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Everything we learned about Final Fantasy 7 Remake at E3 2019

Square Enix’s ambitious Final Fantasy 7 recreation had a huge showing at E3 this year, so in case you missed the bevy of news, we’ll break down everything we learned about the game for you here.

First and foremost, Final Fantasy 7 Remake is not a remaster – it’s a full-fledged, built from-the-ground-up reimagining of the original, which launched in 1997.

“Our goal with this project is to rebuild Final Fantasy 7 for a new era,” says Producer Yoshinori Kitase. “We’re not making a straight 1:1 copy or a simple remaster of the original game.”

Instead, the development team is vying for an episodic approach to the game, allowing the team to dive deeper into the world and its characters. Episodes will be behemoth (pun intended) in size. The first episode alone takes up 2 Blu-Ray discs.

“Each game in the project will have a volume of content comparable to a standalone Final Fantasy [game],” Kitase says.

Square Enix is uncertain how many episodes Cloud’s story will span, but at E3, we learned that the first episode will take place in Midgar, which we predicted.

“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 color and variety,” Kitase says. “We decided not to use a photo-realistic approach with the design, but instead something more stylized, honoring the artistic designs and choices of the original.”

Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s combat will see the most innovation. The ATB system returns, a mechanic that allows you to perform moves as time passes, which fills your attack gauge. You can switch between different party members mid-combat, issue orders to them, or let them fight autonomously. There’s even a new feature that lets you freeze time in combat to give you time to make strategic choices. You can see these systems in play in the video below, where Cloud and Barret take on a giant Sentinel.

I recommend checking out the official E3 2019 trailer below for more information, which teases vehicular combat, a couple story bits, and your first look at the notorious villain Sephiroth.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s first episode launches March 3, 2020.

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