Standing as one of the best examples of a JRPG in the history of gaming, and a proud member of the video game hall of fame, Final Fantasy VII became a classic almost instantly upon its release. As such, there had been calls for a remake of the game for many years, with fans of the title hoping that Square Enix would retell its phenomenal story once more while removing some of its more archaic mechanics. These wishes were granted with the announcement of Final Fantasy VII Remake, a ground-up redevelopment of the original game.
However, Square Enix has kept its cards close to its chest when it comes to this project. Even though Final Fantasy VII Remake was revealed all the way back in 2015 at the E3 expo, in the years since Square Enix hasn’t exactly been generous with details about the in-development title. As such, fans have been wondering exactly when another update is going to arrive.
That said, there’s still plenty of information about Final Fantasy VII Remake that fans of the original, and those interested in playing this updated version, will want to know. Here’s everything you need to know about the Final Fantasy VII Remake.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Release Date Hasn't Been Set
This is, of course, the question on everyone’s lips. Unfortunately, although Square Enix has shown off some stunning footage of the game, the big question of when it will release is still yet to be answered.
Predictions about the release date of the Final Fantasy VII Remake also vary wildly. The title has been expected many times over since the initial reveal in 2015, but as of yet there’s no finite information about its launch schedule – or, indeed, how it is faring in development. However, with Square Enix finishing off fellow long-awaited RPG Kingdom Hearts 3, expect the publisher to look to the development team of Final Fantasy VII Remake to ramp up production for a launch sooner rather than later.
That said, Square Enix is playing it carefully at the moment. At the latest, the Final Fantasy VII Remake is definitely due to launch before 2023 – so at least that’s something – while financial reports from Square Enix may point towards a pre-2020 release. Meanwhile, Square Enix has conceded that it was announced too early, which might be a reason why details have been thin on the ground since.
Is Final Fantasy VII Remake Just A Remaster?
Final Fantasy VII Remake is a complete remake of the original game (hence its name), rather than just a remaster of the original title with updated graphics. Although the development team behind the game did consider a port with a level of sheen that modern gamers would expect, instead the team decided that it would be more beneficial to give the title a complete overhaul.
This means that not only is the game getting a face-lift, but instead also having some major changes when it comes to gameplay. Gone is the pure turn-based combat of the original Final Fantasy VII, and instead the title will have a much more action-focused battle system where players will have more control over the situation at hand. Of course, this might not please everybody, but Square Enix is aiming to make the title feel like a modern game across the board, rather than just with graphical quality.
Character models have also had an update, with Square Enix recreating such beloved characters as Cloud and Barret in a new, HD form. That said, the characters revealed so far don’t look to different from their original forms, so it’s unlikely that there will be some entirely unrecognizable faces any time soon.
Is Final Fantasy VII Remake Being Released In Episodes?
Perhaps the biggest change about Final Fantasy VII Remake is the way in which it will be released. Rumors started to circulate that the title would be released episodically, much in the same way as The Walking Dead or Square Enix’s own Hitman.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake will be broken up into different parts, although Square Enix has shied away from referring to it as an episodic release structure. Producer Yoshinori Kitase confirmed that the Final Fantasy VII Remake will instead consist of multiple substantial releases, covering the entirety of Final Fantasy VII’s story. The reason for this is to ensure that the developer doesn’t end up making a "condensed version of the game."
This was confirmed all the way back in 2016, although nothing has been shared about this hybrid structure since. Players should perhaps expect releases that aren’t as small as, for instance, the missions of Hitman, but don’t cover the entire picture from end-to-end. Then again, there’s every chance that Square Enix has had a rethink about the entire thing in the last few years, so look out for clarification on this going forward.
Who Is Making Final Fantasy VII Remake?
Given that it’s been over 20 years since Final Fantasy VII first released, some gamers may be wondering whether Final Fantasy VII Remake will be able to capture the same tone as the first game. Something that will help with this is the return of some of the most important names in the development of the original title.
Perhaps the most influential of these is Yoshinori Kitase, the director of 1997’s Final Fantasy VII and producer of the remake, who has been maintaining oversight of the project as a whole. Kitase is just one of the returning creators, too, with character designer Tetsuya Nomura coming back as director, composer Nobuo Uematsu again working on the project, and Kazushige Nojima back to write the script.
This will hopefully give fans a little bit of relief, particularly given the structural changes to the project. Meanwhile, other veterans are on board, including Naoki Hamaguchi, with Square Enix keeping the entire project in-house rather than shipping bits of the project out to external developers.
Will The Story Of Final Fantasy VII Remake Be Changing?
At the moment, it looks as though the story of Final Fantasy VII will be fleshed out, rather than being outright changed. In line with Square Enix attempting to avoid making a condensed product, instead the aim is to expand on the storytelling of the original game, building upon the title’s source narrative accordingly.
This should certainly help Final Fantasy VII Remake, as over the years the lore surrounding Final Fantasy VII has expanded dramatically through both spin-off games and movies. This should leave Square Enix with enough wiggle room to build a cohesive tale, and also truly delve deep into the areas that they want to have a greater focus on.
Whether this leads to other, major, changes is another matter entirely. Final Fantasy VII includes some rather dramatic moments (and some rather shocking deaths), and it will be interesting to see whether Square Enix decides to throw caution to the wind and tweak any of these well-known parts of the story at all. For now, though, it’s a matter of waiting to see what the publisher does next.