For more than ten years, Final Fantasy 7 Remake has been a mystery. Now we are within a few months after the game is in store. What a journey it has been.
The announcement of the game at E3 201
If you catch up with complete ignorance, here is a short summary:
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a multipart project. The episodes are released separately.
- Final Fantasy 7 Remake part one plays on PlayStation 4 on April 10, 2020.
- The first part takes place entirely in Midgar and takes up two Blu-ray discs.
- The new combat system combines real-time and turn-based elements.
- The game will differ considerably from the original, including story points and new characters.
If you have never played the original or at the time of the 1997 release, you may be asking …
What's wrong with Final Fantasy 7?
Final Fantasy is the most famous RPG franchise ever, and 7 is the most famous Final Fantasy ever. It has sold 11 million units, according to maker Square Enix, making it the best-selling game in the franchise. For reference, 2016 Final Fantasy 15, which was a huge success, is sent at around 8.4 million. Final Fantasy was also a hit among critics, with a 9.2 rating on Metacritic. Our sister site GameSpot gave it a 9.5 with the release and wrote that "technology, playability and narration have never been combined, as well as in Final Fantasy 7."
It may seem strange to watch it now, but Final Fantasy 7 was a technological masterclass in 1997. Cinematic cut-scenes were modeled in full-motion video, and the blocky 3D models moved around in predetermined environments that were bewildered at the time. .
Combine his technical achievements with an illustrious cast of characters (including heroes such as Cloud, Tifa and Vincent, as well as one of the game's most renowned villains, Sephiroth), a deep combat system and an iconic story, and it's easy to understand why Final Fantasy 7 has had such a lasting legacy.
But one note: if you have not played the original, do not read about the story. You have spoiled one of the most famous moments of gaming.
Why do people want a remake?
People scream for a remake of Final Fantasy 7 long before remakes and remasters became cool.
Thirst for a Remake of Final Fantasy 7 was unintentionally created by Square Enix itself. The company worked with Sony in 2005 to give fans a huge plague: on E3, when Sony unveiled the first PlayStation 3 (
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) details, this "technical demo" was shown:
Those bastards showed us what the Final Fantasy intro would look like on PlayStation 3 if they weren't going to continue. Imagine George Lucas photographing a trailer for a Star Wars: A New Hope remake, similar to cinematography and cinematography at 2020 level, but says it was just a demo and no real release was planned. That is how Final Fantasy buffs felt for 10 years: teased and unloved. Until E3 2015.
What should I play before Remake?
If you haven't played the original Final Fantasy 7 yet, it's best to just wait until Remake arrives on March 3, 2020.
However, there are a lot of other spin-offs from Final Fantasy 7 out there. These include Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7, Dirge or Cerberus: Final Fantasy 7, as well as a movie, Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children.
You can skip almost all of these. Dirge van Cerberus was a badly received game that took place after the original, and it follows Vincent, one of the two "secret" characters in Final Fantasy 7. Advent Children is cool, as far as video game films are concerned, but it also takes place finished after the original game, so it makes little sense.
That said, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 was fantastic. It is a prequel that follows Zack Fair, who is the mentor of Final Fantasy 7 protagonist Cloud. Playing won't spoil the Final Fantasy 7 story, so it's definitely worth doing. The disadvantage? It is only available on PSP, so you must have one lying around.
Part one is delayed. Why?
The original release date for Final Fantasy 7 Remake was March 3, 2020. However, in January, Square Enix announced that it would not be able to reach that date. Instead, the game will go on sale on April 10. Square Enix withdrew a similar step in 2016 with Final Fantasy XV.
"To ensure that we deliver a game that is in line with our vision and the quality that our fans have been waiting for, we have decided to move the release date to April 10, 2020," wrote producer Yoshinori Kitase .
"We make this difficult decision to give ourselves a few extra weeks to polish up the game and offer you the best possible experience. I want to apologize to everyone on behalf of the whole team, as I know this means wait just a little longer for the game. "
After 15 years of waiting, it seems a bit cruel? But, as Nintendo Shigeru Miyamoto says, "a delayed game is ultimately good, but a rushed game is always bad."
The times, they are a-changin & # 39;
Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be drastically different from the original. That is immediately clear in the battle: while Final Fantasy 7 was completely turn-based, Remake is a real-time action game with turn-based elements.
When you press the square button, Cloud swings his Buster sword and there are similar real-time dodging and blocking commands. As you fight against enemies, your Action Time Bar (ATB) gets bigger. Once full, you can delay the action to tactical mode, essentially bullet time, from which you can cast magic, use items or unleash limit breaks. However, it was also noted that players who prefer faster fights can avoid this by assigning shortcuts to these actions in a menu at the bottom left of the screen, making the action more Kingdom-like. (Tetsuya Nomura, the man behind Kingdom Hearts, directs Remake.)
