Square Enix is in full promotion mode for the upcoming remake of Final Fantasy VII. The developer released a wealth of information during E3 and more has surfaced in the days following the industry event in Los Angeles.
Included below is a highlight of the events transpiring in the remake, a look at both Cloud and Aerith, and the battle system.
Let’s start with the story being told in the remake:
Mako, the life energy pumped out of the planet. And Midgar, an eight-Sector city with Mako Reactors in each Sector. AVALANCHE, an organization against the mega-conglomerate Shinra, which has taken control of the world through the monopolization of Mako, take the fight to Shinra in order to protect the planet.
Cloud, a former member of Shinra’s military organization SOLDIER, participates in AVALANCHE’s “Mako Reactor No. 1 Destruction Plan” as a mercenary.
The destruction of the Mako Reactor leaves a lingering reverberation in Sector 8. In a city surrounded by fire, the phantom of an old enemy that should have died sways.
Guided by the phantom of a past he wants to forget, he meets a girl.
The flower girl holds out a yellow flower. In the language of flowers, it means, “Reunion.” At that moment, a black mist surrounds them—the “Watchmen of Fate.”
Now hope will travel the planet once more.
This was featured in the E3 trailer:
Nomura mentioned the Watchmen of Fate in an interview with Famitsu, and we’re once again hearing about this mysterious entity. A new element added to the story, I’m wondering if the Watchmen are from the Cetra, and how they play into the plot.
Next up, we get more information on Cloud Strife and Aerith Gainsborough:
A former member of SOLDIER, 1st Class.
After escaping Shinra, he starts working as a man-for-hire in Midgar. His childhood friend Tifa invites him to participate in a plan being carried out by AVALANCHE as a mercenary.
Wielding his Buster Sword, he takes on the job for the reward money. He does not care about the “protection of the planet,” and sees it as only a job—or that’s how it was supposed to be.
I love the renders Square Enix released for both these characters. The detail, the small touches and improvements to their designs shine through. Cloud’s hair is less spiky, a bit more natural, while Aerith no longer has those square shoulder pads she sported in the original game.
Square next breaks down the battle system for Final Fantasy VII Remake. They note that battles are seamless and include no transitions from field to battle. Excellent!
Determine the enemy’s weak points and action pattern, and choose magic and abilities to defeat them. This is a highly tactical battle system that fuses Final Fantasy-esque command-based battles with intuitive action.
—Seamless battles: no transitions between field and battle.
—Cloud mainly fights at close-range with his sword, while Barret specializes in long-range and Aeirth main strength is magic. Each character has their own unique play styles.
By spending an ATB Gauge charge, you can use battle commands such as abilities, magic, and items.
—The major elements of the original game such as Limit Breaks, Materia, and summons have been carried over in the remake. Here is a look at Aerith’s Limit Break “Healing Wind.”
A close look reveals a lot of the things about the battle system we loved in the original return in Final Fantasy VII Remake, and have been improved upon. Aerith is seen healing the party with her limit break and it looks GOOD.
On to Cloud, we get a look at how he works in battle. Particularly, we see how attack shortcuts work and how they help ease the flow of battle.
—When you open the battle commands menu, the passage of time will slow down, so even users who are not good at action games or want to take their time can play.
As you saw in the gameplay demo, when using ATB, time slows down and allows you to play your moves in advance. This is to alleviate the chaotic nature of the new mechanics Square Enix added to the remake.
All in all, this is my most anticipated title. Everything we’ve seen and read gets me even more excited for the release. The sheer scope of this project is daunting and I do have my doubts about whether Square can even finish it, I’m at least ready to make the leap and experience the reworked classic as a new video game.