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Final Fantasy 7 Remake screenshots show more combat, Materia, and summon details

These new Final Fantasy 7 Remake screenshots are a land of contrasts. Where in one place they commit to retelling the story of Cloud and friends in more cinematic detail than ever before, in another they show off an attack where moogles ride in on a herd of stampeding chocobos to crush their enemies. Where in one place you get choked up just at the sight of Aerith's little indoor flower field, in another you fight a giant robot by sending beams of raw destructive energy out of your hundred-pound broadsword.

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Square Enix shared the new batch of 23 screenshots on the PlayStation Blog, along with a little more information about how the game's combat systems work. Each character will have a unique ability that's activated with the Triangle button on PS4; Cloud's ability lets him swap between "Operator Mode" for balanced combat and "Punisher Mode" for heavier hitting at the cost of slower movement speed. On top of that, each weapon will have its own unique abilities that become more potent the more you use them. If a character becomes fully proficient, they learn that weapon's ability and can use it even with something else equipped.

The screenshots also give us a peek at the revised Materia system. It looks like the Buster Sword has a built-in "Growth Materia" of its own, which can be enhanced with skill points. You'll still be able to swap other Materia, including those that hold powerful summons. In the original Final Fantasy 7, summons would do one big ability when activated; in the remake, they'll stay on the battlefield for a while to fight, and you can even use your party members' Active-Time Battle meters to make them do special moves. Summons still do their big, trademark ability once their time on the battlefield expires.

If you hadn't noticed, all of those screenshots are set in Midgar. Square Enix has confirmed that the Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be released in multiple parts - the first of which is entirely set within Midgar - and it's already in development on the second.

You know what else comes in multiple parts? Black Friday game deals, and they're already rolling out even with the big day still yet to come.

Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?