The Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 remake is changing the battle system, and I demand to see the manager

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion was recently announced at the FF7 25th anniversary livestream, and Square Enix has now dropped some new details about the project, which is doing a lot more than just sprucing-up the graphics.

In a tweet from the official Final Fantasy VII account, the publisher outlined the following changes:

  • Improved camera and character movements
  • Optimised UI
  • A new menu-based battle system
  • New background music arrangements by Takeharu Ishimoto
  • Full VO added to scenes that were previously text only

Some of these will be welcomed with open arms by the game's fans, particularly the new voice acting and arrangements. More controversial will be the 'new menu-based battle system', because the unique roulette-based battle system is one of Crisis Core's most distinctive and fondly remembered features.

Essentially, it's from a time when JRPG developers were trying to work out what came next after turn-based battling. Thus Crisis Core pairs third-person combat with a luck-based slot machine, the latter intended to both reflect Zack's personality and give the player the constant feeling of rewards a la pachinko. It's an absurd and absolutely fantastic system that's easily my favourite thing about the game.

Square Enix doesn't clarify further what exactly will be changing but the fact anything is changing at all is a big red flag on this project: My memories may be rose-tinted, but the combat was such a selling point for the original. Hopefully it retains what made this feel so special but, gah, I've suddenly got a very bad feeling about this one.

I've reached out to ask Square Enix if it will explain precisely what the new battle system is, and whether the roulette aspect will remain. I'll update with any response.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion doesn't have a specific release date, but it's coming to Steam this winter. Do be aware that publishers use 'winter' for the wiggle room, so that could mean anytime from Christmas to early 2023.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."