Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier impressions and updates

After the successful launch of Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, a series of updates add new content, with more planned for December.


Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier successfully launched on November 17 and the game has received multiple updates with more coming and planned for December.

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Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier hit the ground running, with more updates in December. (Images: Square Enix)

FFVII: The First Soldier came as a bit of a surprise. But with the popularity and commercial success of Battle Royale style games, it makes business sense that Square Enix would dip in these waters already populated by PUBG and Fortnite, as well as their many imitators. However, given it plays in the super-popular Final Fantasy VII playground, it has a built-in market.

Check out the details below for the first impressions of the game and what the upcoming updates have in store.

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Familiar ground

Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier treads on the familiar territory that fans of the franchise are familiar with. Set in the early days of the Shinra Corporation and its elite SOLDIER program, Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier serves as a prequel long before FFVII proper.

In fact, it is a whole 30 years before those events. Moreover, the elements are based on the updated Final Fantasy VII Remake, expanding on the lore established in the previous FFVII games and spinoffs such as Crisis Core. Players in Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier are fresh recruits vying to determine which one will have the honor of being the first to be trained as a SOLDIER (hence the title). Per the description of the game:

Fight to join the ranks of Shinra's elite SOLDIER unit in this high-octane battle royale shooter, infused with RPG elements from the FINAL FANTASY series.Choose a combat style, such as Warrior or Sorcerer, and eliminate your rivals by any means necessary, be it gun, sword, or magic.

The locations are set in the sprawls of Midgar, with up to 75 players competing in a single battlefield. As per the usual mechanics of Battle Royale style games, the battlefield area gradually gets smaller as time passes. A couple of key differences are that Final Fantasy: The First Soldier gives more control to the player as to where they start on the map and can group into teams of 3.

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Familiar enemies like the Bombs can be defeated in Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier for experience and loot.

Players get to choose from up to 5 character styles based on the Final Fantasy Job System. These are the Warrior, Monk, Ranger, Ninja, and Sorcerer classes. Each of the classes have their own movesets and combos, traits, and melee weapon sets, with new abilities and skills that can be unlocked as the game progresses.

There are also guns, Materia magic (which up to three can be equipped and can be leveled by combining with the same type of Materia), and summons that can be found scattered on the battle map. For Season 1, the available summons are Ifrit and Shiva. There are also vehicles that can be used, as well as the Final Fantasy staple, the Chocobo which can be mounted, raised from eggs, and even bred.

Aside from battling other players, the map is littered with monsters that can be defeated for experience and treasure to loot. One particular enemy, the Scorpion Sentinels, are highly difficult to defeat but also give out big rewards.

Market and updates

But it wouldn’t be a complete online Battle Royale if there were no customization options through microtransactions. Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier uses Shinra Credits as the in-game currency. These Shinra Credits can be bought with anywhere from $2 to $80 of real money.

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One of the launch exclusive bundles for Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier is, of course, Cloud Strife themed.

And there are a LOT of customization options out of the gate for this game. For instance, Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier opened with the Cloud, Tifa, and the Security Officer Bundle Pack for 3,600 Shinra Credits. There is also the Season Pass which unlocks multiple skins based on how many challenges have been cleared. The Season Pass includes skins for SOLDIER: 3rd Class (from Final Fantasy Remake), Hojo, and Rufus, with additional generic skins in between (including one for the Chocobo).

The game has continued to add more content since its November 17 launch. Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier has added skins for The Avalanche Trio of Biggs, Jessie, and Wedge, Reno and the Turks, Chocobo Hoodie and Mechanic outfits, and even a Cactuar costume, with many planned releases in the coming days.

Native controller support and December 2021 plans

An interesting feature of Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier is its native controller support. Given that the game is only available on Android and iOS thus far, this is a welcome inclusion. It feels very much like a console game when connected to a monitor and using a controller.

Moreover, there are plans to add Gyro support and fixed joystick position options to be added as part of major updates in the first half of December. There will also be the first holiday themed update, which will have Christmas exclusive rewards.

Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier is free to play and available on Google Play and the AppStore.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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