Additional news of the project has been desired by fans ever since the first reveal during the PlayStation Experience in 2015. After four years of hardly any news, we now have an idea of what the game will look and feel like, but the overall question remains: Will the game be worth the wait? Read on to see what can be considered the good, the bad, and the ugly from the bits off information that have been released over the past four years.
Visually speaking, the game appears crisp and polished from the most recent gameplay we saw in the State of Play reveal. This is important for a number of reasons. First, the fans who have been most vocal about wanting to see a return to the world of Final Fantasy VII are part of an older crowd, they are wearing rose-tinted goggles that fuels a nostalgia for the game they first played as early as 1997. As such, getting the details right is important to keep alive the artistic representation that was first expressed in the bland polygon shapes of the PSOne, and then reinforced through the film Final Fantasy: Advent Children from 2005.
That the gameplay looks visually appealing is also important to attract new players who would not have experienced the game upon its release. No one wants to play a game that looks to be dated by over twenty years, unless its an Indie title doing so on purpose, and so attracting both crowds is important. Overall, there is no denying that the gameplay looks stunning, and the switch from a traditional RPG towards a more active battle as seen throughout the Kingdom Hearts series feels like an appropriate adjustment as well.
As much as players enjoy hyping up a game, there has been extremely little in the form of unique footage presented from some of the more fundamental areas of the game. Yesterday's reveal showed off some great-looking combat, as well as the main characters Cloud, Aeries, and Barret, but it was all within the context of missions involving the Mako Reactors. Without wanting to give away spoilers, despite the story being over twenty years old, those events happen in the first hour of the game. Four years after the project has been announced, where is the Golden Saucer? Where are the rest of the cast? Would it kill you to tease a regular yellow Chocobo next to one that is blue, green, black, or even the mythical gold? Information has released at the slowest possible rate, to the point where fans thought the project might have been killed off. This leads us too...
Even if a firm launch date is established in June, and even if that deadline is met and the game launches on time, there is one troubling word that has been floating around that could leave players both waiting for years to actually play the complete game, and force them to shell out far more money than they may have first thought. The word in question: episodes.
After the initial announcement of the game was made, there were a few statements within a press release with regards to the direction of the game, timelines, and other points. One stood out above all others, stating that “Final Fantasy VII Remake will be told across a multi-part series, with each entry providing its own unique experience.” Exactly what was meant by the term "multi-part experience" occupied the minds of fans everywhere. Currently, this seems to point towards an episodic release of the game, part by part, meaning that when the game does finally launch, it will not be a finished product, and you will not be able to progress towards the end until Sony decides that players are ready for the second, and presumably, third part.
Will the launches be close together, or separated by years? Will each episode cost as much as another new, AAA title game? There really is no way to know until we are given the official plan for the game, but from the information we have, there does not seem to be much alternative to this bleak style of release.
It seems that we will know far more about the dates for the release of the game in only a short while. In closing, please allow this author to make one personal point perfectly clear. I consider myself to be one of the biggest Final Fantasy VII fans out there. I still replay the game often, and it is the entire reason I purchased my PSP-3000 years ago, so I could play it on the go. I want nothing more than for this game to be a smashing success, but ultimately, the game will succeed or fail primarily based on how well the developer chooses to treat its potential audience.
Consumers in the world of video games are far wiser now than years ago. There is a growing movement not to pre-order under any circumstances, as it rewards the release of sloppy, unpolished garbage (We are ALL looking at you, Fallout 76). In addition, consumers have been hammered so hard by wave after wave of microtransactions, that those too are becoming less effective. If Final Fantasy VII Remake is to be successful, both from a commercial and a consumer point of view, the developers need only look to the current role models of the industry: Monster Hunter: World, Resident Evil 2 Remake, and Devil May Cry 5.