Hot on the heels of the release of its new game mode, Ateam Entertainment has announced the release of the latest Season of Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier. Now up to its third season, this latest update comes packed to the brim with some truly game-changing features such as a new style, new materia and most enticing of all, a whole new map to battle in.
With the majority of the game's content so far being confined to the Midgar map it is fair to say that most players have seen it all by now and been all over, so the inclusion of a new map is quite exciting. Dubbed Midgar Plateside, candidates will be battling it out in such recognisable locations as Sectors 7 and 8, the Mako Reactor Core and the highway, with the iconic Midgar Building looming in the background. Alongside these new environments come gamers' oldest and most tricky of foes, death by falling. Yes, now that all the battles take place on the elevated plates, it is entirely possible to get distracted and fall right off the edge, and with the addition of a daytime and nighttime theme, the dark drop may claim more than one aspiring soldier. Of course, for those who just want to stroll around and take in the locations in all the nostalgic splendour, there is a new exploration feature with zero combat, perfect for wandering around and getting those team poses down.
On the gameplay side of things, there have also been some nice shiny surprises. A new style, Machinist is available to choose from and comes packed with some nifty new features to change the game. The Machinist has access to a variety of gadgets to control the field with. Quite overpowered sounding is the jamming gadget which prevents enemy gunfire, leaving an opening to charge the enemy and deliver an almighty thwack with their shiny new hammer. And how does a Machinist charge? Not by the use of legs, no, but on their air gadget which grants the ability to hover across the training field at speed. All in all, a style that sounds like it will control the flow of any encounter.
Following on with the subject of field control, the Water materia has been released. Whilst The First Soldier has never been much of a cover shooter, buildings and walls can still rudely give opponents a place to run behind whilst they heal, but no longer. With its tracing ability, the Water materia can change trajectory and follow its target wherever they run, keeping up the assault and not allowing any reprieve for a wounded enemy.
Whilst all this gameplay addition is enough to make any fan swoon, Ateam has also taken care of any game's true endgame, fashion. It was only a matter of time until gaming's most recognisable bad got involved, the Sephiroth skin arrived. Decked out in the recognisable black jacket and sporting the iconic one wing, players can get a hold of this outfit through the Advanced Shinra Pack pulls, and with the new skin leveling system, duplicates of certain skins will result in additional rewards. For Sephiroth, this includes the original skin, an alternate appearance skin, a voice emote and a One-Winged Angel kill effect for the ultimate cosplay.
To celebrate this launch, there are login bonus rewards, with gifts such as the SOLDIER Sample (Mako) skin and up to 35 Advanced Shinra Pack Tickets to help with the Sephiroth fanatics. The newest season packs offer the chance to earn more skins, based on the Mako Reactor Core 1 and another big bad, Jenova, for the ultimate mother-son combo. The free rewards for this pass include an Elite Task Force Rider’s Suit, the Mako Reactor 1 skin for trusty Chocobos, and more. Alongside this, the unlockable skins, brought by farming monsters old and new for their data, are based on the Whispers from FFVILL Remake.
All of that and even more is out now in Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier, which can be downloaded free on the App Store and Google Play.