Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier developed by Square Enix and Ateam is a free to play battle royale set 30 years before the events of Final Fantasy VII. The game was released November 17, 2021 on Andriod and iOS.
Since we've done the song and dance of battle royale countless times thus far I'll focuses on the differences. This game drops 75 people onto an ever-shrinking map, last person or team if you're playing that mode, left standing win. You can pick up weapons and ammunition along the way to help you take out the opposing "soldiers". What TFS offers different is the ability to pick up magic or spells. There are offensive and defensive spells available to pick up throughout the map and you're able to hold up to three of these spells. Picking up subsequent copies of the spells you already have equipped will level up the spells to up to level 3 and thus increasing its power. You can also earn from contracts and beating boss monsters Guardian Forces that will fight alongside you for a specified amount of time.
The game play feels just like any other mobile battle royale with the exception of engagement of fights. I myself experienced lag spikes and frame skips at the start of most if not all battles as well as my cohosts. But it was obvious to me that my opponents were also experiencing this as they wouldn't always engage right away because of this. It almost felt as if you were battling against bots most of the time but after a few failed queues early on I can honestly say that I don't believe there are any computer-controlled players in the game.
The paywall in the game is all cosmetic based and similar style to Fortnite. Which is a big plus for us as they are the main game that does microtransactions well. But on top the battle passes and chests that can be unlocked via tickets that are earned through game play there's a leveling system for each class you can play as. As you level each class you unlock a lot of different cosmetics from the vehicles you can drive on the maps to the helicopter that you're dropped onto the map in.
Overall, the game was fun to play I found myself going back to the game multiple times during our review period which isn't always the case. The highest I got in a solo game was third place and I won a game with a squad. The failed queues because not enough players were found, and the frame skips/ lag was a huge drawback to the game. There are more polished mobile battle royales out there and if the population of this game drops too much there won't be enough of a player base to play the game. Because of this I give the game a 4.5.
You can listen to our full review and see if it got the Budget Arcade seal of approval on your favorite podcast app or listen on our YouTube channel