Everyone’s undying favourite JRPG Final Fantasy VII is getting its own battle royale treatment with Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, the upcoming mobile game coming to iOS and Android sometime in 2021. There’s not much known about the game just yet but we do know that it’s going to be unlike anything we’ve ever seen in the franchise so far. But what could we hope to see that’ll make sure this title becomes worthy of the franchise’s legacy? Spoilers ahead!
FF VII The First Soldier story thus farGiven that Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier is a prequel set 30 years before the original Final Fantasy VII game began, it only makes sense for us to find out more about the mysterious SOLDIER program under the Shinra Electric Company. It should give us a clearer picture of how the elite military program came to be way before Cloud and the members of AVALANCHE showed up at the Mako reactor in the FF7 OG, and since it’s going to be a battle royale, it will likely revolve around training potential candidates in a chaotic and insanely fun multiplayer arena.
How did the Jenova experiments begin in the first place? What were the different effects the projects had on the candidates? Did it give them different abilities, or cause degradation much like it did for Genesis? Seeing as you’ll be making your own character it seems, will each one have different abilities based on Jenova experiment effects?
Unique gameplayWhile Crisis Core already walked us through the tragic life of Zack Fair (and the great Sephiroth’s descent into madness), The First Soldier should centre on the other candidates of the program instead, and perhaps how the experimentations gave enhancements to the fighters in a variety of ways.
The teaser trailer showed us lots and lots of gunplay, and we also got to see cool magic spells and even your classic Final Fantasy summons. That alone definitely gives this game a competitive edge over other more cookie-cutter battle royales out there. It also seems like players can swap their POV between a third-person view and a first-person view, as well as featuring down-to-earth close-quarters-combat on top of all the grandiose summons.
All the nostalgiaFF VII The First Soldier is obviously very, very different from its predecessors in the franchise, and with any new change to a tried-and-tested recipe that people already know and love, there will always be resistance - at least, at first. To make sure fans both old and new can easily assimilate this new genre, it’s important for Square Enix to double down on the nostalgia to remind people that this is still, in essence, a Final Fantasy VII game. Give us all those subtle little nods to the original game, from wink-wink Easter eggs to the 8-bit background music and sound effects!
For instance, we’re happy to see from the teaser that Ifrit is looking as menacing as ever, and that there are also familiar faces when it comes to monsters on the battlefield (it seems like players will be fighting off fellow players alongside creatures as well). Plus, Chocobos!
Collabs galoreMuch like Fortnite has had lots of collaboration events over the years, we’d love to see The First Soldier do collabs with old RPG faves as well from Square Enix’s arsenal of popular titles. And similar to Brave Exvius, we might even see event characters from the FF7 franchise itself pop up every so often - so here’s hoping we don’t have to scale a huge paywall just to nab those characters for ourselves.
Whatever’s in store for us with The First Soldier, there’s no doubt we’ll immediately play the game anyway when it first comes out. Besides, with the way the Final Fantasy VII Remake ended (I still can’t get over it), anything’s possible!