LOS ANGELES – I find that people generally fall into two camps about the Final Fantasy VII Remake: “Give it to me right this second” or “Final Fantasy VII? Again?” I admit that I tend to be in the latter category. I absolutely adored FFVII when I first played it in middle school, and I even think it’s aged fairly well. But the endless cycle of remakes, re-releases and remasters has to stop somewhere. What could Final Fantasy VII Remake possibly do to justify telling this particular story yet again?

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Quite a lot, as it turns out. I went hands-on with the game at E3 2019, and the game is much, much more than a graphical overhaul. The gameplay is different, the script is different, the level design is different – even the music, while familiar, serves a much different purpose than before. FFVIIR reimagines a classic title for a much faster-paced, better-detailed era of gaming, and the results, so far, look like an unqualified success. And believe me, I am just as surprised to write that as you may be to read it.

“Simply recreating the original game with new graphics wasn’t enough to get the core team excited about the project,” said Yoshinori Kitase during our session. Kitase-san is one of the game’s producers, and a key figure in its development.

Credit: Square Enix

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Faster combat

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