Final Fantasy VII Remake is one of the most ambitious projects we’ve seen in a while. Containing two Blu-Ray discs’ worth of content and taking on one of the most iconic games in history, there’s a LOT riding on the upcoming remake.
Speaking at Gamescom 2019, FFVII Remake producer Yoshinori Kitase opened up about what we can expect from the title, discussing everything from the development process to the changes that we can expect from the original.
Sharing a new gameplay demo to the room, Kitase explains: “The original Final Fantasy VII was a really iconic and defining game in the history of video games. The main objective we have for this remake of the game is to reimagine the core concept of FFVII, and go back [for a] rich gameplay experience.”
That doesn’t mean that you need to have played the original game to fully enjoy the remake though. Kitase reiterates that the development team have opened up new ways to play for those who might normally shy away from strategic combat, or for those who shy away from action.
“For the battle system of the game we’ve added a lot more of an action touch, an action game-feel to the traditional turn-based and menu-based command system,” Kitase says. “But we really have tried to keep that tactical, strategic aspect we so love.
“It’s got a very strong action feel to the core gameplay, but when you select the abilities, the magical commands you want to use slow-time down…with plenty of time to think strategically. It’s a game that’s going to be very reassuring for people who’ve played the original, who maybe aren’t strong action game fans.”
Showing off the new gameplay, Kitase explains some of the design choices behind the new iteration of such familiar locations.
“This world very much has three core design concepts: it’s a very dark place, it’s got a modern steampunk kind of vibe to it, but it’s also a very varied and eclectic place,” he says.
One of the most exciting things about the development team currently working on the Final Fantasy VII Remake is their backgrounds, and their histories with the original title.
Kitase proudly tells the rooms: “The development team is made up of two different types. Including myself, there’s the original crew who worked on the first FFVII 22 years ago.
“In addition we’ve got a number of younger, new development staff, who when the original game came out were just fans of the game.”
By mixing together older and newer developers, it sounds like the project couldn’t be in better hands.
“The team working on the game: we really wouldn’t have been satisfied just making the graphics look nicer,” Kitase says. “We really wanted to go that one step above and beyond to make it a new, fresh gaming experience.”
He goes on to state that the team feels “it’s a really strong game in its own right,” praising the opportunity to recreate Final Fantasy VII not just in one Remake, but in many.
“By reworking the battle system we’re adding in even more story content. There’s a lot of hard work involved in that,
“The big advantage of the approach that we’re taking is that we can remake the game without having to cut out or take down anything that people love about the original game. We can add to it rather than take away.”
As for how the developers are treating the Remake, it’s not being seen as a rehash of an existing story, but instead as a brand-new experience.
“We’re approaching it as if we were making a new numbered mainline series game and make it the definitive FFVII experience for a new generation of players,” says Kitase. “From any game in the Final Fantasy series there are 3 core design concepts,
“The first one is that it has to be innovative, the second one is that it challenges new frontiers and tries new things. The third one is that it always tries to surprise the players.”
Final Fantasy VII Remake releases on PlayStation 4, April 10 2020.
Featured Image Credit: Square Enix