What we want from Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and how to improve it in Remake

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has been officially announced, and it’s already proving to be a hot topic of conversation – perhaps as you’d expect, given the events of Final Fantasy VII Remake† This is a sequel that seems to be straying wildly from the once-promised path, and ‘Rebirth’ certainly hammers at that point.

But what do we actually want from Rebirth? What can Square Enix do to improve Remake? We decided to Push Square editorial team to talk about the upcoming PS5 exclusive (minus Stephen, who tried his best to like Remake, but threw it away after a few hours).

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Robert Ramsey, Lifelong Final Fantasy Fan

I liked Remake, but I didn’t love it. Overall, I think the highs of the game outweigh the lows, but I still think there’s a lot of room for improvement in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth – especially from a structural perspective. For starters, more exploration would be nice. I enjoyed how well I realized that much of the world of Remake was – Midgar will always be a great setting – but the amount of hallway-like environments you have to slowly walking down is a joke. There’s just too much padding in Remake – borderline horrible side-quests included – so hopefully Rebirth finds a better pace and sticks to it.

With Rebirth, the only thing I fully believe in is the struggle. I loved the system in Remake – an almost perfect amalgamation of command-driven strategy and action-based combat. An evolution of that mechanics could be incredible, especially if more party members are involved.

As for the story, I don’t know what to think. I don’t really trust Square Enix to make a ‘new’ story that is not a complete mess. God knows what they do with alternate timelines and all that crap. Perhaps Rebirth will exceed expectations and take the world of Final Fantasy VII in an enjoyable new direction. I sure hope that’s the case, but I’m not really guessing.

Ultimately, I look forward to seeing where things go, but my expectations will be tempered.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Liam Croft, First Final Fantasy VII Player

I like Final Fantasy and I like good video games, so playing Final Fantasy VII Remake at launch was the perfect concoction, despite never having played the original on PS1. I have absolutely no nostalgia for that classic experience, and I absolutely loved what happened at the end of Remake. I’m a guy who likes games that derail and get weird – the earlier in the story, the better – and Square Enix did. The fact that it’s not really a “remake” anymore fascinates me, and I’m here for whatever happens in Rebirth.

Square Enix, I’m telling you now: don’t stick with the 1997 story. Keep Aerith alive. Kill Tifa. Let Cloud and Sephiroth kiss for all I care. I want a story that is as mental as possible. To put it this way, if you piss off the hardcore fans, I’m probably going to like it even more.

When I actually play the game, let’s make the environments bigger and open to exploration. I’ve played Final Fantasy XIII recently and I’m done with linear gait after linear gait. Level up the side missions and you’ll have reason to stray from the beaten track. One of the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth screenshots features a compass with a target over 1,000 yards away, which gives me hope that it could be a slightly more open game. Or Cloud and Sephiroth could just be walking a really long path in a flashback scene, I’m told.

But whatever happens, I’m playing this sequel. In 2024, because you won’t get Final Fantasy XVI and Final Fantasy VII Rebirth in the same year. Sorry!

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth

Sammy Barker, Final Fantasy Casual

I came to Final Fantasy VII late, so I don’t have the built-in nostalgia that many others have. That said, while I did enjoy my time with Final Fantasy VII Remake, it left me a little #concerned. To be honest, I have very little patience for anime bullsh*t, and while the ending of the original mostly baffled me, I don’t think we’re looking at a remake anymore. The sequel’s subtitle, Rebirth, even implies that we’re being heavily diverted in another direction.

I can see how that comes with some excitement for long-running fans: where are they going? But to me, I find it frustrating – even bordering on insulting, to be honest. My favorite parts of Final Fantasy VII Remake were the moments where familiar scenes were adapted – not beat-for-beat per se, but recognizable anyway. As we’re moving into another timeline, a multiverse if you will, I just don’t trust the Square Enix writing team to write anything cohesive.

From a gameplay perspective, I’m pretty happy with what we’ve got, so iteration on that will be big – a few less Poundland side quests would be appreciated, though. But then again, it’s all about the plot for me: I already feel like it’s been Kingdom Hearts-ed – and I fear things are about to get worse. But aside from cynicism, I sincerely hope I’m proven wrong.

Are you looking forward to Final Fantasy VII Rebirth? What are your hopes and dreams for the sequel? Vote in our poll and then write your own story in the comments section below.

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