Final Fantasy VII Remake: A carve up or an add on?
Final Fantasy VII Remake is bound to be one of the most heavily discussed games to come from PSX 2015. Originally unveiled at E3 2015, with nothing but a CG trailer, many theorised that we wouldn’t be seeing the title until at least late 2017 at the earliest given Square-Enix’s track record with releasing games in a timely fashion. Add to this the fact that the director of the project Tetsuya Nomura is already hard at work on the long gestating Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, and many had thought that we’d be waiting a while before we saw anything more from the game – turns out we all couldn’t have been any more wrong.
Final Fantasy VII Remake re-emerged at PSX 2015 with a massive splash, it returned with gameplay. The subject of the gameplay in the remake had been feverishly discussed in forums all over the internet since the reveal with fans tussling over the fact that some wished it to be a full remake with the game playing as it did in the original 1997 release, turn based combat and all. Others suggested that the game mustn’t dwell in the past and reinvigorate itself, and it seems those people may be right if the gameplay that was revealed is anything to go by. It seems that based on the 3minute video that we’ve now all seen (and if you’ve not be sure to check it out) that we’re about to see the glory of Final Fantasy VII’s combat cross over with the more modernised stylings of Final Fantasy XV; the product of this merger could prove to be extraordinary.
When my brain kicked into gear and I realised that I was being shown gameplay, the first thing I observed as the UI. It shares a number of similarities with the Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae demo that we’ve played. Though we didn’t really see it in use we could clearly see that at his disposal Cloud had the ability to Attack, Defend, cast Magic, Summon or use an Item, much as it was in the original game, one can assume certain Materia will be required to ensure that certain spells are usable. That roots the game in what made the original so fantastic to play but then merges it with the flashy, stylish, more action heavy gameplay of the upcoming Final Fantasy XV. With any luck it all plays out for the best, but at this point in time, my opinions are quite positive with the gameplay seeming to hit the sweet spot between the old and new – I can’t wait to see how it finally plays out.
Post event news has broken that Final Fantasy VII Remake will be what Square-Enix are referring to as a “Multi-Part Series”. Some speculation has quickly arisen that it means Final Fantasy VII is episodic – but maybe that’s not at all what it means. The alternate school of thought that I’m hoping that people consider is that rather than breaking VII down into several smaller bite sized pieces, we’re actually seeing the beginnings of a remake of the entire series. That would of course mean that we’re going to get the PS2 spin-off Dirge of Cerberus and the PSP’s Crisis Core included. While I’m not a massive fan of Dirge of Cerberus, if Square-Enix were to give me the opportunity to play Crisis Core with visuals that looked like what we’re getting from the core remake then I would be a happy man indeed.
But what if I’m getting too excited here, what if they are breaking VII down into several parts; what would that look like. You could suggest that each of the three discs make up an episode, but in the event that it’s episodic, I would much rather see the game broken into four pieces. *Spoiler Alert* The first episode could look at the period from the game’s opening through to the moment the group leaves Midgar, episode 2 right up until Aerith’s death, episode 3 and 4 could be split evenly among the remaining narrative. It’s not better than one single experience, but if it’s the path that Square-Enix wishes to go down then why not that option?
There’s so much to discuss about the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and so much more I wish I could spare the time to discuss, but these are my biggest takeaways from the PSX news. What do you think? Episodic, or Crisis Core and Dirge of Cerberus? Is the combat straying too far from Final Fantasy VII, or has it hit the sweet spot between old and new