Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier Gets Release Window, New Features Announced – Tokyo Game Show 2021
Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, the upcoming battle royale game for mobile devices from Square Enix, will be released in November, producer Tetsuya Nomura revealed during a livestream special during the Tokyo Game Show on Sunday. Pre-registration will start later this month.
The title was first announced in February, and the team has been using the feedback from a closed beta held during the summer to make adjustments. Producer Shoichi Ichikawa mentioned that controller compatibility was by far the most requested feature after the beta and it has now been added to the game.
“Lots of people want to be able to play on PC or console,” Ichikawa said. “We’re not at that point yet, but we hope this will bring players closer to that experience.” As of now, there are no plans to port the game to other platforms.
Other improvements include a revamped tutorial, which will feature both a mode to help players new to battle royale games learn the basics and a mode to help players get the hang of the gameplay. A new training map has also been added to allow for practice in combat settings.
Ichikawa said 75 percent of respondents from the beta said the game met or exceeded their expectations. The game’s controls and balance have been updated in response to feedback — with a number of respondents singling out the warrior class as needing polish.
The piece exchange system that proved popular with beta testers has been tweaked and expanded. Players can collect pieces from secret boxes and by defeating monsters and trade them for items. The items available will change each season.
There will be both standard and ranked matches within the game. Players can receive items for reaching each of the game’s seven ranks and those at the top at the end of each season will receive a special codename to inform others of their feats on the battlefield.
Ichikawa said there won’t be any system that rewards players for spending money and that matches will come down to players’ skill.
There is a third mode featuring three characters who will tie into the story, though there is no actual story mode.
The game’s background will be familiar to those who have played Final Fantasy VII or Final Fantasy VII: Remake. The game is set in a VR sim used by Shinra to train SOLDIER candidates and many of the locations mirror those found in Final Fantasy VII: Remake.
The latter half of the livestream was devoted to a match between a team of guest streamers facing a team of developers. The match provided a brief look at the ninja class, which has been added to the game and joins the warrior, sorcerer, monk, and ranger classes. Each class has its own skills and abilities.
The ninja class provides a flexible experience where players can perform melee attacks or use ranged weapons. The class is extremely useful for stealth gameplay, as it comes with an ability to become invisible for a short time.
The new trailer for the game that was released during the Square Enix livestream on Saturday showed players riding chocobos during a match. The series’ signature bird also made an appearance during Sunday’s stream. Two players can ride a chocobo, and the bird can fly a very short distance and perform a kick.
There are also other vehicles that can be used and while you can’t run over an ally, you will be able to damage enemies.
Players can level up during matches by fighting monsters to earn experience
“It wouldn’t be a Final Fantasy without experience points and leveling up,” Ichikawa said.
Players feeling overwhelmed can take on monsters in order to get stronger. There will be monsters in parts of the map and some will engage even if the player is in the middle of combat with another player.
During the team match being played on Sunday, Ichikawa mentioned there are also missions that can be accepted during matches that provide more experience points.
The match showed the teams fighting near the abandoned church in Sector 5 where the player encounters Aerith in Final Fantasy VII and its remake.
Regarding summons, it seems they act in differing ways. Ifrit, Ichikawa said, will fight alongside you, while Shiva casts Diamond Dust around the area. There are also more summons planned for the game.
The team has promised more updates as the game approaches its release next month for iOS and Android devices.
Jason Coskrey is a writer based in Tokyo. Find him on Twitter at @JCoskrey