Final Fantasy 7 is now over 20 years old and continues to be regarded as one of the greatest JRPGs of all time. It introduced the genre to millions of new fans with its imaginative characters and wildly unique setting.
Square Enix is set to deliver a long-awaited remake, but as is often the case with Square titles (just look at Kingdom Hearts 3 for a similar tale), has been and is taking a long time to arrive.
Final Fantasy 7 news – what’s the latest?
Square Enix has shifted the development of Final Fantasy 7 Remake from external partner CyberConnect 2 to its internal studio. Having been announced almost two years ago now, we still have no idea when FF7 Remake will launch.
Taking development duties away from CyberConnect 2 is a “sensitive subject” according to Square Enix (via Kotaku).
“We’ve taken over the development side of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake,” Square Enix’s Naoki Hamaguchi explains. “Up until now, development has progressed by receiving external collaboration, but from here on out, with production and quality in mind, we’re shifting to our in-house organization.”
Square Enix unveiled a new image for Final Fantasy 7 Remake during the original’s 20th anniversary event. Many of us were expecting a new teaser trailer, but this will have to do.
Speaking in an interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu, Game director Tetsuya Nomura said Final Fantasy 7 Remake is ahead of Kingdom Hearts 3 in some respects. Nomura, who is working on both projects simultaneously, has said some elements such as cutscenes are coming along nicely. However, he declined to comment further on development now it resides internally at Square Enix.
What is Final Fantasy 7 Remake?
Developed by Square Enix, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a complete reconstruction of the original game that maintains the iconic narrative, characters and locations fans will know and love.
You play as Cloud Strife, a mercenary who finds himself working for AVALANCHE, a terrorist group with plans to save the planet from Shinra, an evil corporation ruling over millions in the dystopian city of Midgar.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake release date – When is it coming out?
Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be told across three separate games, which will, presumably, have their own individual release dates.
“It will essentially be a full scale game for each part of the multi-part series. In 13, each instalment told the story from a different angle. It was kind of like approaching an unknown territory in a sense,” Kitase told Game Informer.
Square Enix is yet to confirm whether each part will be a full-priced affair, or will follow a digital episode structure similar to something like Telltale.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Story – What’s it about?
The narrative, characters and locations from Final Fantasy 7 are instantly iconic, propelled into the zeitgeist of any gamer growing up in the 1990s. With that being said, Square Enix is under a lot of pressure to deliver an experience that feels both faithful and unique to the source material.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is intended as a direct retelling of the 1997 original, albeit with a few caveats to accommodate modern generation standards. It is still unclear whether or not all the locations and characters from the original game will make an appearance. Specific plot elements are also expected to be altered in some way to be more relatable for modern gamers.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Gameplay – Has it changed?
Completely reworking something as instantly recognisable as Final Fantasy 7 is a risky proposition, but one Square Enix is more than willing to tackle. FF7 Remake is making some major changes to the established battle system, introducing a formula more akin to Kingdom Hearts or Devil May Cry than anything else.
The turn-based battles that enthralled us in back in our childhood bedrooms are no more, replaced by a more actively dynamic experience. Combat and exploration now take place in real-time, much like Final Fantasy 15, so it’s safe assume that battle transitions have been removed entirely. Cloud and friends will now explore a world populated by enemies as opposed to traversing a separate world map.
Considering the experience is to be split across multiple games, it may or may not be open world. Exploration will no doubt play a part, but we may be restricted to locations contextually important to the story as opposed to the open-ended nature of the original. Hopefully this isn’t the case, but as it stands, it’s far too early to tell.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailers – How does it look?
Square Enix has given only a few brief yet exciting glimpses at the long-awaited remake since its reveal at E3 2015. Here’s one of the earliest trailers:
E3 2015 reveal trailer:
This is taken from the very beginning of the game, giving us the impression that development is still in the early stages. That being said its wonderful to see such beloved characters remastered in HD alongside a remastered rendition of the orchestral score. The battle system is shaping up pretty nicely, too.