At the beginning of the year, Square Enix announced two mobile games themed around Final Fantasy VII, more than likely a reaction to the Remake's success on PS4. Of course, since Square is often reactionary to its successes, these two mobile offshoots didn't have any release dates. Of the two games, Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier has recently entered into a closed beta test, and since I got in, I've recorded a 20-minute gameplay video of my first jump in what is clearly a PUBG clone. So if you're eager to see Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier's battle royale gameplay in action, I indeed show off what the closed beta currently has to offer.

20 minutes of Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier, from jump to chicken dinner

Above, you can watch 20 minutes of Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier in action. This is a recording of my first playthrough (please be kind), so you can see how the onboarding process works. More or less, the first jump serves as a tutorial, but really the whole thing played like PUBG, just with a Final Fantasy theme slapped on top. This means you can expect to collect unique items such as spells, and there's even a leveling system where you can strengthen your skills and stats the more people you kill. What I really liked is that you have a melee weapon equipped as soon as you land and that there are NPC mobs scattered around the map that are fun to slice up, adding a bit of danger to exploring the map outside of the live players hunting you down. Of course, since this was my first time playing, bots also appear to be in the mix mimicking real players.

Now, this is a closed beta, and so the game is still buggy, with a few NPC enemies disappearing as you fight them. The touch controls could also use some work, but you can customize them to your heart's content, including their positioning. As for the graphics, you have a choice of low, medium, and high settings, and the above gameplay video was recorded on high, which appears to be limited to 30 FPS.

Graphics and control settings

While I still can't shake the feeling the Square Enix is planning to cash in on a popular but waning genre, Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier at least fills its role somewhat competently. Will this title replace PUBG? Most likely not. But for those looking for something a little different that still offers all of the main elements you'd expect from a battle royale game, I suppose there is some fun to be had with The First Soldier. Sadly we still don't know exactly how the title will be monetized or when it will be officially released, so until Square trickles out more information, enjoy the gameplay video.

Price: To be announced