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Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth - What We Know So Far

It's already the 25th anniversary of the original "Final Fantasy 7," and Square Enix had something very special to share during the celebratory livestream: the announcement of "Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth," the long-awaited second episode of the critically acclaimed remake series. Bringing the now 25 years old beloved characters back with HD and dynamic real-time gameplay mechanics, "Final Fantasy 7 Remake" sparked a renaissance for the 1997 title and — with a surprise twist ending — left fans in suspense as to where the remakes would take the story this time.

In the announcement, creative director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed that the remake series will, in fact, be a trilogy (via the Square Enix press release), and "Rebirth" will be the middle installment leading up to the big finale. Given that "Remake" was only able to cover four hours of the original game in a 30-hour journey, there's lots of speculation on how the devs will be handling the pacing and content in the coming sequels: Here's everything we know about "Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth" so far.

Is there a release date for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth?

The sequel has been announced for "next winter," meaning we'll most likely be seeing a concrete release date for late 2023 or early 2024. Nomura stated in the livestream that development for the game has been making good progress. Yoshinori Kitase, series Producer, commented on the three-year gap between "Remake" and "Rebirth," saying it was a less than ideal length of waiting, but wanted to assure fans that they're working to make the game live up to fan expectations. Series director Naoki Hamaguchi also stated that the team is passionately dedicated to creating the "ultimate 'Final Fantasy 7' experience."

While the claims that the game's production is proceeding at a fast pace are encouraging, fans should still be ready for possible delays as the development team works to deliver the best possible product  — some unexpecting polishing may be needed, after all, but it'll most likely be well worth the wait. For now, what we do know for sure is that "Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth" will be a Playstation 5 exclusive.

Is there a trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth?

Fans of "Final Fantasy 7" will notice that the announcement trailer for "Rebirth" leans heavily into some of the biggest plot points and reveals of the original game, touching on Sephiroth's so-called "birthright" already. The visuals themselves are simultaneously bland and hair-raising. In lieu of any combat action or dynamically rendered cutscenes, it's simply a shot of Cloud walking on a dirt path accompanied by a decidedly non-hostile Sephiroth. With the voice-over of Cloud and Tifa discussing the disaster alluded to in "Remake," it's likely that this is early footage of some highly distorted flashback sequence.

The most intriguing part of the trailer, however, is at the very beginning with Aerith's voice-over discussing the possibility of re-writing a future that's already been written. It's something of a paradox that only makes sense in the context of a remake, and lends credence to the theory that the plot will take a wildly different direction than the original. Especially considering the fact that the sequel is titled "Rebirth" instead of "Remake Episode 2" raises some interesting implications about "Final Fantasy 7 Remake" being a thematic title instead of a descriptive one — perhaps it's not too early to hope that Aerith will be dealt a different hand this time around.

What will the gameplay be like in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth?

As the trailer didn't show much in the way of combat or interfaces, it's hard to say for sure what "Rebirth" will play like as of yet. However, it's unlikely that there'll be any fundamental changes to the gameplay from the first game: Riffing off many innovations made in "Final Fantasy 13," "Remake" struck on a pretty solid gameplay formula that was a massive hit with players, and many are hoping to see more of it in "Rebirth."

What's interesting is Nomura's comment in the announcement that the remake series is being designed so that it can be enjoyed by franchise newcomers without any prior knowledge of "Final Fantasy 7." It seems more and more likely that the series will seem more like alternate timeline sequels or spinoffs rather than true remakes. It's unclear if "Remake" save files will carry over to "Rebirth," or what the inclusion or exclusion of this feature will mean for the series.