Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII First Impression

Yes, a few seconds of video footage is enough for us to formulate a first impression. Don't question it; just read!

TOKYO--At the Tokyo Game Show today, Square Enix unveiled the first footage of Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, the third leg of a new movement the company has dubbed "Compilation of Final Fantasy VII." Made up by the upcoming CG film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and the currently Japan-only mobile game Before Crisis - Final Fantasy VII, the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII will be completed with the addition of Dirge of Cerberus, which stars everyone's favorite undead dreamboat, Vincent. But with a genre that's thus far been listed as "TBA," just what kind of game is this?

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Well, from the very brief video clip we saw at Square's press conference this morning at TGS, it's definitely an action game of some sort. There were certainly lots of guns, at least. Vincent was running and jumping and (from a third-person perspective) laying waste with a heavy machine gun, so it's not hard to imagine this is going to be a shooting-focused action game. The guy's got those wicked claws, too, so there could certainly be a melee component included as well. Just about the only hard fact we could glean from the trailer was that the game is set three years after the end of Final Fantasy VII, which would also place it sometime after Advent Children. Square Enix is being awfully mum with the details about the game, so we'll have to keep biting our nails for the time being.

Interestingly, Dirge of Cerberus looked to be somewhat divorced from the Final Fantasy VII milieu. Whereas a recent trailer for Advent Children revealed that damn near everybody from FFVII will make at least a cameo appearance in the film, we only noticed Cait Sith in the brief Dirge of Cerberus footage--and come to think of it, Cait Sith is just about the only character we didn't see in the Advent Children trailer. Something's fishy here. In any case, several new characters, and what appeared to be a new sort of enemy soldier, were featured in the footage, so it seems that Vincent's first starring role will take him away from his former companions and subject him to new places and faces that we haven't seen before, either. But then, we only glimpsed a few seconds' worth of disjointed clips from the game, which is itself still early in development, so who knows what familiar scenery or personae will pop up in the final product.

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While the footage we saw today helped to demystify what kind of game Dirge of Cerberus will be (it's definitely not an RPG, or a puzzle game, or a dating sim…), many questions remain. What of Vincent's cohorts, such as Cloud and Tifa? How exactly is Cerberus, the mythical three-headed dog, involved in the storyline? Why does Cait Sith have that goofy grin, anyway? Vincent may cry (ahem) if we don't learn the answers soon, but it seems that Square Enix is content to make us wait, for now.

For more updates, be sure to check GameSpot's coverage of the Tokyo Game Show 2004.

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