Years ago when we got our first look at Final Fantasy VII Remake’s gameplay, and superfans of the franchise were disgruntled when they found out that the combat style of the remake was switched from turn-based to a more action-based approach. We only saw a few short clips of what this combat would be, but it left fans feeling worried about the end product. After Square Enix’s 2019 E3 showcase though, those doubts should be laid to rest.

JRPG is a genre that has some very niche games but dedicated fanbase, so making sure you’re handling the remake of a beloved game, well, can’t be an easy task to undergo. The lovely folks at Square Enix seem to be doing it, however. When the first gameplay of the battle system was shown, fans thought it looked a lot like Final Fantasy XV’s much more action-y, hack and slash gameplay that didn’t really feature any strategy and was relatively very easy. Square Enix put that to rest tonight by showing just how in-depth VII Remake’s combat will be.

Although this remake of VII is doing away with turn-based combat, it seems they are still sticking to a strategic gameplay approach. The game still has a fast-paced action focus, but you can stop at any time to pick from your abilities; abilities which can be performed once you fill up one of your ATB meters, something that is very well known among  fans of the series. These abilities are meant to do the bulk of your damage against foes, especially bosses. It was also shown that doing things like healing will also use your ATB gauges, so you will have to choose wisely what to use them on.

We were also shown a very lengthy trailer of one of the game’s early boss fights and how it plays out. Even though the boss was from the beginning of the game, it seemed to be quite the formidable foe. Rather than just hacking at it until its health bar is empty, Cloud and Barrett had to wait for certain openings and use certain abilities to do any significant damage. The boss also used things like super armor, and it destroyed the environment so that your party could hide behind it during super attacks.

A mechanic that was also showed off during this reveal was the ability to freely switch between your party members any time in battle. Even if Cloud was in the middle of an attack, you could still switch to Barrett during any point in battle and use his plethora of special abilities as well. Managing all of your party members ATB gauges will add another layer of strategy that makes this combat system amazing.

Final Fantasy VII Remake releases on March 3rd, 2020, and is the first part of a larger series. Square Enix has said that the game will be in multiple parts, but that this first part is so big that it will be on two discs.

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I write articles for Parallax Media! Nothing better than a good RPG. Replaying old games when I have new ones.

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