Bonus Round: Final Fantasy reborn

Hi everyone! It’s time for another Bonus Round, our weekly column offering a few thoughts on some of the week’s biggest gaming stories. Last week was packed with news and announcements from both Summer Game Fest and the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase. Things have slowed down a little bit now but there are still some interesting stories to talk about it. Let’s get into it!

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth screenshot

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth announced

Square Enix celebrated classic RPG Final Fantasy VII’s 25th birthday yesterday with an anniversary stream, where it announced the sequel to Final Fantasy VII: Remake. The next game will be titled Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth and will release next winter exclusively on PS5.

Remake was first released in April 2020 to strong reviews, with players praising the game for its fresh reinterpretation of the original’s gameplay and story. Crucially, Remake only adapted a small section of Final Fantasy VII’s narrative, beefing up its playtime with new side quests and activities. With Rebirth being described as the second game in a trilogy, it seems like this new game might need to cover a lot more ground.

I must admit, I’ve not played Remake yet. I was waiting for the eventual PS5 rerelease, and then life sort of got in the way. I’m definitely going to try to catch up in time for Rebirth’s release, though. How about you? Are you excited? Let us know in the comments!

Concept artwork from Fallout 4

Fallout 5 coming after The Elder Scrolls 6

Fans of post-apocalyptic RPG franchise Fallout got a glimmer of hope this week, when Bethesda Game Studios exec producer Todd Howard revealed to IGN that work on a new game will begin once The Elder Scrolls 6 has been completed.

The mere mention of a new Fallout game has excited a lot of people, but they’re going to have to wait a while. Work on The Elder Scrolls 6 is likely to only begin in earnest in 2023 or 2024, once Starfield is out the door. I’d be shocked if that new Elder Scrolls is released before 2028, meaning that we’re probably not going to see Fallout 5 until 2032 at the earliest.

I thought games being announced 3 years before they release was bad, but this really takes the biscuit. It seems entirely possible that we’ll be living a Fallout-style existence ourselves by then. When we’re spending our days scavenging for food and machine parts on a nuclear-ravaged Earth, will we really be in the mood to sink 100 hours into a new Fallout game?

Fallout fans might not have to wait quite that long to get a new fix, though. Giant Bomb’s Jeff Grubb hinted earlier in the year that Microsoft may be tapping Obsidian Entertainment, developers of beloved spin-off Fallout: New Vegas, to create a sequel to that game. If this rumour comes true, we probably still won’t see that game for five or so years. But hey, a five year wait for New Vegas 2 is better than a 10 year wait for Fallout 5, right?

Breath of the Wild 2 screenshot

Nintendo Direct possibly coming in June

Nintendo has been conspicuously absent from the past couple weeks of streams and announcements, but that could be about to change; it seems we might be getting a new Nintendo Direct on 29 June. This news was originally reported by streamer (and Sony employee, weirdly enough) Alanah Pearce and corroborated by Video Games Chronicle.

It’s anyone’s guess what will be shown at this potential Direct, but we can take some educated guesses. It seems pretty likely that we’d get a new look at the still-untitled sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which is now slated to release in the first half of 2023. I loved the first Breath of the Wild, and sank over 120 hours into it; I’ll take as much information about this game as I can get.

It’s almost certain that Splatoon 3 will make an appearance, given that it’s currently set for release on 9 September. I have to imagine we’ll get an official look at the next wave of DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, too, and find out which new tracks are coming to the game. Might we finally get confirmation of the much-rumoured remastered Metroid Prime trilogy? Maybe we’ll see some MIA games like Bayonetta 3 or Metroid Prime 4, too, although I wouldn’t confidently put money on it.

Outside of that, I’d personally love to hear news about a new 3D Mario game, be it a Super Mario Odyssey sequel or something completely new. Odyssey came out in 2017, and it might be the only game I’ve ever played to 100% completion with the lure of Trophies or Achievements to spur me on. Strategy game Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope seems likely to make an appearance, so I might have to get my Mario fix there. The original is under-appreciated and a lot of fun; I recommend checking it out!

Nintendo Directs tend to take place at very unsociable hours on UK time, so it’s unlikely we’ll liveblog the show like we have for other events this summer. But you can be sure that whether this Direct takes place on 29 June or 13 Smarch, we’ll be rounding up all the news you need to know about in a future Bonus Round.