The release of Final Fantasy VII Remake is just around the corner, and for many fans, it’s been on the top of their wishlists for years. This is unlike a simple remaster, which several games in the Final Fantasy series have received in past few years. Instead we are seeing a complete remake from the ground up, and there are plenty of differences from the original game that released in North America in 1997.


Materia, Maybe

The way in which Materia will be handled in the remake has remained a secret so far. A tweet from last year offered only the briefest of glimpses into the Materia system, and it looks quite familiar in that certain Elemental Materia can provide elemental damage to a weapon, while others can be linked together. In the original game, linking a Spell like Fire or Cure to the “All” Materia would allow players to target an entire group of opponents or allies.

Summons meanwhile look to have changed. Although players still likely need to equip a summon Materia, their use now brings the summoned being onto the battlefield and is controlled in a similar way to players, as opposed to a repetitive cinematic followed by some damage to the enemy from traditional RPGs.

Yuffie and Vincent Can’t Be Missed, But Red XIII Is Out


When the original game first released in 1997, it was entirely possible to miss both Yuffie and Vincent as characters to add to the party. It was quite easy to miss Vincent, since players needed to decipher clues in a spooky old mansion to find the combination to open a safe, defeat a boss inside that was no pushover, and then make their way to the character before answering a series of questions currently.


Yuffie was a bit easier to get, but only because in some conditions she would steal the party’s Materia and they would be forced to go deal with her, resulting in her joining the group. Now however it seems as though neither character is optional. Eventually they will be forced to join the party, which is not a bad thing since both are great to have in combat.

Red XIII, meanwhile, has been removed as a playable character, though it is unclear if we will see more of the character in future episodes. Does this mean Cosmo Canyon is out too? It would be odd to visit without Red XIII.

RELATED: Red XIII Won't Be Playable In Final Fantasy 7 Remake

More Dialogue, More Storytelling


Based on the demo, Final Fantasy VII Remake is diving deep into offering a narrative experience to its player. Right off the bat we can see the members of Avalanche discussing their actions, Cloud, and the resistance in general with well-written dialogue and voice actors. With that said, it can be risky giving old characters new dialogue, purely because older players will have an idea of how these characters are based on their limited dialogue over twenty years ago. Luckily, at least from the little we have seen in the demo, the dialogue seems to match up perfectly with what each character embodied in the original game.

Real-Time Combat, Sort Of


When the remake was first announced, a major question on the minds of players was how combat would be handled. On the one hand, purists and those driven by nostalgia would likely want to see the traditional combat system preserved, along with Limit Breaks and the ATB system. The core of those features has been preserved, but players will be controlling their characters in something that is closer to real time, in a far more dynamic combat system.

Not The Same Old Story

Similar to the combat system, there are certainly some who would want to see the story preserved without any major liberties taken, but that does not seem to be the case. Early footage have already shown that President Shinra will play a far more active and direct role as the antagonist to Avalanche, the bombing of the Mako Reactor will shift away from the organization blindly murdering innocent people to get their point across, and we have seen that new characters will be present as well.

Regarding this last point, the introduction of new characters is likely going to be the point of most contention among fans, depending on how they are handled. Roche, pictured below, looks to be a SOLDIER Third Class, a low ranked member of the elite forces of Shinra, but elite, nonetheless. This is an interesting decision, to say the least, especially when the Turks could easily have been used to fill some of these smaller roles given how popular they have become over the years since the release of the original game, and their outstanding portrayal in the 2005 film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.


RELATED: Final Fantasy VII: Each Character's Theme Song From The Original Game

Episodic Releases

Love it or hate it, one of the most controversial announcements that came with the news of a remake was that the entire game is not being released all at once. Instead, Square Enix has opted to release the game in episodes, diving the main story into parts.

This announcement garnered much negative reaction online, especially since Square Enix is likely going to milk consumers for as much money as possible. The upcoming release is priced at $59.99 but says nothing about what future episodes will cost. At worst, consumers are expected to buy each new episode, of which there may be two or more, at full price, bringing the total price of this single game remake to far more than most had anticipated.

Unreal Engine 4


This change is rather obvious, since there is no way the remake would be happening with anything left over from the 1990s, but it’s still worth mentioning. Put simply, gone are the pre-rendered backgrounds of the original game, and in their place, we have environments that are truly breathtaking. Those who played the original game will instantly recognize almost every scene thanks to how close it seems that the original was used for conceptual design, and each look at the city of Midgar so far has been stunning.

More To Come As The Release Nears

The game has seen a brief delay in its release and is now scheduled to launch on April 10. There is no doubt that as the formal launch nears, we will begin to hear more about what lies ahead, and what has changed from the original game. So far however, all the changes seem to be for the better and with a contemporary audience in mind.

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