I still remember when the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer debuted on Sony's stage at E3 2015. I remember the disbelief at its existence; the utter awe of its cinematics; the complete euphoria of the crowd when the word "remake" appeared at the end of the trailer, squashing all thoughts that what they had just watched was for a movie or half-hearted remaster. It's a complete remake, and Final Fantasy 7 deserves nothing less. (Hello Final Fantasy 7 PS4 port! At a time when the remake was kept under wraps, you were the last thing that people wanted.)

Whether you're a new fan to the legendary JRPG franchise or returning to Midgar, here's everything you need to know about the remake.

Complete remake

Final Fantasy 7

Midgar never looked so good

One of the greatest games of all time is finally getting the treatment it deserves. Join Cloud on his quest to stop the evil Shinra corporation and save the planet. Also try not to cry at that one scene. You know the one.

What's new with Final Fantasy 7?

Square Enix has been tight-lipped about the remake, but every now and then the company provides us with just enough morsels of information to whet our appetites. Whenever this happens, you can expect to find all of the new details right here.

June 10, 2019 — Final Fantasy 7 Remake gets a release date

Ahead of Square Enix's E3 2019 press conference, attendees of the Final Fantasy 7: A Symphonic Reunion concert received a special treat: the release date of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. PlayStation 4 users will finally be able to play it for themselves on March 3, 2020. And on top of that announcement, the company also released a new trailer.

Square Enix also showed off an extended gameplay demo at E3 2019.

May 10, 2019 — New teaser trailer released

After a wait that felt like forever, Square Enix finally released a new teaser trailer for the Final Fantasy 7 Remake that gave us a quick look at its combat and how some of our favorite characters will be rendered in its engine, like Cloud, Aerith, and Sephiroth.

What is Final Fantasy 7?

I'm sure for many that this title needs little introduction. Final Fantasy is one of the most iconic series in gaming, and Final Fantasy 7 is arguably its crown jewel, defining the childhoods of fans around the world when it first released over twenty years ago in 1997. The attention surrounding it is probably why it was such a notable absence at E3 2018. The FF7 Remake is very much an evolution. In fact, it looks similar to what Capcom is doing with Resident Evil 2.

The story so far

Seeing the number 7 in its name may be intimidating, especially in a series that just released its 15th main installment, but don't let that deter you. Final Fantasy 7 is very much its own independent, standalone story. Following mercenary Cloud Strife, Final Fantasy 7 features a battle of epic proportions between the rebel eco-terrorist organization AVALANCHE and the corrupt Shinra corporation, hell-bent on destroying the planet for its own gain.

The developers have hinted at slight story alterations or just adding more depth to its narrative in certain spots, but the main story beats will stay the same.

I don't want the remake to end as something solely nostalgic. I want to get the fans of the original version excited. We'll be making adjustments to the story with this thought in mind.

Though these weren't explained thoroughly, I'd imagine these adjustments may be some added dialogue or filler cutscenes to flesh out the world and characters more. They want it to surprise players while still retaining what made it so special to begin with. So yes, you'll still get one of the most shocking deaths in gaming history at the hands of Sephiroth.

Visuals: Midgar never looked so good

The graphics are being completely remade from the ground up using Unreal Engine 4. You won't just be getting a slight bump in resolution or better texture quality. The Final Fantasy 7 Remake will look and feel like it was originally designed in the present, not over two decades ago. A far cry from its pixelated 1997 counterpart. This is a high-definition remake, meaning the visuals will be more realistic than ever. Still, Square Enix is working hard not to sacrifice some of its stylized nature. If you need a comparison, think closer to what Final Fantasy 15 looks like.

Every location and character will look just how you'd imagine them to be. No more polygonal messes. When you think of what Midgar would look like today if Square Enix had designed it in 2018, that's what you're getting.

A lot of us tend to remember our favorite childhood games through rose-colored glasses, conveniently forgetting how rough they looked and how janky they played. Our imagination is clouded by our nostalgia, but it soon it'll be crystal clear.

Gameplay: A controversial evolution

Final Fantasy 7 originally featured an evolution of the turn-based combat system called Active Time Battle (ATB), which was similar to turn-based but with a few tweaks accounting for the timing of your actions. While turn-based combat was a staple of JRPGs, this is controversially changing in Final Fantasy 7's remake. It will feature real-time action, though the "ATB gauge and Limit Breaks will appear with new ways to be used," according to Producer Yoshinori Kitase.

Save for cutscenes and battles, the original gameplay was a mix of top-down/isometric viewpoints. Gameplay of the remake shows it will be more modern with a 3rd-person over-the-shoulder camera angle that is used in many action-adventure games today.

Wait, the game's being split up?

As it turns out, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake won't release all at once. At least, that's what Producer Yoshinori Kitase seemed to state. In an interview with Dengeki Online, Kitase said "The idea that a remake of Final Fantasy VII would not fit into a single release was there from the very beginning. We still can't share more information about its multiple parts, but please look forward to future announcements."

The interview is originally in Japanese, but Gematsu has provided the proper translations.

Series creator Tetsuya Nomura further went on to explain that fitting everything into a single release and dedicating the appropriate time to do that would mean condensing certain aspects of the game and cutting out parts entirely. To mitigate this as much as possible, the decision was made to release in multiple parts. Nomura even refers to these sections as "episodes."

Granted, this interview is from a few years ago, and the ever-changing technological landscape could have certainly affected these plans, but the studio has never communicated any differently up until this point. So for now, the game is being separated into different parts for release.

When can you play it?

Its reveal trailer interestingly noted that people would be able to "play it first on PlayStation 4," with this specific wording calling into question whether it was merely a timed exclusive on Sony's platform. Right now it's only been confirmed for PlayStation 4, but a potential Xbox One release has not been ruled out.

You can pre-order the Final Fantasy 7 Remake for $59.99. It releases on March 3, 2020.

Complete remake

Final Fantasy 7

Midgar never looked so good

One of the greatest games of all time is finally getting the treatment it deserves. Join Cloud on his quest to stop the evil Shinra corporation and save the planet. Also try not to cry at that one scene. You know the one.

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