Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is still a few weeks away, but with today’s surprise release of a playable demo, you don’t have to wait to try it out. On top of that, this demo is just part one, with a second demo chapter due out on February 21.
Square Enix announced and released the demo during a special Rebirth-focused State of Play broadcast today. It features the first chapter of the new game, “Fall of the Hero of Nibelheim”, an extended flashback sequence showing an early mission in Cloud’s SOLDIER career that changes the course of his life—and the fate of the planet. Anyone who’s played the original Final Fantasy VII will likely remember this flashback, but with Rebirth‘s status as not your typical remake, expect a few surprises.
Another demo chapter, “Dawn of a New Era in Junon”, will be added through an update on February 21. Made especially for the demo, this preview lets players explore a small slice of the world around the harbour town Junon, and “experience new forms of exploration, new synergy attacks and the powerful character bonds expressed through thrilling combat”.
Having a save file from the demo will unlock a few special items in the full game (Kupo Charm and Survival Set), and progress from “Fall of the Hero of Nibelheim” will carry over. The Junon chapter won’t carry over, though, due to being a special mode made just for the demo.
As well as the demo announcement, the State of Play presentation included a wealth of new information and game footage: the World Map, chocobos, vehicles, mini-games, character bonds, skill trees, Graphics Mode and Performance Mode features, and plenty of others. Fans of the original are in for a particular treat, with plenty of memorable locations and moments getting some time in the new footage (Barret’s cargo ship disguise, anyone?)
Final Fantasy VII Rebirth launches on February 29, exclusively for PlayStation 5, and the demo is available now from PlayStation Store.