When Final Fantasy 7 Remake was first revealed, fans cried as they were filled with joy. However, when the first gameplay was on display at Sony’s PlayStation Experience, the reactions were decidedly mixed. Gone were the days of turn-based combat in Final Fantasy 7, but while that was the biggest concern, word quickly spread that the game would be split into multiple episodes.
We don’t yet have details on exactly how the game will be divided, but most speculate that each episode will cover a disc from the original PlayStation release. Square Enix has a general idea of how many episodes the full game will encompass, but they aren’t ready to reveal that information just yet. However Square Enix decides to split up the game, new information has surfaced about what fans can expect from the first episode. Let’s take a closer look at what Square Enix had to say and you may be surprised at how much progress the development team has already made.
The biggest reveal from Square’s recent discussions is that the scenario for the first installment of the Remake is 100 percent complete. That means the story is planned out in full and the development team knows exactly what will happen throughout the entirety of the first episode. That’s quite a development milestone and seems to indicate that the team has been working on the game for much longer than most people assumed.
Most fans already know the story of Final Fantasy 7, including all of the side projects that have cropped up throughout the years (Crisis Core, Advent Children, etc.). Square was quick to inform fans that each episode in Remake would be the size of a full game and that a lot of new events and story elements would be added to make sure of this. One such addition is that the first episode will delve further into the back stories of Biggs, Jessie and Wedge.
For those who may need a refresher course, Biggs, Wedge and Jessie are members of AVALANCHE and work for Barret. They aren’t fighters and instead work on the technical side of things. Jessie is essentially the second in command of AVALANCHE under Barret and is responsible for the bombs used on the Mako Reactors. It’s likely she will have a heavier focus than Biggs and Wedge simply because of her placement in AVALANCHE and the fact that she has close ties to the Mako Reactor bombs and has a romantic interest in Cloud.
All three of these side characters are killed during Final Fantasy 7, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see additional story for them to make their death more meaningful. Given the close relationship between Cloud and the two main female characters, Tifa and Aerith, it stands to reason we could see these two ladies butting heads with Jessie.
In addition to these side characters getting more back story, Cloud’s hallucination scenes will have more impact on the story. It’s likely that we’ll see even more of these scenes in Remake to help expand on the story and what they mean. Cloud’s hallucinations haven’t played a major role in the original game or anything that has been released since then, so it will be interesting to see just how important they become in Remake.
Shifting focus from the story to the combat and game mechanics, Square has stated that the Limit Break system will return, but there’s a new system in place that’s unique to Remake which will be revealed in the future. How the new system is used will be determined by your play style, which could be a nod to a previous comment the development team made toward the combat in Remake being slower-paced and more tactical than Kingdom Hearts.
Speaking of Kingdom Hearts, the development team has been receiving technical assistance from the Kingdom Hearts 3 team due to the fact both games use Unreal Engine 4. Kingdom Hearts 3 switched over to Unreal Engine 4 some time ago so the development team should have a good handle on how it works in relation to Square’s development process. This could be one of the reasons why the game is farther along than most assumed.
One interesting bit of information is that Square Enix stated that they will not discuss online at the moment. The question there is why even mention online if it’s not going to be included in the final product. This has led many fans to believe that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will feature some sort of online play. Given what we’ve seen of the gameplay mechanics, it’s not out of the question to believe online co-op or even a VS. Battle mode similar to Dissidia could be added to Remake.
Whatever the case may be, stay tuned to Prima Games as we offer more insight into Final Fantasy 7 Remake as new information becomes available. For now, be sure to check out the details of the PSX announcements and information on the new battle system.