Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Open World Inspired by Ghost of Tsushima and Witcher 3

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is now available worldwide, and fans in the Philippines got a real treat when Director Naoki Hamaguchi flew over to celebrate the launch of the game with fans. Being his first time in the country, he also spent time with select media outlets to answer our most burning questions.

Receiving critical acclaim, one of the most praised features of the title was its massive open world, a far cry from Remake, which was contained within Midgar. Hamaguchi says that the open world was one of the most challenging aspects that the team had to overcome early in development.


“The most challenging aspect of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is defining the world map. It was only about moving from one place to another, it would be a negative thing. I needed it to have enough area but also give the right amount of content so it’s not too empty, but still have the freedom to have an adventure. That was the very first challenge that the team had, so we dedicated a lot of time to define how big the world map will be. Because we had already defined it, development went pretty smoothly.”

Hamaguchi aspired to give the players enough freedom, something that he believed to be critical for Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. He was sure about this direction, leaving no doubt or question about whether it was the correct decision.

“It took 4 years to create this volume, and I feel we were able to achieve this because there were no doubts in the design, with the objective of providing more freedom of choice to the players.”

ghost of tsushima directors cut banner

When pressed for more information about what titles inspired Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s open world, Hamaguchi named two titles for different reasons – Ghost of Tsushima and The Witcher 3.

“There are a few games that inspired Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s open world. Unlike Zelda where everything is available from the very start, Ghost of Tsushima is one inspiration where the other part of the map becomes available once you proceed with the storyline. This is what gave me the idea to define how big the space will be. And because Final Fantasy VII Rebirth has a lot of characters and a lot of content that players want to enjoy, The Witcher 3 does a very good job with having the side content serve as a way to depict character development.”


While Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s open world is just one part of the whole, it serves more than just being a venue where players can complete side content. Hamaguchi and the team wanted players to learn specific lessons while exploring, and this is evident in the Midgardsormr fight early on in the game.

“I wanted to make the Midgardsormr fight extra difficult, so we can convey to our players that they can explore the map and its features like transmutation, and by exploring, it adds to character development along with leveling up. If you’re able to overcome this boss, you’ll learn that exploring the world map and leveling up will make you stronger.

Players that reach a difficulty “wall” with this boss are encouraged to further explore the map, gaining more rewards, and in turn, grow stronger to face the dreaded boss on equal footing.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is now available on PS5.

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