Fantasy XII was the first Final Fantasy I played that experimented with a type of action-based battle system while still holding on to the turn-based system, somewhat. Kingdom Hearts is all action based and a lot of people like it but those who are turn-based purists find it revolting. And, well, let’s not get into Final Fantasy XV.

Regardless of how you might have felt about these action/turn-based games, one thing that can be said about the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is that they finally got it right.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Barret and Cloud fighting

Much like the original game’s battle system, players will need to let their ATB bar fill up before certain actions can be taken. This beautifully keeps to the original wait-your-goddamn-turn system with which most fans are familiar. However, while the ATB bar fills, players can take to the action by attacking, dodging, blocking, and switching between fighting styles. For instance, Cloud’s basic fighting style allows him more mobility but if the player switches to Punisher Mode, his moves are stronger but he can’t dodge. If he dodges, he goes right back into standard fighting mode.

When the ATB bar fills, players get the chance to use potions, magic, and their limit break. These actions can be stacked which means you have to wait for all sections of the ATB bars to fill. The new battle system also allows players to switch between characters or command characters by switching the character battle menus.

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this demo. Some things took a few trials to get right, like figuring out how to switch character commands rather than switching characters entirely but overall, I was more than impressed. RPG gamers have waited a long time for a fair mix of action and turn-based in a game’s battle system but the wait is over.

We can expect a lot to come just from what was revealed in the demo. The new battle system is engaging while not entirely throwing away the turn-based system. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is just what gamers are looking for, a flawless mixture of something new and something old. No game is perfect, but just from what the demo had to offer, it’s possible Final Fantasy 7 remake may challenge that thought.