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Interview: Going Over FFVII The First Soldier Styles and Its Future

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Interview: Going Over FFVII The First Soldier Styles and Its Future

Final Fantasy is about to go somewhere it hasn’t gone before, and that’s the realm of the battle royale. Square Enix is preparing to launch Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier in November 2021. We know quite a bit about it too. There’s already been a closed beta. Plus its periodically been shown at events. To help learn more about things to come, Siliconera spoke with Producer Shoichi Ichikawa about FFVII The First Soldier beta feedback, Styles, Materia, potential costumes, controller support, and possible future updates.

Jenni Lada, Siliconera: What was the response to the FFVII The First Soldier closed beta like and how did it align with your expectations?

Shoichi Ichikawa, Square Enix: We’re thankful for the positive response! It has exceeded our expectations in both Japan and in the West. Given it’s a game from the FINAL FANTASY VII series, we assumed that even fans who may be inexperienced with battle royale games would also be interested, so we were conscious about developing a game cycle and control scheme that would also be easy to pick up for beginners. We’re genuinely delighted to see the support with our development direction. Additionally, it was also great to see battle royale fans hold high expectations toward features such as Styles and materia, expanding on the potential range of available tactics, among other things.

Which of the FFVII The First Soldier Styles was the most challenging to create and balance? Was one easier to pull together than the others?

Ichikawa: The Warrior Style was decided the earliest, during the initial concept stages. When someone says SOLDIER, swords come to mind, so we wanted to create a style that would excel in wielding a sword.

And it just so happens that the Warrior Style also became the most challenging to pull together. We received comments from players who participated in the closed beta testing as well, but just like the phrase, “the gun is mightier than the sword,” it was most difficult to adjust and balance how a sword would go up against a gun. As a result, we were mindful about adjusting/balancing the appropriate range for each attack and decided to prioritize that each attack method shines depending on the engagement distance.

Interview: Going Over FFVII The First Soldier Styles and Its Future

Square Enix revealed the FFVII The First Soldier Ninja Style at TGS 2021. How do you feel it compares to the other styles?

Ichikawa: One word that comes to mind is “mobility.” Ninja is the only Style that has a double jump, and it also has traits that specialize in movements, such as an ability that increases movement speed for a certain period of time after receiving damage. Additionally, it has the “Hide” ability (one that lives up to the Ninja name) where players can turn themselves invisible for a certain amount of time, as well as surprise attacks that utilize its mobility. This Style offers a wide range of strategies depending on the person using it.

Three kinds of summon materia showed up in FFVII The First Soldier so far, Bahamut, Ifrit, and Shiva. How did you decide to initially include them? How do you think the additional summon material roll out will look when the game launches?

Ichikawa: We plan on adding more materia moving forward, so please stay tuned for future updates. The same goes for summons, and we plan on adding them in future updates. When it comes to summons, each have effects that are unique and powerful, so timing-wise, we’re thinking about adding them by season in consideration of its overall impact to the game among other things.

Controller support is officially coming to FFVII The First Soldier. How did you prepare it?

Ichikawa: This goes without saying, but we started by working on supporting controller inputs.

On top of that, we were conscious about adjusting the response/sensitivity unique to controllers in addition to creating presets for multiple attack methods. Otherwise, above all, lag tends to occur due the fact that a controller is being connected to a mobile device, so eliminating any lag was quite the challenge.

Interview: Going Over FFVII The First Soldier Styles and Its Future

We’ve seen FFVII-related FFVII The First Soldier costumes in things like the beta test. How would you feel about crossovers from other Final Fantasy entries or series?

Ichikawa: We are planning various things. I’m unable to divulge details at this moment in time, but we are hoping to release various costume designs, some that fully draw on the great design styles of Final Fantasy VII, and others that will appeal to both Final Fantasy fans and newcomers who will be experiencing a Final Fantasy game for the first time through this game.

How would you feel about FFVII The First Soldier eventually coming to other platforms, like the Switch or PC? Do you think it would be possible?

Ichikawa: Right now we’ve just opened the pre-registration and are now putting all our effort towards the release. We also understand that the battle royale genre is compatible with PC/console devices and can have cross-platform support, so we look forward to the feedback from our players.
    
Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier will come to Android and Apple iOS devices in November 2021. Pre-registration and the Ambassador Program application process are open.

Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.