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The Final Fantasy VII Remake is real. It’s happening. I need a moment…
We all knew it was happening but this new trailer proves that the E3 trailer wasn’t just a faint hope. This is real, there’s gameplay now.
Everything about this trailer should be familiar to players of the original Final Fantasy VII – everything in this trailer comes straight from the iconic Midgar Bombing Mission that opened the original game. This time we get to experience things the original never delivered: characters we forgot how much we loved have faces and voices now! Wedge’s voice stands out to me in particular… certainly a contrast to his character – perhaps that’s a piece of the story I’ve forgotten, maybe it’s something a new element entirely or it could just be his character eccentricity.
So far we’ve seen only two playable characters from the original cast. Needless to say, Cloud is there in all his SOLDIER uniform glory for that touch of nostalgia, but an updated hairstyle ripped straight from Advent Children for a bit of something new. For the most part his design remains unchanged, with the exception of all that extra detail that the Playstation 4 can provide. Watching his huge sword glisten as he runs through the desolate streets of Midgar is just so hypnostising.
Then there’s Barret. There are some instantly recognisable changes here, the most obvious being the sunglasses… I hope they’re not permanent. His build has definitely been redesigned to lean more on the realistic side of things: he’s not quite the walking rectangle he used to be. He even wears a vest now, rather than just that strange metal belt under his jacket (which also seems to have been done away with).
Barret’s still rocking the gun arm though, and I’m certainly looking forward to reliving that traumatic bit of the story! I was never a huge fan of Barret’s design in the original game, or even his character. Now, I see room for a much more compelling character… and I’m definitely getting hot bear vibes from him, no complaints there.
The gameplay seems to have been divisive among the fans. Yes, can you honestly believe that some people genuinely thought Square Enix was going to just use the exact same gameplay as the original? Laughable. If you want the original, play the original.
The remake brings Final Fantasy VII soaring in to the modern age of Final Fantasy. Clearly, the same game engine behind Final Fantasy XV is being put to good use here, anyone that’s played Episode Duscae can see that. It’s not just in the battles, but in the field navigation – adding in those claustrophobic moments of squeezing through the rubble of the reactor gives the environment some character of its own. We’re not in the pre-rendered painted background days anymore.
Battles look fast and thrilling, with Cloud zipping around arenas making short work of those gun toting infantrymen (pfft, guns). We can see from a little side bar that battles are definitely going to consist of much more than swinging Cloud’s blade about – Magic and Summons will be making a return! But the most exciting thing I noticed is that you can play as Barret! This is what Final Fantasy XV will sadly lack – variation in the play styles. Barret’s a gunner, not a swordsman, so perhaps we’ll possibly even see some third person shooter elements (or perhaps leave that to late game party member Vincent, who even had his own third person shooter game!). I’m definitely looking forward to playing as Tifa and Yuffie, not to mention Red XIII!
There’s certainly a lot to be excited about now that this trailer has come along to prove that the Final Fantasy VII Remake is no joke. It’s an exciting time to be a Final Fantasy fan. It’s an exciting time to be alive…
BUT before we get too excited – game director Yoshinori Kitase recently suggested that the remake may be split in to episodes. I understand the reasoning perfectly: Final Fantasy VII was a HUGE game, and to remake it faithfully all in one go might be a risky move (not to mention I doubt we’d see it before 2020). On top of that Final Fantasy VII is one of the most beloved games of all time. Episodic release is a perfect opportunity to take on board feedback from those die-hard fans (once they get over the lack of ATB bars) to ensure the project doesn’t go the way Final Fantasy XIII did.
Still, I can’t help but wonder how much the episodic structure might alter the way the game plays out: Final Fantasy VII was a very open game for the most part and I’d be upset to see it made linear. That being said, it might be an interesting take, like a playable Final Fantasy VII TV show. As I said earlier, if people want the original, it’s still there to play. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait for indefinite months between episodes.
But remember, the most important thing of all – we will FINALLY get to see Cloud get all up in drag in glorious HD! Thank you, Square-Enix. Thank you.
Check out the trailer below: