Beyond Midgar: The Expansive World and Enriched Journey of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

James Walsh


Beyond Midgar: The Expansive World and Enriched Journey of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has made its grand entrance as a modern open-world RPG, inheriting the essence of its 1997 predecessor while introducing comprehensive expansions to both its narrative and gameplay mechanics. This second installment in the anticipated remake trilogy not only broadens the original game's horizon in terms of story and playable content but also retains the peculiar charm that enchanted players decades ago. Despite the occasional presence of extraneous material, these additions have been met with open arms, enhancing the overall immersion and understanding of the game's multifaceted plot.

Reimagining a Classic

Final Fantasy VII game screen

At its core, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth serves as a meticulously crafted follow-up to the 2020 Final Fantasy VII Remake, marking the second chapter in a trilogy that revisits and elaborates upon the beloved 1997 classic. This installment invites players into an expansive open world, enriching key plot points and introducing brand-new elements to the adventure. While not all additions have been universally praised—some being criticized as filler—the extensions to FF7's midsection offer a more coherent and engaging narrative experience.

A Story Expanded

Following the dramatic conclusion of the Remake, which sees Cloud Strife and his companions leaving Midgar to pursue the enigmatic Sephiroth, Rebirth picks up with the heroes navigating a world fraught with danger. The narrative delves deeper into the conflict with Shinra Corporation and Sephiroth's cataclysmic ambitions, offering players a richer backstory and a more expansive battleground on which to fight for the planet's survival.

The Vast Open World

Final Fantasy VII open world

What sets Rebirth apart most notably from its predecessors is the game's open-world design. Departing from the relatively limited scope of the original FF7, this iteration allows for exploration across a variety of detailed environments—from struggling mining towns to lavish resorts, each teeming with history and secrets. This not only provides a physical space for the narrative to unfold but also significantly augments the depth of world-building and character development.

Enhanced Gameplay Mechanics

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth maintains the fusion of action-based combat and turn-based strategy that players have come to expect, while also expanding on the adventuring and exploration aspects characteristic of modern open-world titles. From navigating puzzles within intricate dungeons to engaging in a wide array of mini-games and side quests, Rebirth offers a diverse gameplay experience. It effectively balances the main storyline with optional content, allowing players the freedom to explore at their own pace.

A Mixed Bag of Extras

ff-7 game screen

Despite the game’s many strengths, Rebirth is not without its excesses. Certain mini-games and gameplay segments have been pointed out as being particularly tedious or unnecessarily complex, sometimes detracting from the game's overall pacing and cohesiveness. A notable example involves a character tasked with interacting with the environment in a clunky manner, leading to moments of frustration. However, these moments are outweighed by the game’s many successful updates and added features that enrich the overall experience.

The Enduring Charm

Even with its modern overhaul, Rebirth remains faithful to the whimsical and eccentric tone of the original game. It incorporates a variety of quirky and lighthearted elements that stand in juxtaposition to its more grave overarching themes. From riding segways to participating in a haunted house experience, these humorous diversions contribute to the unique charm that has long been a hallmark of the franchise.

Looking Forward

The anticipation surrounding the next installment is palpable, with unresolved narrative threads and newly introduced questions leaving players eager for more. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth not only provides an abundance of what fans cherished about the original but deepens the lore and understanding of its expansive world and intricate characters. As players traverse this richly designed universe, the excitement for future revelations only intensifies, promising more adventures in this beloved saga.

In conclusion, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is more than a mere continuation—it is an expansive, open-world adventure that captures the essence of its origin while weaving in a tapestry of new experiences that enrich the narrative and gameplay alike. Amidst the occasional superfluous content lies a deeply engaging story, a vast and detailed world to explore, and a mix of classic and new gameplay elements that together promise to captivate both longtime fans and newcomers to the series.