In a post originally published on Square Enix News, Yoshinori Kitase, Producer of Final Fantasy VII Remake talks about the vision, gameplay, and more of the remake project.
Speaking on the design scale of the remake, Kitase-san emphasized that the new Final Fantasy VII coming next year isn’t a mere better-looking copy of the original title released 22 years ago.
“FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is a reimagining of the iconic original game that goes much deeper into the world and characters of FINAL FANTASY VII than ever before.
Our goal with this project is to rebuild FINAL FANTASY VII for a new era. We’re not making a straight 1:1 copy or a simple remaster of the original game.
It’s a huge volume of work and data to re-imagine this world. Each game in the project will have a volume of content compared to a standalone FINAL FANTASY.
The disc version of the first game is actually a 2 Blu-Ray Disc set. This approach allows us to remake the original without having to scale back on everything players loved.“
The second volume of the game is in the planning stage and the developing team expects the development of the second volume to be more efficient based on the experience accumulated from the first project.
“While the development team finished the first game in the project, we are continuing to plan and outline the overall volume of content for the second.
Due to the work is already done on the first game we anticipate the development of the second game to be more efficient. We have our own internal schedule and plan, but for now, we’d like to focus our information on the first game in the project”
Kitase-san shared that the current development of Final Fantasy VII Remake is made of the original core team and a new line up of international talents many of whom were young fans who’ve played the original Final Fantasy VII when it first came out in 1997.
“The key creative values of the core FINAL FANTASY series are innovation, pushing boundaries and surprising players, this project shares these same values and the development team view it as the next mainline FINAL FANTASY release.
For the original core members of the development team, simply recreating the original game with improved graphics wasn’t enough to get us invested and excited about remaking VII. To return, we want to go beyond the original, telling a deeper story and providing a modern gaming experience. We really want to go above and beyond what is expected of a remake.
As well as some of the core members of the original development team, we also have a dedicated in-house team of international gaming talent. Many of our new team members were young fans who played the original VII when it was first released. It’s very exciting and exhilarating to work with this talented team on such an ambitious project.“
Talking about Midgar, Kitase-san focussed on the value of the city to the world of Final Fantasy VII and the efforts taken to reproduce the iconic city in the coming Remake while preserving the traits and style fans are familiar with.
“The first game in the project takes place in the eclectic city of Midgar, we chose to focus on Midgar as it best represents the world of VII as a location more than any other. Midgar is full of imagination with myriad influences and surprises around every corner.
While many people may think that Midgar is very dark at first glance, we have a design aesthetic where the city has strong elements of colour and variety. The lighting and colouring we are using throughout Midgar accentuate what is unique about FINAL FANTASY VII’s world. We decided not to use a photo-realistic approach with the design, but instead something more stylised, honouring the artistic designs and choices of the original.”
Presentation wise, characters in the remake will enjoy a substantial upgrade with the use of modern technology and techniques. The game will also feature voice acting for the first time.
“A lot has changed since the release of the original FINAL FANTASY VII. Back then we didn’t have access to things like voice acting, performance and motion capture, or close-up cameras outside of cut-scenes. For FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, there’s a greater emphasis on character storytelling through the use of these techniques as well as some other new tech. This allows us to make these characters more expressive than ever, enhancing the levels of immersion and enjoyment through performance.
In REMAKE we are giving voice to the original FINAL FANTASY VII for the first time. By bringing in a new generation of actors, we hope to provide the best experience for original fans and new players.”
The iconic Active Time Battle (ATB) is further refined to offer better tactical control and that the control of multiple party members is retained in the new system.
“For the gameplay, we are aiming to create a new take on classic concepts with an accessible evolution of the ATB system giving you greater action with tactical control.
The system we’ve created retains the strategic decisions of controlling multiple party members, allowing you to select from a wide range of abilities and spells. You can control your favourite character while issuing orders to others, or leave them to AI. And choose when to switch to a different party member to make the best use of their unique abilities in battle. This allows all players to choose and enjoy your favourite way of playing.
“Finally, yes we still have Materia. You can use it to tailor your play style and abilities”
More info to come as we near the release date.
“We’ll go into greater detail on lots more gameplay elements as we get closer to the release next year. For now, I hope you are all excited by what we revealed at E3 and we look forward to sharing more news and updates with you across the year ahead.” – Yoshinori Kitase, Producer of Final Fantasy VII Remake.
The First Volume of Final Fantasy VII Remake will release on the PlayStation 4 on March 3, 2020.