Every respectable gamer knows that the annual E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) trade show is one of the most important events of the year for the video game industry. During this 3-day event, all the biggest names in the video game industry announce their releases for the upcoming year.
Each year seems to be more promising than the last in innovation and technological advances. There are sure to be some great announcements from developers like Ubisoft, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Sony, and last but not least, Square Enix, during this year’s E3 2016 (June 14-16).
On June 15, 2015, Square Enix announced it was producing perhaps one of the most anticipated game re-boots that could ever be done from their game library: Final Fantasy VII. During their conference in 2015, Square Enix revealed the first FFVII REMAKE trailer, piquing every RPG fanatic’s interest and driving their desire for more information. Watch the teaser trailer on YouTube:
For those who haven’t played FFVII, the story follows the main character Cloud Strife and his battle against the oppressive, world-controlling megacorporation Shinra and his infamous arch-enemy, Sephiroth. His mission is to save the world by stopping the life-draining activities of Shinra, all while battling Sephiroth’s hatred and rage which are also directed at destroying the planet. The game immediately immerses players in the story of Cloud, an ex-SOLDIER turned mercenary for hire who has joined the eco-terrorist rebel organization AVALANCHE. AVALANCHE is a rough group of individuals, including playable characters Barret Wallance and Tifa Lockhart, who have hired Cloud to help blow up one of the Shinra Mako Reactors in the city of Midgar.
Over the past year, information has been released in intervals about the FVII REMAKE. First it was announced there would be a remake of the original Playstation game that dropped in January 1997. In December, fans learned that the remake would be divided into multiple parts instead of one game. Much of the gaming community expressed doubts in the “episodic nature” of the change, rejecting the multi-part series of games as just another ploy to get more money from consumers, let alone the possible years between game releases.
In a recent press release, Square Enix detailed more on the division into multiple games instead of one title/game. It was stated that the nature of the FFVII REMAKE installments will not be a series of smaller episodes that make up the story of FFVII from the original 3-disc set, but a compilation of multiple, full-sized games. In a recent article published in Game Informer magazine, producer Yoshinori Kitase said that the development team for FFVII will be using the Final Fantasy XIII game series as a model.
The first game in the FFXIII series was published in March 2010. The main character, Lightning Villiers, goes on an adventure through Gran Pulse in search of a way to complete the inescapable task of taking down the monolith Ragnarok. The follow up games, Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, were developed and released in January 2012 and February 2013, respectively. Though the first game is about a general group of individuals all connected through the same journey, the second and third game synopsis’ from the series were more focused on the character Lightning and her further adventures in protecting Gran Pulse.
According to the blog post written by Kitase, a multi-game series of installments is necessary and the only possible way to encompass the world of FFVII in the remake. This is not a simple remaster like Square Enix released to Playstation exclusively for Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy X-2. Reasoning behind this could easily be explained in the new, fully recreated 3D environment that is being created. Just one look at the trailer for the FFVII remake, and fans that remember the original game graphics were in a frenzy. Add in the fact that the remake will be in full dialog, and you have a winning combination. The original FFVII was developed for the Playstation system, and the game dialog was completely written: No speaking scenes during gameplay, and even no spoken dialog between characters during cinematic sequences.
It is feasible even to consider that the FFVII game story could cover the course of three or four installments. Then take into consideration locations in the original FFVII like the Gold Saucer amusement park with its seven various squares, including the amazingly popular chocobo racing. Part of the allure for FFVII with many gamers was the capture and breeding of chocobos – a large, wild bird that has served as transportation generations of Final Fantasy players – and using those chocobos to race in the Gold Saucer for rewards. Also consider the numerous other side quests, like the Fort Condor location. If the developers are planning to make a faithful remake to the FFVII, they cannot skip out on the little treasures that made the original so memorable.
Read more about the multi-game fracture in a blog post written by game producer Yoshinori Kitase on the Square Enix website.
It’s impossible to tell where the game installments will split from the original without some type of reference point. The teaser trailer from June 2015 was mainly against the backdrop of the city of Midgar and the easy to recognize Mako Reactor No. 1. Along with narration dubbed over the trailer, it appears that most of the battle game footage used for the teaser are of the first main boss battle in Mako Reactor No. 1 against the Guard Scorpion. Most of the dialog in the trailer is also between the members of AVALANCHE, the eco-terrorist rebel organization out to stop the Shinra Power Electric Company which operates much of the world’s de facto government. This doesn’t give very much information to fans as to how deep the first installment will delve into the full story of FFVII.
We can only hope the Square Enix will release a new trailer for the FFVII REMAKE during this year’s E3 trade show (June 14 – 16, 2016), revealing a little more about what we can expect. Rumors are currently floating around that game releases for the remake will begin in 2019.
Square Enix will definitely be providing an impactful presentation during E3 2016, with their upcoming 2016 releases of Final Fantasy XV and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. FFXV is next to be added to the ever-growing library of Final Fantasy games. It should be mentioned that each of the Final Fantasy games are different in synopsis, characters, and worlds/locations. There are some staples that seem to be included in each, like aeons (eidolens, summons, etc.) or magic use, chocobos, along with some repeat characters like the ever present Cid the pilot. FFXV in various editions (Day One, Deluxe, Special Collector’s) are available for pre-order already and the game will be officially released on September 30, 2016.
Final Fantasy XV Official Homepage: http://www.finalfantasyxv.com/
Final Fantasy XIII Official Homepage: http://www.finalfantasy13game.com/
E3 Homepage: https://www.e3expo.com/
Official Square Enix, Inc Homepage: http://www.na.square-enix.com/