I'm afraid the jury's still out on that one.
Can you become history's first SOLDIER?Tagline.
Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier is an upcoming free-to-play battle royale multiplayer game for mobile phones set to release in 2021. Developed by Ateam Inc. and published by Square Enix, the game is set 30 years before the events of Final Fantasy VII, before SOLDIER was established.
Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier is a competitive action-shooter with RPG elements, where up to 75 players are placed in the same battlefield and must compete to be the last ones standing. The game allows players to enter these battles alone or in teams of three.
As time passes in the battlefield, the playable area will shrink and move, forcing the player characters, known in-game as SOLDIER candidates, into confrontations. SOLDIER candidates must procure firearms, materia, accessories and items scattered throughout the map while keeping in movement to effectively compete against their opponents.
The First Soldier mainly takes an over the shoulder, third-person perspective, following a SOLDIER candidate as they fight using firearms, melee weapons and magic spells to fight other SOLDIER candidates, though firearms can also be fired down an "aim down sights" perspective allowing more precise shots. SOLDIER candidates can use Summon Materia to call forth summons to fight alongside them. Additionally, candidates can use Magic Materia, such as Cure or Protect, to heal teammates or defend themselves from incoming attacks respectively, or use spells like Aero to place a gust of wind on the ground to allow themselves and others to reach higher areas.
SOLDIER candidates are allowed to carry two firearms at the same time, which can be switched at any time. Additionally, candidates have three materia slots, allowing for them to quickly use any of the three equipped Materia at a moment's notice.
SOLDIER candidates can also carry different grades of Potions and Ethers, with one item being able to be quickly consumed at the press of a button. MP is presented as small pips, with different spells requiring different amount of pips, with up to a maximum of 8 pips of MP. This MP recovers over time.
The game also features RPG elements, where SOLDIER candidates gather items and subdue monsters to strengthen themselves. Spells feature levels, firearms rarity types denoted by color, and accessories can be found and equipped. In addition to finding these, candidates can also earn and find Gil, which they can spend on vending machines to obtain new items, upgrade equipped ones or purchase ammo for their ranged weapons. Additionally, various classes, called Styles, are available for SOLDIER candidates based on the series' traditional job system.
Named as such because the world of Final Fantasy VII does not feature traditional jobs, Styles determine what melee weapon a SOLDIER candidate wields, as well as which Trait, Ability and Skill they have available for them.
- Warrior, equipped with the Fearless Charge (チャージスラッシュ, Chāji Surasshu?, lit. Charge Slash) Trait, Rush Ability, and the Siphon Slash (スラッシュドレイン, Surasshu Dorein?, lit. Slash Drain) Skill, the Warrior style uses Swords as a weapons.
- Sorcerer, equipped with the Magic Boost (マジックブースト, Majikku Būsuto?) Trait, Arcane Field (マジカルスポット, Majikaru Supotto?, lit. Magical Spot) Ability, and the Concentration Skill, the Sorcerer style uses Staves as a weapons.
- Monk, equipped with the Inner Strength Trait, Manawall Ability, and Revitalize Skill, the Monk uses Fists as weapons.
- Ranger, equipped with the Mark (マーキング, Mākingu?, lit. Marking) Trait, Assess (みやぶる, Miyaburu?) Ability, and the Sniper Eye (スナイパーアイ, Sunaipā Ai?) skill, the Ranger uses a dagger as a weapon.
- Ninja, equipped with a Shuriken.
Materia can be found through the map and equipped by SOLDIER candidates. Up to three materia can be slotted at once and they can be increased in level. Magic Materia can inflict friendly fire when playing in trios.
- Magic Materia
- Fire, launches a ball of fire forward. Difficult to aim at longer distances but good for high damage at medium range.
- Blizzard, sets a stationary ice structure that shoots rapid fire ice projectiles to enemy characters in range, effectively working as a turret.
- Thunder, causes an circular to be covered in storm clouds and repeated lighting bolts strike the area.
- Cure, recovers HP in an area of effect.
- Comet, summons comets to attack a wide area of effect which take time to fall. Effective as area denial.
- Aero, places a gust of wind on the ground, allowing player characters to gain height from it.
- Raise, allows player to raise teammates at range.
- Blind, generates an opaque smoke, effectively diminishing line of sight.
- Bio, creates a small area of effect that inflicts damage over time.
- Summon Materia
Movement and transportation
Upon starting a match, the SOLDIER candidates use helicopters to choose where to begin the battle. When fighting in trios, one SOLDIER candidate will be selected as pilot, while the rest ride with them.
