Let’s give some brief history on this remake to give context for those new to the whole Final Fantasy VII scene. The game first launched on September 7, 1997, for the original PlayStation. To be blunt, it was a phenomenon, creating a devout following. It was so big that Square Enix, in the years that followed, would release a movie along with a spin-off sequel and prequel games.
The most infamous out of all these celebratory releases was a tech demo shown off during Sony’s E3 2005 event to demonstrate the power of the PS3. Even though it was announced as only a tech demo, fans ran with it and thought it was actually an announcement for a remake. No matter what Square Enix said to deny this, the fans persisted until finally, at long last, the real remake was revealed at E3 2015. It’s been a long, long wait for the return of one of the most beloved Final Fantasy games ever. What new details did we learn at E3 2019, though?
10 The Date
Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat. Final Fantasy VII Remake will release on March 3, 2020, on PS4. That’s only nine months away! Okay, so that isn’t as close as fans would hope, but it is nice to see an actual date for once.
Fans have been waiting a long time and there is no doubt Square Enix will be showing more content in the next coming months.
9 Episodic Gaming
There is one bummer that coincides with that release date. Even though it isn’t in the title, this is only the first part of the saga. This installment will take place entirely within Midgar. How many parts will there be? Well, in a recent interview, producer Yoshinori Kitase, had this to say when confronted with that question: “Unfortunately, we can’t say anything more about the future games... because we don’t know ourselves.”
That is a bit discouraging. Will this infamously long awaited game ever be finished, or will this section be it?
8 Two Discs
The original release for Final Fantasy VII came in a three-disc set. Even though the PS4’s Blu-ray discs can hold a lot more data, 50 GB on a double layer, this remake still requires multiple discs. That is to say, it will release with two.
Again, this is only Midgar! The game sounds like it’s going to be incredibly detailed. Just how much of the decrepit city are fans going to be able to explore for the first time? It would be great to see some of the deleted content from the original.
7 Every Party Member Can Be Controlled
While every character could technically be controlled in the original release, it’s still great to see that that remains true for the remake as well. It would be incredibly easy for Square Enix to just have focused on players controlling one character, Cloud, while he issued orders to the others like in Kingdom Hearts.
So far, the only four playable characters revealed have been Cloud, Barret, Aerith, and Tifa. The only one left that would make sense for this section is Red XIII.
6 The ATB Gauge
The ATB Gauge, or Action Time Battle Gauge, was used to determine whose turn it was next in battle in the original. It returns for the remake, but operates quite differently.
Normal attacks can be spammed relentlessly, like Cloud striking with his blade, and this in turn fills up the bars. Once filled, party members can use one or two gauges in order to use spells, skills, and even items. From the other stats we've caught a glimpse of, it appears MP is still a thing, so spells aren’t infinite.
5 Music Remake
This one is pretty obvious, but yes, the music is being redone as well for this ambitious remake. A couple of tracks were featured during the Square Enix presentation and in the trailers so far, including the battle and boss battle themes.
That’s only two for now, but it was enough of a taste to get the blood pumped up. How will they redo other iconic tracks?
4 Special Edition Goodies
There are currently two main special versions of the game. The Deluxe Edition comes with an art book, a sampler CD, a DLC voucher to summon Cactuar and a Chocobo, and a SteelBook case featuring Sephiroth.
The 1st Class Edition has the previous collection’s goodies, along with a figure of Cloud riding his hog and an additional summon: Carbuncle. That will set players back $330, while the former package is $80.
3 Action Combat With Strategy
This is an action game, yes, but for those who enjoyed the original’s turn-based battle system, well, that can be used. This was also implemented in Final Fantasy XV for those that wanted a more relaxed style of gameplay.
If one wants a hybrid of the two, selecting an item, skill, or spell to use with the ATB Gauge slows down time, which looks really cool. However you choose to play, it looks like a thrill a minute.
2 Take Cover
There are three ways for players to defend themselves in Final Fantasy VII Remake, as demonstrated during the E3 presentation. First, the most obvious, characters can block attacks. Secondly, characters can also dodge. Finally, the most surprising addition is cover.
You can't simply find some debris, click on it, and then stick to it like a third-person shooter. Instead, merely standing in front of a barricade will block attacks, as demonstrated during the robot scorpion boss fight. Maybe this system will be tweaked a bit to look more natural?
1 New Voice Actors
The first time Cloud and the rest of the Final Fantasy VII crew were all voiced was the sequel film, Advent Children. Some, like Cloud, also appeared in Kingdom Hearts previous to that. Point is, the voices have mostly been the same since.
With this remake, even though Cloud may sound like Steve Burton, or Sephiroth like George Newbern, they are new actors. The full cast hasn’t been revealed yet, but there's some real talent on board.