It’s been a few weeks since this year’s E3 conference where Square-Enix announced the remake of Final Fantasy VII, arguably the best game in the Final Fantasy franchise, which would be coming, at least at first, exclusively to the PlayStation 4. The game is still in early development, so it could be years before we see it, but PS4 owners will soon be able to play FFVII on PS4 when the PC port of the game is released later this year.
Since the game is a long way off, details about what a “remake” of the game will entail are slim. Square-Enix faces a difficult task in presenting a game that has all the familiarity of the original, yet also improves upon it for a new generation. This, of course, means that the game’s director Tetsuya Nomura and his team will have some tough decisions to make as they balance fan expectations with what will appeal to the current generation of gamers.
The first of those changes, as mentioned by Nomura in an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, will be to the game’s battle system. The original FFVII featured an Active Time Battle system, which was a variant of the turn-based battle system of early games in the franchise. Nomura referred to the changes as “dramatic,” but said that they won’t be so dramatic that it will feel like we’re playing a game we don’t recognize. Though he hasn’t stated exactly what those changes will be, it seems likely that the new FFVII will feature a more real-time action battle system like we’ve seen in the FFXV demo.
Of course, many long-time fans of the series may find the news of an overhaul of the game’s battle system less than thrilling. While battles tended to be drawn out and especially tedious because you had to enter them over and over again to level up, the game’s storyline seemed worth the tedium. We loved the game, and like most things in our past that we hold dear, we don’t want to see it changed.
But we have to remember that this is a remake. We’ll still have access to the original, but what Nomura and his team can remove the needless tedium from the game and tell the game’s very action-oriented story through more action-oriented gameplay? I, along with many other fans, was impressed with what Square-Enix has done with the Final Fantasy XV demo, and while I don’t want FFVII to be just like FFXV, I think we have to let Nomura and his team to give us the game they want to give us. After all, Square-Enix has given us several great games in the Final Fantasy series.
As a remake, FFVII will undoubtedly look different, but with no new characters being added, it seems that the game will still follow the basic storyline we all know and love. It’s a Final Fantasy VII for a new generation, and I for one hope that it’s a game that will resonate with a new generation of gamers as it did for those of us who played the original.