SOLDIER candidates are able to run, jump and climb to navigate the areas in The First Soldier. They are able to jump and mantle up objects of medium size, as well as crouch and go prone. Crouching and moving slowly will reduce the sound profile of a SOLDIER candidate, allowing them to sneak up on enemy candidates or simply avoid detection.
In certain areas of the map, Chocobo stops can be found and used to call a Chocobo for transportation. Chocobos are quick and nimble, but fragile and feature a weak Chocobo Kick attack. Additionally, motorcycles and utility vehicles can also be found in the map and used as transportation. Motorcycles can only be ridden by one SOLDIER candidate and allow them perform a drive by attack with their melee weapon, while utility vehicles can carry multiple candidates.
- Sector 5 Station
- Verdant House
- Collapsed Expressway
- Sector 7 Slums
- Sector 5 Slums
- Train Graveyard
- Corneo's Mansion
- Plate Support
- Sector 7 Station
- Entertainment District
- Sewer System
- Desolate Area (West)
- Desolate Area (East)
SOLDIER candidate player characters can be customized, though it is unclear to what extent. Candidates can wear different clothing, obtained through either purchases with gil or earned through collection of pieces by completing in-battle objectives, as well as equip different cosmetic weapons, both melee and ranged. Additionally, vehicles skins can be customized and emotes and minor cosmetic accessories can be equipped.
Set in Midgar 30 years before the events of Final Fantasy VII, The First Soldier follows SOLDIER candidates and the establishment of SOLDIER by the Shinra Electric Power Company to bolster their military. Due to the nature of the game, the story is said to not be very prominent.
Tetsuya Nomura expressed interest in developing a battle royale game to broaden the series' appeal, believing that a long-running IP series' fan demographics tend to become fixed. His hope was that those in the core audience for battle royale games who are unfamiliar with Final Fantasy VII would develop an interest in its world through The First Soldier. As he himself lacked experience in the battle royale field, his role was limited to only "inexpert feedback" compared to the project's producer, Shoichi Ichikawa, who provided more expertise as a big player of games in the genre and who Nomura could feel confident in making his own "reckless proposals" to, knowing Ichikawa would keep them in check.
Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier was announced 25 February 2021 on Twitter, following the announcement of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade on Sony Interactive Entertainment's digital presentation that same day.
On 7 May 2021, the first official stream titled FFVII The First Soldier - Livestream #0 Shinra EPC Private Security Force Orientation (『FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER』公式生放送 ＃0 神羅カンパニー私設強化兵募集案内, “Fainarufantajī VII THE FIRST SOLDIER” Kōshiki Namahōsō# 0 Shinra Kanpanī Shisetsu Kyōka-hei Boshū An'nai?, lit. "FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER" Official Live Broadcast # 0 Shin-Ra Company Private Reinforcement Soldier Recruitment Information), was aired. During the stream, more gameplay was shown and a closed beta test was announced, with signups available from that same day through to 27 May 2021, with the beta itself set to run from 1 June to 7 June of that same year.
|Executive Producer||Yoshinori Kitase|
|Creative Director / Character design||Tetsuya Nomura|
|Scenario Supervisor||Kazushige Nojima|
- Square Enix. Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier | SQUARE ENIX. Archived from the original on 26 February 2021.
- FINAL FANTASY (25 February 2021). FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER Teaser Trailer. YouTube.
- Weekly Famitsu (February 25, 2021). PS5『FF7 リメイク』＆スマホ『FF7』関連作を野村哲也氏にインタビュー。ユフィを使ったバトルやヴァイス登場の由来、PS5の機能の活用に迫る. Famitsu. Archived from the original on 26 February 2021.
- SQUARE ENIX (7 May 2021). 『FINAL FANTASY VII THE FIRST SOLDIER』公式生放送＃0 神羅カンパニー私設強化兵募集案内. YouTube.
- Matt Purslow (March 18, 2021). FF7: The First Soldier Hopes To Get Battle Royale Fans Into Final Fantasy. IGN. Archived from the original on 26 February 2021.
- Square Enix (7 May 2021). FFVII THE FIRST SOLDIER - Livestream #0. Twitch.tv. Archived from the original on 10 May 2021.
- 25 February 2021. FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE on Twitter: "That's not all, we're also presenting two new mobile games! Here's @FinalFantasy VII The First Soldier - a battle royale game set in Midgar before the events of FFVII. As a SOLDIER candidate, make full use of your abilities in a battle for your survival.. Twitter.
- Square Enix. ファイナルファンタジーVII ザ ファーストソルジャー in 『ファイナルファンタジーVII リメイク インターグレード』発売決定＆予約開始！ | トピックス | SQUARE ENIX. Archived from the original on 26 February 2021.