Square Enix kicked off their E3 press conference the way everyone wanted, with a lengthy trailer for Final Fantasy VII Remake and some new gameplay footage. This time around we are shown the hybrid gameplay system that merges real-time action with strategic command-based combat. For starters, each press of the Square button is a swing of Cloud’s Buster Sword. Cloud attacks, dodges, and blocks all in real-time. His standard attacks do some damage, but they barely scratch the surface of Cloud’s true potential.
Succeeding on the battlefield requires more than just hacking and slashing. Cloud needs to be tactical. He needs ATB. Two ATB bars are displayed in the lower right. These fill up slowly over time, but fill much faster as Cloud lands standard attacks. Once an ATB bar is full, you can enter Tactical Mode, where time slows to a crawl and you have the opportunity to choose actions from the command menu. Once in Tactical Mode, you can choose to perform various abilities, such as Cloud’s Braver attack. Using an item in battle will deplete an ATB charge, and if Cloud has the right Materia equipped and enough MP, he can use ATB charges to cast spells.
In combat players will be able to easily swap between the characters in their party at the tap of the button and the game will also see the return of a focus gauge for enemies allowing them to be staggered and recieve bonus damage from your attacks. The new footage can be found below and Final Fantasy VII Remake is set to be released on March 3, 2020 for the PlayStation 4.