You can also control more than just Cloud. With the push of a button you can switch to controlling other party members, with Square Enix showing off both Barrett and Tifa on E3. We also saw Aerith participate during the Tokyo Game Show in September. This is where the strategy will come, as noted by Square Enix that certain characters can be better controlled to fight certain enemies, such as Barrett, against long-range enemies.
View an extensive demo of the fights below.
The action comes from the first part of the game, with Cloud and Barrett trying to destroy a Mako reactor. The fight looks about the same as in the revealing trailer all those years ago, but menus & # 39; s have been updated and character designs have been adjusted. (Cloud apparently reached the gym.)
Another small change is the game's appeal. The subpoena itself is comparable, just that, because the part of the game that takes place in Midgar is extended to an entire game itself, subpoena was introduced earlier in the story. So far we have seen Shiva and Ifrit, who respectively represent the elements of ice and fire, as well as the summons of Leviathan and Chocobo.
New Era, New Story
In another major structural change from the original, Final Fantasy 7 Remake must be segmented into at least two episodes. In 2015 producer Yoshinori Kitase said the game would be split into "multiple" episodes, each of which would be the size of Final Fantasy 13. It seems that those parts might be even bigger than that: Part one, release April 10, 2020, will include two Blu-ray discs.
There is no word when the second part is launched and Square Enix says they are still considering how many episodes the story will be told. There is some speculation, based on comments from Square Enix CEO Yosuke Matsuda, that following parts can be released on both PlayStation 4 and 5.
It sounds like the team is recreating the hell from this game, while Director Tetsuya Nomura and Kitase refer to the massive scale in the few interviews they've done. Another clear theme: the duo is not interested in a straight remake. The changes they make are not only in the struggle, or in the vastness of the world, but also in the story.
"I don't want the remake to end as something that is only nostalgic. I want to make fans of the original version enthusiastic," Kitase told Dengaki, translated by Gematsu. "We will adjust the story with this thought in mind."
Nomura added, enigmatically saying: "I hope [fans of the original] can be surprised again."
The most recent trailer, which was posted on February 1, shows some of these changes. We see Cloud and the company fighting against Jenova – something that only happened in the original after left the gang of Midgar. Either this encounter is completely new or it has been moved here from a later section.
More importantly, the trailer introduces a completely new, yet to be named opponent (see above). No details are known about him yet, but a new rival makes sense. If part one cannot end with a Sephiroth fight, someone else must fill in those last shoes.
The trailer also includes scenes from the (in) famous segment of Final Fantasy 7, where Cloud dressing is involved as a woman to infiltrate Don Corneo's riotous mansion. This was a memorable part of the original, but some fans wondered if it should or should be included here. We will discover in April how well Square Enix ran with this tight rope.
When will part two come out?
We do not know, and will probably only know a few months after Part 1 in April. Huge RPGs generally take a long time to develop, and Square Enix is best known for taking the time to polish and refine games – hence the aforementioned delay.
But if it is any consolation, director Tetsuya Nomura has said that the team. Since the company will re-use the engine and a large part of the design elements of part one, it should theoretically not take that long to develop.
In theory. Part two released for PlayStation 5, however, would complicate matters because it would mean the team developing for a whole new architecture and reworking the engine that Final Fantasy 7 Remake runs on.
What about Xbox One?
No announcement of Final Fantasy 7 Remake the Xbox One or Series X has been made, but a release on one of those seems likely. Why? The artwork for the game, unveiled in December,in which the game is listed as a "Temporarily exclusive until 3/3/21." Since March 3, 2020 was the original release date of the game, it seems that Sony has a year of dibs on the game.
Speculation for an Xbox One version of the game came about in July last year when Xbox Germany published on March 3, 2020 for an Xbox One version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
"As previously announced, Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be released for PlayStation 4 on March 3, 2020," the Square Enix representative would say in a statement. "We have no plans for other platforms." (As mentioned, that release date has since been postponed.)
A member of the Xbox Germany marketing team tweeted: "We made an internal mistake in the social team. We immediately removed the video. Sorry, no announcement on our large apologies for this. "
So it seems that Xbox Germany jumped the gun – but also that Final Fantasy 7 Remake on a different console than the PlayStation 4 seems inevitable.
Give me some sweet box art!
OK! In September, Square Enix unveiled Final Fantasy 7 Remake via box tweet. In December it updated the art with the aforementioned exclusivity sticker. It is boisterous and a return to the original from 1997. Watch it below.
It & # 39; s Cloud, looking away from us, lifting his Buster Sword over a shoulder as he prepares to take on Shinra, as suggested by the impending Shinra headquarters. It is known to everyone who owned the original game.
Please note that this is the box art for part one of the game. Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2, and all additional Parts that the company releases, will have different covers. Hopefully we don't have to wait 14 years to see them.
Originally published on June 5, 2018, and regularly updated to keep new information as announced.