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Positively don’t begin your Closing Fantasy 7 expertise with Rebirth

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Closing Fantasy VII Rebirth is an excellent game and an vital evolution for the franchise. It mashes collectively a conventional RPG with a big open world, managing to really feel each fashionable and prefer it’s sticking to its 32-bit roots. What it’s not, nonetheless, is an effective place to get began with the multipart story that’s Closing Fantasy VII — regardless of what its creators may say.

Previous to Rebirth’s launch, artistic director and zipper aficionado Tetsuya Nomura talked about how the sport was designed partially to be welcoming to newcomers (all the time a commendable objective). “Actually,” he said in 2022, “new gamers may even get pleasure from beginning their Closing Fantasy VII journey with Closing Fantasy VII Rebirth.” In the meantime, on launch day, producer Yoshinori Kitase said the sport can be “welcoming in newcomers to start their Closing Fantasy journey right here.”

Sadly, that’s not fairly proper.

Let’s begin with the apparent: Rebirth is the second chapter of a narrative. Sq. Enix’s plan is to take the unique 1997 model of Closing Fantasy VII and broaden it right into a trilogy of contemporary video games. That began with the aptly named Final Fantasy VII Remake in 2020, which advised the starting of the story. It introduces many components essential to Rebirth — the state of the dying world you’re attempting to save lots of; the relationships between hero Cloud Strife and each main character; the machinations of the evil Shinra company; and the motivation of antagonist Sephiroth.

On a purely technical stage, you may play Rebirth first. And in some methods, the recreation stands by itself, telling a narrative a few group of mates heading out into the massive extensive world to trace down a villain intent on destroying it. There’s a stable recap video you may watch earlier than taking part in to make amends for a few of what occurred. The brand new video games, Rebirth particularly, additionally do a terrific job of increasing on and clarifying the convoluted story of the unique, which — regardless of its size — felt missing in lots of areas.

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However issues are nonetheless fairly complicated, and that will solely be exacerbated by skipping the primary chapter. So when you might begin with Rebirth, the expertise would in all probability be so much like after I jumped into Kingdom Hearts with the third one — which is to say, confusing as hell.

Then there’s the experiential and emotional facet. A big a part of the attraction of this franchise is its characters, and Rebirth even introduces a brand new system the place you may observe how somebody feels about Cloud and assist enhance these relationships by way of conversations and optionally available facet missions. When you skip out on Remake, you’ll be lacking an entire lot of context protecting the customarily sophisticated historical past between characters and why you’d wish to join with them in any respect. Happening a date with Tifa isn’t fairly the identical if you happen to haven’t skilled their journey collectively.

Look, I can’t inform you what to do. However if you happen to actually wish to get essentially the most out of this assortment of video games, it’s finest to begin originally. Actually, I’ll go a step additional: if you happen to actually wish to expertise all that Closing Fantasy VII has to supply, you must play the unique earlier than Remake and Rebirth. That’s as a result of not solely do the remakes broaden the story however in addition they change issues in notable methods, and understanding these adjustments might be highly effective.

Sure, which means lots of hours spent combating monsters and twiddling with Materia. (Hey, a minimum of I’m not saying you must watch Advent Children.) However the franchise additionally will get very meta in pivotal moments, utilizing ingrained reminiscences of the unique to subvert participant expectations. Nowhere is that extra pronounced than with the ending of Rebirth which… really, I’m not going to say something about it. Go play the unique first.

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