The Final Fantasy 7 remake has been hotly anticipated since it was first announced, but it looks like we might have a while more to wait.
The original Final Fantasy 7 is over 20 years old at this point, but a multitude of players – old and new alike – continue to revisit the title as it’s widely considered to be one of the best in the series. Many would even go so far as to consider it the best RPG ever released, and it certainly has a cultural impact that suggests it would be deserving of that title. With such an important story and engaging gameplay, it’s no wonder that many were beyond excited when the Final Fantasy 7 remake was announced – but we’ve been waiting quite some time at this point and recent news suggests we’ll be waiting for quite some time as well.
Reddit user Dan_Tsukasa made a comment following an interview with the Final Fantasy 7 Remake art director, and goes into depth about how the game has had a relatively unusual and messy development cycle. The game was previously outsourced to developer CyberConnect2, but has since been restarted in-house with Square Enix – with the majority of the work from that two-year cycle being scrapped for a fresh start.
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“They don’t have 4 years of work, they have 2. The announcement that square was taking the game away from Cyberconnect2, they didn’t take it away and continue it, they started it again because cyber connect’s work was just so useless and not far enough along, but still far enough along that remaking it was faster than refactoring it… (it wasn’t in a good state at all),” The redditor explained.
It’s clear that it was a mistake to contract the development of the game out to Cyberconenct2 – especially considering that Square Enix has now had to start from scratch on the title. While it means we’ll get a better game at the end of the day – the fact remains that we essentially lost two years of progress on the title, pushing the release back even further.
It is possible, however, that the Final Fantasy 7 remake is further along than we think.
“It could be far along, it depends how much they’re outsourcing and how optimised their workflow is. As the FFXV workflow was super inefficient for a hell of a long time, if that’s improved and if they’re doing things modularly like I imagine then its certainly possible they’re far along with the first release.”
In a recent interview with Japanese magazine Famitsu, the game director Tetsuya Nomura stated that the Final Fantasy 7 remake is actually ahead of Kingdom Hearts 3 in terms of development in a lot of respects. He is working on both projects at the same time, and has stated that some elements like cutscenes are coming along quite nicely. It remains to be seen how far the rest of the game has come along since the change to develop the game internally, but it’s likely that we’re still a good ways out from the final release.
As far as the storyline of Final Fantasy 7 remake goes, it will be largely the same as the original title, with the remake largely focusing on refining combat systems and making the game graphically beautiful. You play as Cloud Strife, a mercenary working for AVALANCHE – a terrorist group that plans to save the planet from Shinra, which is an evil corporation that rules over millions in the dystopian city of Midgar. It was the first Final Fantasy game to take more of a technologically advanced approach, and it paid off in a major way – prompting a number of the single player games moving forward to take more of a high-tech aesthetic rather than high fantasy.
According to Yoshinori Kitase, the game will be released in a rather unique format.
“It will essentially be a full scale game for each part of the multi-part series” Kitase told Game Informer, “In 13, each instalment told the story from a different angle. It was kind of like approaching an unknown territory in a sense.”
As mentioned above, the storyline and characters of Final Fantasy 7 remake are remaining largely the same, but you’ll see some major differences in term of gameplay. According to current news, it appears as if the gameplay will be much more active and dynamic – with combat and exploration now taking place in real-time like Final Fantasy 15. Final Fantasy 15 was an incredibly successful title despite the long and arduous development process, but it’s definitely quite a different game from 7. Whether fans will be enthralled or upset at such a massive departure with Final Fantasy 7 remake remains to be seen, but it’s clear that the classic title we know and love will be dramatically reworked.
While Final Fantasy 15 has definitely shown itself to be quite successful, there’s something to be said for traditional turn-based combat as well. While recent games like I Am Setsuna haven’t quite lived up to the same expectations as modern combat systems, they’ve proven that turn-based combat can still be done well in a modern environment – and some feel that it’s a shame that we’re losing that potential with the Final Fantasy 7 remake. Still, Final Fantasy 15 was an absolute blast for many and the combat will likely be well-received overall after people get over the nostalgia factor.
Considering the fact that Final Fantasy 7 remake will be split across multiple games, it’s unclear at this point whether the game will be open-world. If it is to feature the same sort of format that we saw with Final Fantasy 15, it would be interesting to see how they could manage an open-world environment while cutting off a large portion of the story with each individual title. We’ll have to wait until we get closer to an eventual release date (which is still likely a few years out) until we learn more about this exciting upcoming title.