Top 7 biggest changes in Final Fantasy 7 Remake that people are angry about
The development of the highly anticipated remake for Final Fantasy 7 began years ago. Since then, fans built up huge amounts of expectations, and after Square Enix officially announced the release of the remake at this summer's E3, the expectations quickly reached a peak.
When the developers showed the gameplay of the remake at the recent PlayStation Experience event, it became obvious that the new Final Fantasy 7 is not the game everybody thought they'd see.
It’s time to look at the biggest changes that will come with the release of the game. Old fans will have trouble accepting the new battle system and changed game mechanics while new players might find the action-based combat more engaging than the turn-based approach, which was popular in the '90s. But the biggest gripe is that the game will be released in episodes, which is considered by many to be completely unnecessary and simply allows the publisher to make more money.
1. New battle system is much faster
If you compare two generations of Final Fantasy games from the '90s and 2000s, you will see that they have two different battle systems: the games from the '90s, beginning with Final Fantasy 4, use an active time battle system while all the latest games have a modern action-based approach. The turn-based combat is still used today mostly on games for 3DS, such as highly acclaimed Bravely Default, but AAA projects strayed away from the concept a long time ago.
This led to a huge number of complaints from the devoted fans who expected the ATB system to come back in a new high definition environment. Square Enix decided differently, and this may have serious consequences on the sales numbers. The developers obviously wanted to appeal to both old and new generations of gamers, but it looks like the decision-making process took a slightly odd turn there.
In defense of the new battle system, the producer of the remake Yoshinori Kitase said the following:
“I can’t say the new game is completely action-based, but it has more of that element and real-time than the previous game. However, what makes Final Fantasy and RPGs different from other games is that the players have the ability to choose weapons, capabilities and magic to be strategic minded, so while the new game has more real-time element, it will also maintain that strategy building element, balancing these two factors perfectly to enhance the gaming experience.”
There is still time before the release, and it is possible that developers will adjust the battle system to the needs of the fans.
2. Graphics are better than ever
The current generation of consoles allowed developers of Final Fantasy 7 Remake to upgrade the graphical side of the game significantly. It was rumored that the Square Enix’ own Luminous Engine used for Final Fantasy XV would also be used for Final Fantasy 7 Remake. But the producer of Final Fantasy XV, Hajime Tabata, confirmed that Luminous Engine would not be used for the remake.
Now it is clear that the Final Fantasy 7 Remake was fully re-imagined by the means of Unreal Engine 4. This leads to a conclusion that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will have even better graphics than the upcoming Final Fantasy XV (fully developed on Luminous Engine) and Kingdom Hearts III (partially developed on UE4 and partially on Luminous Engine). This is equally good news for both old fans and new players.
3. Changes in the gameplay mechanics
It’s still not completely clear how the characters will interact with each other, but we can discuss a few noticeable changes provided in the latest trailer. For example, one of the characters’ abilities listed is called “Defend.” This suggests that the player can choose a character and protect the other one during the fight, thus taking the hit points onto the defending character instead.
The rest, such as Attack, Magic, Summon, and Items are all obvious choices and safely migrated from the original game. It also looks like the players will be able to use all their abilities on the go during the combat and freely switch between the three available characters. This means only one thing - the gameplay in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be super interactive, fast and exciting.
There is also an additional bar underneath the characters’ names that fills every time they deal damage, and when the bar is full, the characters can perform a critical hit. The one thing that is unclear is the dodge mechanic. If it will be similar to the evade mechanics in Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns, it would be a welcome addition. As of now, there are no hints on this matter neither in the trailer nor from the developers.
There are a lot of other things that need to be revealed, such as the world and the map, but it looks like we will be slowly learning the details as they will be officially announced by the publisher.
4. PlayStation 4 exclusivity is temporary
At the end of the trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Remake you will see the following announcement: “Play it first on PlayStation 4.” This means that the game will be released on PS4 first, and then probably ported to Xbox One and PC. However, the date of the actual release hasn’t been disclosed yet.
After a brief analysis of the available information, we can make an assumption that it will happen only after the release of Kingdom Hearts III and Final Fantasy XV, which is scheduled for the late 2016. This means that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will see the light of the day no earlier than 2017. On top of that, 2017 is the 20th anniversary of the original Final Fantasy 7, which is a perfect occasion for the release of the remake.
The temporary exclusivity approach has two sides to it. First, it’s a great idea to introduce the game on the most powerful console to date and present it in all its glory. Then, it would take some time to properly port it to PC, which is crucial. Second, it can suffer in the sales department. Just look what temporary exclusivity on Xbox One did to The Rise of Tomb Raider – the sales were way below the publisher’s expectations.
5. Original story will be expanded
The fact that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is actually happening is a dream come true. Fans all over the world have been waiting for this to happen for so many years. However, this time the developers decided to expand the story of the game and not just present the same game in a new cover.
This doesn’t mean that the game will be completely different, it will add new elements here and there, but even these few bits will give the remake a whole new sense. This is what Yoshinori Kitase said about the story aspect of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake:
“With FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE, we have the opportunity to go beyond the story, world and experience of FINAL FANTASY VII in ways we’ve always dreamed of - from the depths of Midgar to the skies above the Planet.”
6. Multiplayer: to be or not to be?
Some Final Fantasy games had trading card mini-games that could be easily implemented today in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake with an online co-op mode. This would add an additional layer to the re-imagination of the franchise’s most iconic game.
Fans have long been waiting for a multiplayer fighting game based on Final Fantasy characters, where players could unlock items and earn achievements for the main game. However, a huge number of fans does not want to see any sort of multiplayer shenanigans in the game at all, openly opposing any of these ideas coming up online.
The gaming industry is unstoppably moving from traditional single-player campaigns towards massive multiplayer modes. This doesn’t mean that Final Fantasy 7 Remake will definitely have one, but it is an idea that has the right to live.
7. Episodic nature of the game
This is probably the most controversial matter on the list. People simply don’t want to see the game split into parts. However, the developers stressed many times before that the original Final Fantasy 7 was one big game, which had to be split up for the re-release in order to contain all the aspects of the story. If they decided to release the remake as one game, then they would have to cut out big chunks of the original content, which apparently they didn’t want to do.
This means that we will end up getting the Final Fantasy 7 Remake in a few separate releases. Right now fans are outraged by this, but only time will show, if the decision was correct or not. There is no exact information about the number of episodes, but Square Enix ensured everybody that each episode will have the size of a full game.
What are your thoughts on the changes in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake? Share them in the comments section below!