Final Fantasy 7 Remake Tries To Make You Feel Bad About Your Actions In Midgar

The Final Fantasy VII Remake will have a heavy focus on environmental storytelling when it launches for PlayStation 4 next month.

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With the news that Final Fantasy VII Remake will take place exclusively in Midgar, it's not surprising that the city is going to be expanded and reworked compared to how it was in the original PlayStation game. In the remake, the city will be a sprawling, living city--just to make you feel bad about blowing part of it up.

A new interview with producer Yoshinori Kitase and co-director Naoki Hamaguchi has revealed some of the thought that has gone into designing a larger, more complete Midgar.

In the original game, players only spent a few hours at the start of the game in Midgar, while the remake promises a full game's worth of content in the city.

While this content will include a whole lot of side quests, environmental storytelling will be just as important in the streets of Midgar. "We really wanted to show the everyday lives of Midgar's citizens," said Kitase in the interview. "[Partly] to show how they lived in this massive city powered by Mako energy, how and when they'd be using it, to tell that aspect of the story."

"The original version went straight into the bombing mission. We wanted that feeling that things were already underway, you were in the middle of the action. Yet if you immediately went from there into the panic caused by the bombing mission afterwards, you wouldn't understand the impact it had on the inhabitants' everyday lives before that event interrupted them. That's why we started with this domestic kind of scene."

The city's expansion into a more lived-in place isn't just window dressing--it's carefully designed to make the player think about the consequences of their actions when they do undertake the bombing mission. "The player gets to see how the [Reactor bombing] impacts the city," Hamaguchi said. "We want them to feel conflicted about the effects of their actions. That's why we depicted this area in such detail."

Eagle-eyed fans of the series may also notice that Midgar takes some of its aesthetic from Advent Children's version of the city, in keeping with the decision to use the critically-panned 2005 movie as visual inspiration.

“We did refer to Advent Children and other previous series' work when rebuild Midgar,” Hamaguchi said. “But one of the main things we actually set out to redo was the scale of the city itself. The original wasn't that realistic if you consider the size of the individual buildings and how big they were in comparison to the overall city."

You'll be able to explore Midgar for yourself when Final Fantasy VII Remake launches on PS4 on April 10. A demo of the first act is available right now, and playing it will net you a free PS4 theme. Check out our impressions of the first four hours of the game, as well as our extensive pre-order guide to make sure you get your hands on the remake as soon as possible.

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