Battle royale games are still all the rage (just look at PUBG MOBILE), and one of the latest to join the genre on mobile devices is Final Fantasy VII First Soldier. The game is being developed and published by Square Enix, and it’s currently in a closed beta period.
Officially the beta started on June 1, and it’ll continue through June 7. So the beta won’t last long before things shut down and go back into development before being released later this year. Since the beta started I’ve spent some time with it getting a taste for what BR gameplay is like in the Final Fantasy universe.
And it’s, interesting to say the least. Now, my experiences with battle royale games are limited. They’re not my absolute favorite genre but if there is any franchise that could get me interested in such a game type it’s Final Fantasy. I was lucky enough to get into the closed beta and so far, how fun the game is has been quite surprising.
The Final Fantasy VII First Soldier closed beta – what to expect
For the closed beta, Final Fantasy VII First Soldier gives you access to what one could assume is a large amount of what the game will offer when it officially launches. Though it appears that not everything is available at the moment.
Fore example, the game does have a shop where you can buy things. Items like new weapons, costumes, vehicles and more are all there for purchase. However, there is currently no option to buy anything with any other currency other than Gil. Gil is the currency found within all Final Fantasy games, and is basically like gold, silver, or cash found within other titles.
More than likely, the game will offer players the opportunity to purchase items for real money after its release. For now though this part of the shop is unavailable. To earn Gil, you will have to play live matches with other players and complete various daily quests. Some will merely require you to kill a certain amount of monsters, and can be spread out over multiple matches.
Others will require you to kill a certain number of Soldier candidates (other real players) within a specific amount of time. In my experience this was around two minutes. If time runs out then you fail the quest and will have to attempt it again in a different match. You can also earn Gil by just completing matches. Though you get far more if you complete quests.
The battle pass
There isn’t a battle pass right now, but there will almost certainly be one when the game is officially available to all players. As most battle royale games utilize a battle pass system for players as a way to encourage continued engagement.
I can’t say for sure that Final Fantasy VII First Soldier will have both paid and free tracks. But a battle pass in general makes sense. So keep an eye out for this down the road leading up to and after release.
You can customize your character
One thing that is pretty constant across battle royale games is the ability to customize your character. You’ll find that here, although there aren’t currently a ton of options. This is a beta after all. Down the line though, there will no doubt be a lot of different outfits and things to augment your style.
You’ll access these options from the barracks tab. Where you can also find menus for weapons and vehicles.
Practice makes perfect
It could just be me and my terrible skills in battle royale games, but expect to practice. A lot. While the controls are pretty good, they take some getting used to. And it feels like Square Enix has some fine tuning to do with the movement as it would seem to trigger even with the lightest of touches on the virtual d-pad. And not always in the right direction.
Controls aside, there are a lot of different things to contend with. You’ll need to master quite a few elements if you wish to climb the ladder in the Final Fantasy First Soldier closed beta. Unlike many battle royale games which focus mostly on guns, First Soldier offers players the ability to use everything from guns to magic.
And it’s getting used to playing with these different abilities and items that will help you become a better player. And that will take practice.
Matches are pretty short and seem to last about 15 minutes
Matches don’t last terribly long. Which makes this an incredibly easy game to play in bite-sized chunks. Even if you only have 30-45 minutes, you can still get two or three matches in without breaking a sweat.
This style of gameplay which centers on shorter match times lends itself well to mobile devices. But it’s also just as easy to sit down and play the game for a couple of hours if you have the time.
There are four job types to choose from
Throughout the Final Fantasy franchise there are many recurring themes. One of these is the job system. Jobs in Final Fantasy are like classes in other games. And in Final Fantasy VII First Soldier, there are four jobs (referred to as Styles in this game) to choose from, at least with the closed beta.
Square Enix could certainly add more post launch. But for now you can choose between the ranger, warrior, monk, and sorcerer. All of which have their own unique traits and weapons for melee combat.
For the ranger you start out with daggers, while the warrior wields a sword, the sorcerer a staff, and the monk uses its fists. If you’re not sure what to play consistently, try them all out in different matches and see which one you like best!
Overall the closed beta has showcased that this is a game that is a lot of fun to play. Especially if you like the battle royale genre. It won’t necessarily grab every single Final Fantasy fan. But if you love the franchise and you do enjoy BR games, give it a shot if you got into the beta or once the game launches later this year.