LOS ANGELES--We've known about Before Crisis, a Final Fantasy VII prequel, for quite a while now, but it's been a couple of years since we've covered the game. It's been out in Japan for quite a while, but at this year's E3 press conference for Square Enix, the English localization was shown for the first time. Although we didn't get any video of the game in action, we did get more details of the plot behind the game.
Before Crisis does indeed put the player into the role of the Turks, an elite security organization created by the planet-destroying Shinra corporation to combat the rebel Avalanche group, which would, of course, eventually wind up featuring Barrett, Tifa, and Cloud as they fought against the Shinra corporation's oppression. As the Turks, you'll have to combat their efforts and attempt to reinforce the Shinra corporate hegemony throughout the world of Final Fantasy VII.
That seems to be about all Square is willing to reveal about the plot of Before Crisis, although from the screenshots we have available, we can confirm that Cloud and Sephiroth make appearances in the game, and there is some sort of summon system in place, as evidenced by the flashy appearance of Ifrit in one of the battle scenes. Square's blurb indicates that the game will have some kind of multiplayer functionality that allows users to link up while playing. Whether this will work across different mobile carriers remains to be seen in the US.
So far, Square is only supplying us with the vague release date of "2006," so we don't have much more info on when you might be able to take Before Crisis out for a whirl. Stay tuned to GameSpot, though, and you'll know when we do.