Square Enix has been making headlines for all the right reasons for the better part of the past twelve months.
As a publisher, they've had a hand in titles like Outriders and Marvel's Avengers. Meanwhile, as developers, their studios have released everything from Final Fantasy VII Remake to Bravely Default 2 and are currently working on some of the most highly anticipated titles to-date as revealed by their first-ever showcase.
With that said, one of their more mysterious titles that aren't getting enough attention is Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis.
Most fans think that this is merely a cash grab for Final Fantasy VII with nostalgia for the classic RPG title at its peak. However, when you consider all the information that they've released about the game so far, one could argue that it's the Final Fantasy game that fans should be most excited about outside of Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2.
What Is Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis?
Final Fantasy 7: Ever Crisis was one of the two mobile games Square Enix announced following the reveal of Final Fantasy VII Intergrade. However, unlike the other title, Final Fantasy VII: First Soldier, which is a battle royale that features an original story set 30 years before the events of the Final Fantasy VII game, Ever Crisis is a mobile version of the Final Fantasy VII universe.
Take note. We didn't just mention the Final Fantasy VII game. We're talking about the entire universe and timeline.
What this means is that Ever Crisis will compile everything from the original Final Fantasy 7 title to everything released after it. This includes Advent Children, Before Crisis, Crisis Core, and Dirge of Cerberus, which is a lot of content, all things considered.
What is the Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis Graphics Like?
There are two things that stood out about Ever Crisis in the first trailer that Square Enix showcased about the game.
First was that the polygonal character designs looked a lot like the same models used decades ago, albeit updated to better fit modern standards. The second is the combat graphics. The battles showcased looked surprisingly identical to that of the 2020 remake.
Although the combat will be more like the Active Time Battle system of the original Final Fantasy VII game, this is actually quite ingenious. By mixing updated classic blocky character designs and graphics with a fresh coat of paint, or so to speak, Ever Crisis has the potential to strike the nostalgia cords while not necessarily feeling like an older game in a way that the remake just couldn't.
This should be good news for the Final Fantasy fans out there that felt like the Final Fantasy VII Remake felt like a completely different game.
Will Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis Have Party Selection?
Party selection, or the lack thereof, was one of the biggest issues a lot of people had with Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Party members were often selected depending on the plot. This meant that while you could customize Tifa's equipment while first exploring Sector 5 in Chapter 8, you couldn't really take control of her as you were stuck with Aerith.
There's also the issue of one party member being excluded from player control in the few instances that all four party members were present. This is because Final Fantasy VII Remake only lets you battle as a party of three.
This stark departure from how the original handled party selection seems like a direction that Square Enix isn't keen on heading towards. At least, as far as Ever Crisis goes.
As evidenced by the trailer, Aerith is shown fighting alongside Barret and Cloud against the Scorpion Sentinel.
Lest we forget, the Scorpion Sentinel was the first boss in both the original Final Fantasy VII and the remake. This suggests that players can customize their parties in Ever Crisis. The appearance of the Leviathan summon also gives way to the possibility of using abilities not usually available this early on in the story.
What Is the Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis Timeline?
As we've already mentioned, Ever Crisis is a compilation of the entire Final Fantasy VII timeline or universe.
One of the first games included is Crisis Core. It takes place 7 years before the events of Final Fantasy VII with Zack Fair as its protagonist.
The game focuses on Zack Fair rising through the SOLDIER ranks from the time he inherits the Buster Sword from his own mentor, meets Aerith, works together with Cloud, fights against Sephiroth, and eventually dies after being ambushed by hundreds of Shinra soldiers, leaving the Buster Sword with Cloud.
It is this sequence of events that's primarily responsible for kicking off the events of Final Fantasy VII.
Another story that a lot of players will finally have the chance to experience is Before Crisis. This takes place six years before the start of Final Fantasy VII.
Unlike the other Final Fantasy VII games, Before Crisis revolves mostly around the antagonists. In particular, the Investigation Division of the General Affairs Department. Or, in other words, the Turks who work for Shinra.
In Before Crisis, players will take control of eleven Turk members as they fight against the rising eco-terrorist organization, AVALANCHE. It will also help provide a lot of insight into who exactly Tseng, Rude, and Reno is. It'll also help players understand how AVALANCHE formed and all the dirty dealings that the Shinra Company is involved in.
After these two games come the events of the main Final Fantasy VII game. However, it is still unknown if the story will follow the original 1997 title. Although we do guess that it will. After all, Ever Crisis is expected to release in 2022. This means that Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2 is going to release after it. Thus, it wouldn't make sense to spoil the story of the upcoming title in Ever Crisis.
Ever Crisis may revisit the events of Final Fantasy VII Remake Part 2 in later episodes though.
With that said, the next story in the timeline is the animated movie, Advent Children.
This is a particularly big deal and will mark the first time players can play through the story instead of watching it. It'll see players try to stop Sephiroth from reviving himself through the numerous seeds or remnants created following his defeat in the original game.
After this, the last of the original stories included in Ever Crisis is that of Vincent Valentine in Dirge of Cerberus. This follows events that take place three years into the future as it sees Vincent try and prevent Deepground from waking up Omega and destroying the planet.
Talking to Famitsu, Tetsuya Nomura, who is the Creative Director for the Final Fantasy VII Remake, wants to use Ever Crisis to unify all the stories set in the Final Fantasy VII timeline without losing each game's individuality.
Square Enix has also clarified that they want to include other storylines as well. In particular, an episode revolving around First Soldier.
When Is The Final Fantasy 7 Ever Crisis Release Date?
With at least five full games compiled in Ever Crisis, it'll be exciting to see how Square Enix can condense the entire timeline into a single game. Even more of a cause for joy is how Ever Crisis marks the first time that some players will experience the story of the entire Final Fantasy VII timeline for themselves.
Releasing Ever Crisis is also a smart move on the part of Square Enix. This effectively allows them to take Final Fantasy VII Remake in a completely new direction and is something that they hinted at having done already.
In a way, Ever Crisis could be the more faithful remake that a lot of fans of the original wanted to see.
Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a while to see Ever Crisis.
Square Enix promised that Ever Cris will release sometime in 2022 for iOS and Android devices. However, they failed to provide an exact release date. This means that it could release early in 2022 or at the tail end of 2022, we'll never know.
What we do know so far is that Ever Crisis will be completely free to play with monetization coming in the form of loot boxes with random weapons.