The Final Fantasy 7 Remake is one of the most anticipated and ambitious releases out there. At this point, even a trickle of information, like we got today, seems like a lot. A new post by PlayStation.Blog today, for instance, showed off a cute summon and new character abilities. And meanwhile, some developers on Square Enix’s site talked about what’ll make the Remake unique. Perhaps most importantly, in the latter, we learned one important detail from director Tetsuya Nomura: we’re getting a “part two,” just like the original, and it’s in development.
One of the original FF7’s quirks was its three-disc format. No spoilers, but each part presented its own set of quests and adventures around the game’s massive world. We already know, too, that the Remake will require two Blu-Ray discs to run the game. However, we weren’t sure about whether or not the multi-part format would see the light of day. Nomura, thankfully, touched on that in the Square Enix post.
More on that later — there’s a ton of ground to cover with this new batch of information. Through PlayStation.Blog’s post, we saw some new and updated features and screencaps. And, the Square Enix post hints at how the Remake’s design will stand out against the old one. Both are treats for fans excited for the March release.
FF7 Features, New And Old
The new FF7 Remake tries to capture the world of the original game while bringing in modern elements. The team clearly picked and chose from popular action games’ best traits to make a system that’s exciting, both visually and gameplay-wise. On PlayStation.Blog, Square Enix provided new details on these, plus plenty of new gorgeous screenshots to take in.
In prior trailers, we already saw the characters of FF7 give some of their own unique, hard beatdowns on enemies. Now, the devs provided a peek of the characters’ unique abilities. And thankfully, it’s a pretty simple system, utilizing just the triangle button. It takes a chapter from the wildly popular real-time combat system of Kingdom Hearts, which allow you to tap into powerful abilities with just the same button.
Similarly to that Square Enix/Disney game series, weapons now have special abilities. These weapons’ abilities improve as you use them through their own unique leveling system. The good news is, you aren’t stuck to that weapon forever! Once you max out its levels, you have those abilities permanently applied to the wielder. In short, it may be good to get a good rotation of weapons.
If you hate going into battle blind, the new Materia will definitely help. “Assess” allows you to essentially “scan” an enemy’s basic weaknesses and strengths. Even if you’re not actually prepped to deal with them, at least you’ll know your best options at the moment.
The Summons feature was already introduced in previous presentations, but now we’re getting a treat that even the most casual fans will appreciate. There are screenshots of the “Chocobo & Moogle” summon, which “Stampedes” into battle to mow down your enemy.
And finally, Square gave a little more details on the “Classic” mode. It’s something of a smart-AI assist feature. Instead of using each character individually throughout battle, certain characters will act independently based on what items, weapons, abilities and magic you assign to them. It’ll be on-par with “Easy” mode, so it’s not just a way to blast through difficult enemies.
FF7 Devs Speak On The Remake
Meanwhile, Square Enix also published a far longer, but more intimate, blog post involving the FF7 Remake developers. They rounded up some of the top developers from the game, who talked about their prior roles — and how this game would differ from the original.
First and foremost, Tetsuya Nomura revealed that the team is working on a Part 2. He shared that the world of Midgar was so vast, “the density and volume are so great that I had to give directions to lighten them.” In short, there’s plenty to do, but even Nomura felt he had to crop it back. (Meanwhile, Nomura’s now famous through Kingdom Hearts for his density of material.) And he hopes that coming to the conclusion of “Part 1” will make you excited to continue.
“We’ve already begun working on the next one as well,” Nomura said, “but I’m confident that playing through this title will expand your expectations just like the world that extends beyond Midgar.”
Producer Yoshinori Kitase, a director of the original game, says he was always asked about the Remake. He claims he’d always respond, “If we were to create a remake of that now, it would be an enormous amount of data, and who knows how many years it would take. But, if the ‘right time’ comes along, we might just do it someday!” Here, he follows up with — “To all the people I had a chance to meet with back then, the ‘right time’ has finally arrived.”
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Kazushige Nojima, head of story and scenario, says “there will be much less room for player imagination.” Because of the limitations of the original game, players often carried away implications instead of seeing them play out on-screen. “Even if they were seeing the same scene, the information they took away from it and how they interpreted it differed depending on the viewer,” he said. “Perhaps it’s what might be considered a narrative form of storytelling nowadays.
Shintaro Takai, who worked on graphics and effects for the original, says he tried to incorporate a bit of “playfulness” in his design. He used two exclamation points in his answers, so whatever he means by that, I’m on board.
Many of the other developers, who are heads of their departments, also send their wishes and hopes that players enjoy the smaller details they’ve worked on, from setting to lighting. From what we’ve seen so far, the game does look gorgeous, so here’s hoping the final product matches their expectations.