Square Enix dumbfounded naysayers and hopeful fans alike when it announced Final Fantasy VII Remake at E3 2015. Given the resulting hype, you'd think that we would've seen more about the game over the past three years, but apart from a second trailer at PlayStation Experience 2015 a few months later, only rumors and scraps of info have surfaced. We've got our fingers crossed that this will be the year--that E3 2018 will be the event--when the curtain is raised and Final Fantasy VII Remake is properly unveiled. Square Enix will have a dedicated presentation at the show, and while we can reasonably expect to see Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Kingdom Hearts 3, and a few indies from the Square Enix Collective label, the publisher would do very well to feature Final Fantasy VII as much as possible.
What We Know So Far
All things considered, the 2015 trailers gave us a generous look at what's to come, including a few tantalizing moments of combat. We got to see lead characters Cloud and Barret, some of the supporting cast, and a look at familiar locations like Midgar and the North Mako Reactor, the stage for the game's opening infiltration mission.
The combat sections of the two-minute PSX trailer stood out because they took place in real time with characters running around a 3D environment; the traditional turn-based combat from the original game has been abandoned in favor of something closer to Final Fantasy XV. Given the 20-plus-year gap between the original and the remake, it makes sense that Square Enix would change up the game in drastic ways. Only time will tell how deep the changes go.
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Additional info has been scarce since 2015. A common story that keeps popping up pertains to difficulties stemming from the collaboration with developer CyberConnect2. Reports from last year suggest that Square Enix had to scrap most of what it was given after taking back control of the game. It was at least confirmed that it's now being made internally to ensure all quality and scheduling standards are met. If it's true that a bunch of CyberConnect2's content had to be remade from the bottom up, this purported restructuring could be a reason for the game's absence at E3 if it winds up missing after all.
Otherwise, longtime Final Fantasy producer Yoshinori Kitase has confirmed that Final Fantasy VII Remake will be a multi-game project due to the herculean task of rebuilding such a massive game to modern standards. Kitase also confirmed that renowned Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu will be involved with the remake, although the extent of his contributions isn't entirely clear.
What's Confirmed For E3?
Square Enix hasn't confirmed whether Final Fantasy VII Remake will appear at this year's E3 or not. If we were optimistic, we might assume the lack of confirmation either way means there's a surprise in store.
Realistically speaking, however, it wouldn't be shocking if the game didn't show up as there's been no word of a release date and no reason to expect that development has progressed far enough to be worthy of an extended showcase. (We hope we're wrong.)
What We Hope To See At E3
There are countless aspects of Final Fantasy VII that Square Enix could reveal at the show: iconic characters, specific battle mechanics (including the new Materia system), and maybe even locations from advanced chapters in the game. We'd love to see it all.
The big question at the moment is the release date. Lots of folks forsee a post-2020 launch on the horizon, but until Square Enix says anything officially it's difficult to pinpoint a window of time, especially in light of the reportedly tumultuous dev cycle.
Love it or hate it, Final Fantasy VII is an incredibly well-known game, and no matter what we see next, the new version will be rigorously examined and compared to the past. There are high expectations afloat, lots of skepticism, and no doubt tons of pressure on the game's developers to deliver something that lives up to Final Fantasy VII's notoriety. It will be amazing if they pull it off, and E3 is a great opportunity for them to turn the tide of opinion for the better. Let's hope that comes to pass.
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