Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Action
Release Date: 08/15/06
Final Fantasy VII can almost single-handedly be considered the catalyst for the RPG explosion in the United States. The game had everything a role playing fanatic could want; great story, cool characters and a combat system honed to near perfection. For years fans clamored for a direct FF VII sequel and finally they’re getting one in the form of Square-Enix’s upcoming Final Fantasy VII: Dirge of Cerberus.
It is interesting to note that the developers have taken this game in a completely different direction from previous games in the series. In fact, there’s not even an inkling of RPGness to be found in Dirge of Cerberus. Players will instead take on the role of Vincent from the original game and blast their way through an FPS/action hybrid title with a focus on fast-paced gunplay above all else. Vincent is also capable of some pretty mean martial arts maneuvers for taking care of business in close quarters, but for the most part, you’ll be playing peek-a-boo with bullets.
One of the more interesting things in FFVII was the ability to customize your weapons with the game’s materia. Materia are small orbs of elemental energy that imbued your weapon with the properties of the preserved element. In Dirge of Cerberus, you will once again be able to use this mysterious substance to power your weapons. Vincent can combine various materia with his guns in order to change the properties of the weapon. There will be non-materia upgrades available as well such as varying barrels that can affect the power of your shots.
With gameplay so far removed from anything Final Fantasy related, it’s only natural that fans may be concerned. Although…it seems as though they’re still more excited than anything else, but in either case, the game is looking pretty good at this point. Plus, Square-Enix has included an online multiplayer mode for those with a competitive spirit. However, you do need the PS2 hard drive accessory to play it which means if you haven’t played FF XI or RE: Outbreak you’re probably going to have to go buy one if you intend to play. Also, there may be some sort of monthly fee involved, though nothing has been announced as of yet.
Storywise, the game takes place a few years after the events of FF VII. Someone seems to be hunting Vincent down and he comes under attack after investigating a commotion in the town of Kalm. No real details have come forth yet, but fans of the original game will be very pleased to see a lot of familiar faces. Basically the entire cast of FF VII will make an appearance at the very least. Yuffie fans, myself included, will be happy as the famous Ninja has a pretty large roll along with our stuffed friend Cait Sith. You can expect to attend this friendly reunion some time later this year; August is currently the expected release date so until then, make sure you keep an eye out for more news on this unique entry into the Final Fantasy collage.