Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Release Date, Gameplay, Trailers, Differences, And What We Know So Far

Can you believe that Final Fantasy VII Remake is happening? After a tech demo of the opening of Final Fantasy VII was teased at E3 2005, fans were ravenous over the prospect that one of the most popular and beloved RPGs of all time would be getting a completely modern remake. 1997, even back then, seemed like an eternity ago.

But Square Enix kept us waiting for a long time–it wasn’t until E3 2015 that Sony officially announced that a full-blown remake was a real thing. It would be co-directed by series veterans Tetsuya Nomura and Naoki Hamaguchi, produced by Yoshinori Kitase (director and co-writer of the original FFVII) and would be released in an episodic nature.

We know that it’s going to be a completely modern overhaul of the original game created from scratch, and will tell the same story with the same characters and locations that fans remember. However, whereas the original game featured a fixed camera and turn-based battle system, the remake will take the form of a third-person game with a free-roaming camera and real-time combat.

For the longest time, we only got quick peeks at remade scenarios, but 2019 gave us a much better look at the highly anticipated game. The game was finally playable at expos, we got an in-depth look at the new battle system, and we now have a clearer idea about how much content we could expect from the first release.

Announcement and Trailers

As stated, Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced at E3 2015 via a cinematic reveal trailer, which showcased Cloud walking through what appeared a market area. Another brief trailer followed during that year’s PlayStation Experience and showed gameplay.

But then it was radio silence for quite some time. We didn’t get a chance to see the game again until Sony’s State Of Play presentation in May 2019 where Square revealed a new trailer of Final Fantasy 7 Remake–the first time we’d seen new footage of the game in quite some time, which gave us the first glimpse of Aerith and the revamped battle system.

During E3 2019, Square Enix detailed Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s combat new combat system and allowed us to go hands-on with a playable demo, which involved leading Cloud and Barret through an early section of the game, culminating in a boss fight with the Guard Scorpion. It impressed us greatly, making us realise that the game was shaping up to give us something better than we wanted.

In a trailer released during Tokyo Game Show 2019, we got a look at Tifa and Aerith in action as party members, as well as a look at a couple of the game’s early summoning creatures, the icy Shiva and the firey Ifrit. We also got a taste of the English voice acting, and a first look at the new iterations of Shinra’s hit squad, The Turks.

Most recently, we got a new trailer at the 2019 Game Awards, which focus on Cloud Strife’s much-loved cool, calm, and collected personality.

Release Date

Final Fantasy 7 Remake will launch on the PlayStation 4 on March 3, 2020. However, we know that it’s only a timed exclusive for Sony’s console until March 2021, at which point it will potentially come to other platforms like PC and Xbox One. Heck, it could even launch on PS5 and Xbox One Series X by then!

Story And Characters / How Much Of The Original Will Be Included In The Remake?

We know that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be split into multiple parts, each comprising of one part of the original game. Producer Yoshinori Kitase, who directed the original Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation, has previously said that the team doesn’t know how many games the Remake will span.

However, we can expect the first part to involve the first part of Final Fantasy VII that takes place in the city of Midgar, as Cloud meets up with eco-resistance organisation Avalanche. The group is attempting to sabotage the reactors that power the city, owned by the nefarious Shinra Electric Power company. Kitase is quoted as saying, “We decided we’re going to focus this game on Midgar and what happened in Midgar” and “we can’t say anything more about the future games after that, because we don’t know ourselves, really.”

We’ve seen the new interpretations of party members Barrett, Tifa, and Aerith in the trailers released so far, as well as a look at the game’s primary antagonist, Sephiroth. Fans who have played through the original game will probably know what to expect, given all this information.

Battle System

The combat system for Final Fantasy 7 Remake is an entirely new one to the series, combining elements from the original game with real-time mechanics from more recent entries.

How it works is that you’ll essentially be moving and attacking with standard attacks in real-time, which will fill an Active Time Battle gauge. Once that gauge is charged up enough, you’ll be able to slow down the action to cast magic, trigger special abilities, or use items.

However, Final Fantasy 7 Remake includes a “Classic” combat mode, where moving and attacking will be automated, and the ATB gauge will fill up on its own. In this mode, the only real thing you need to worry about is waiting for the executing commands when you’re able to, making this more of a direct interpretation of the menu-based combat system seen in the original game.

How Big Will The Game Be?

While we’re still unclear about how big the download size for the game will be for digital downloads, or how much room the install will take on your PS4’s hard drive, we do know that the physical version will span two blu-ray discs, according to Square Enix.

Box Art

The Western box art for Final Fantasy 7 Remake is an updated version of the original US box art for Final Fantasy VII on the PlayStation, a big nostalgia play that is sure to appeal to fans who were around for the initial release.

In a welcome move, the cover art is reversible, with the Japanese box art on the other side–it features the logo on a plain background, as was the case with the original Japanese and PAL releases of Final Fantasy VII on PlayStation

Pre-Order and Collector’s Editions

There are a bunch of different editions and pre-order incentives for Final Fantasy 7 Remake. All preorders will get the Chocobo Chick Summon Materia DLC, which hopefully is as cute as it sounds. If you pre-order from the Square Enix Store, and you’ll receive double Members Rewards points. Best Buy is offering a $10 reward credit to My Best Buy members, and as usual, the PlayStation Store is offering a free, dynamic FF7 Remake PS4 theme with any pre-orders.

GameStop has an exclusive pre-order bonus that may be of interest to physical collectors–you’ll get a serialized Shinra key card and collectible tin box (shown above). You’ll get this bonus free when you pre-order either the standard or Deluxe edition of FF7 Remake.

Deluxe Edition

The Deluxe Edition will cost $80 and includes:

  • Base game and any pre-order bonuses
  • Artbook
  • Mini-Soundtrack
  • Steelbook
  • Cactuar Summon Materia DLC
  • Carbuncle Summon Materia DLC

Final Fantasy 7 Remake 1st Class Edition

No Caption Provided

The 1st class edition is exclusive to the Square Enix Store and will cost you $330. This edition includes:

  • Base game and any pre-order bonuses
  • Play Arts Kai Cloud Strife & Hardy Daytona box set
  • Artbook
  • Mini-Soundtrack
  • Steelbook
  • Cactuar Summon Materia DLC
  • Carbuncle Summon Materia DLC

There’s now a waiting list for the 1st class edition–you can hop on that and get more information below.

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