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11 new things we found out about Final Fantasy VII Remake at Gamescom 2019

From fleshed-out character beats, to little details that make Midgar feel like a living, breathing city

While we took a recent look at Final Fantasy VII Remake back at E3, we couldn’t turn down another chance to return to Midgar as the studio brought the game to Gamescom this week

And we’re glad we did: a replay of the game demo solidified how thrilling the reimagined combat is (you can read more about that right here). Add in an overview of the game by producer Yoshinori Kitase and we have a stack of new observations to share. 

So, if you’re anticipating the return of Cloud Strife and co. as much as we are, read on. 

1. The interplay between Cloud and Barrett is glorious

The original’s opening mission established the fractious relationship between Barret, leader of the Avalanche resistance group, and Cloud, a former SOLDIER and now Avalanche’s merc-for-hire, via a few lines of dialogue. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4
Remake expands on that friction, making for numerous compelling cutscenes which emphasise Barret’s distrust in this former Shinra employee. 

The exchanges are also surprisingly funny, with Cloud’s cold disinterest playing off Barrett’s bristling anger perfectly. It’s a double-act we’re eager to see more of.

2. Avalanche is getting an overhaul as well

Jessie, Biggs and Wedge round out Avalanche’s troops during the bombing mission. They also get more dialogue and exchanges during the infiltration, helping flesh-out their personalities. (Side-note: Incidental dialogue pops up on the left of the screen if you happen to be out of earshot). Even when chatter is at a minimum, facial expressions and body language on the realistic new character models speak volumes. 

3. You’ll experience unseen moments in the mission for the first time

Remake’s embellishment of the original take isn’t restricted to story. During his presentation, Kitase-san explained how certain sequences of Avalanche’s mission were implied rather than shown in the original. Those moments – such as the group cutting through a fenced-off area during their infiltration – are now included. It gives more substance to both the mission and adds detail to the city’s layout.  

Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4

4. Midgar looks and feels like a living, breathing city

Midgar’s PS4 makeover is something to behold. Be it jaw-dropping vistas like the sprawling, towering cityscape reflected in a train platform window, or the small stuff, such as the bright yellow hazard tape marking out floored cabling in construction sites: the level of detail is stunning. Every exposed brick and piece of scaffolding tells of the city’s history.

Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4

5. This is how you PR in Midgar

Prior to our hands-on, we sat through a video primer built specifically to familiarise us with the new combat mechanics. The decision to make this play out in-world is cute, especially as it allowed us a glimpse at Shinra’s marketing, with the company’s video promo showcasing a Midgar with clean streets and blue skies – before it was taken over by Avalanche’s hacker Jessie, who feeds you the tutorial while Shinra tries to shut down her hijack of their feed. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4

6. Not all Mako Reactors are built the same

One would assume uniformity in Shinra Reactor interior design, given Midgar is powered by the eight stations of equal size and shape which ring the city. Not so, as one new nugget of world-building explains in Remake. Responding to Barret’s exasperation at not knowing his way around – given it was one reason why he was hired by Avalanche – Cloud comments that every reactor has a different build. At least he’s earning his pay with a strong sword arm.   

7. Cloud’s got two versions of his standard slash…

Attacking enemies with the Square button speeds up your ATB charge meter. It’s a race to fill the bar quickly to get access to your special abilities. But there’s also a more powerful version of the standard sword attack, which grants a bigger boost to your ATB if it lands, by holding the Square button for a few seconds.

8. …and a unique Ability that deals out more damage

On top of normal abilities and magic, every character has a unique ability, selectable with Triangle. With Cloud for example, it switches him from Operator to Punisher mode, a more aggressive, more powerful attack style with a longer reach. The trade-off? You’re much slower.

Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4

9. Cloud smash, Cloud get reward

Yes, treasure chests remain, though they’ve been redesigned to keep more in line with Midgar’s unique aesthetic. There are also Shinra crates and barrels dotted around most areas.  Reap a reward from this carelessness by smashing them with your Buster Sword – most contain useful items. 

10. Your Materia, so shiny

In Final Fantasy VII, holes in clothing and weapons are a design decision, not a sign of poor craftsmanship. These slots allow you to equip Materia – mystic stones that grant you magical abilities. Every type has a different colour and they’re no longer relegated to a menu: you’ll notice a prick of colour on your character where the Materia is placed. Look close enough and you’ll see them glow with an inner light.

Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4

11. The glow of battle

As we said, it’s the small touches that really hammer home the level of polish Square-Enix is putting into Remake. Barret’s attacks are all long-ranged and built around his gun-arm. Hold Square for a continuous unloading of ordnance at whatever enemy he’s targeting. If you look closely at the tip of his gun barrel when you cease, you’ll notice an orange glow that’ll diminish as his gun cools down.

Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4

Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4 Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4
35 Comments
0 Author replies
Revelrous_Flame 23 August, 2019 @ 16:33
1

How many parts is this game being released in? and is it £50 a part?

1.1

We only know about the first part so far and its a full price game and will be the length of a full price game, according to what they said at E3. Its a good guess that the other parts are going to full price games with full game content too. It is very unlikely to be 5 hour “episodes” like a vast majority of people and game journalists managed to get into their heads somehow.

And that’s the funny thing then, these same people are screaming outrage that the original game has been “Broken into episodes”, when its very clear from the E3 2019 reveal and explanation that what we are getting is the original FFVII game expanded into multiple full games, like it deserves to be.

And they must be doing something right. 95% of the games from Square Enix I have touched or got excited about his gen were remasters of past FF games. None of that garbage FFXIII or FXV for me thanks. If they have my attention, they must be doing something right.

My gut was right about RE2 Remake looking great at E...

Show full comment

We only know about the first part so far and its a full price game and will be the length of a full price game, according to what they said at E3. Its a good guess that the other parts are going to full price games with full game content too. It is very unlikely to be 5 hour “episodes” like a vast majority of people and game journalists managed to get into their heads somehow.

And that’s the funny thing then, these same people are screaming outrage that the original game has been “Broken into episodes”, when its very clear from the E3 2019 reveal and explanation that what we are getting is the original FFVII game expanded into multiple full games, like it deserves to be.

And they must be doing something right. 95% of the games from Square Enix I have touched or got excited about his gen were remasters of past FF games. None of that garbage FFXIII or FXV for me thanks. If they have my attention, they must be doing something right.

My gut was right about RE2 Remake looking great at E3 2018, even without the original fixed cameras (again, from another publisher and series that has been dead to me for a decade now), so I have confidence in the first part of the FFVII Remake being something special.

MiseryPrincess 23 August, 2019 @ 19:22
1.2

“Length of a full length game” can mean many things. A typical action adventure is 3-5 hours at most, some games are a mere 1-2 hours. Whereas an RPG is normally 30-60+.

Midgar was only around 2 hours in the original. So it’s unlikely it will be 30 hours and more likely it will be around at most 5 hours, not a “full sized RPG” length game. If they stretch it out more it’s going to have more Nomura junk and repetition.

1.3

“Whereas an RPG is normally 30-60+.” So its a 30 to 60 hour plus game then? Thanks. Also, 2 hours of the original game? On your first playthrough 22 years ago? Yeah, sure it was. You sure it wasn’t at least 7?

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5

I’m still waiting for info on how much they’ve cut out from the main game, how short it will be compared to the original, into how many pieces it will be milked.

2.1

How can you ask about cut stuff when, of what little we have seen of the game in 10 mins of footage so far, there is so much added stuff? We already know the game is going to be longer then the original as this first part is going to be on 2 bluray discs and is going to be an entire full game in itself. Did you even watch the presentation at E3 2019?

MiseryPrincess 23 August, 2019 @ 19:28
2.2

Because the team confirmed they were cutting things as “it was impossible to fit it all in”?

Which makes it bizarre how they’re able to add stuff to a game “impossibly big”, but still..

FMV games came on 4 disks and were 1-2 hours long… a games filesize is not always indicative of it’s length (or quality)…

2.3

You took that out of context and also got it wrong. In response to making the game in mutiple parts, it was too crazy to try to do the original game as one big remake game because “it’s not possible to fit it all in one release”.

Try harder.

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1

I will not be buying this if it remains episodic. Either make it a full and complete game, multiple disks if you have to, or don’t bother at all.

3.1

The game is not “episodic” and was NEVER once called this by Square Enix. This is misinterpretation by just about every gaming journalist out there since the end of 2015 when the press release went out about the game, here is a quote “FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE will be told across a multi-part series, with each entry providing its own unique experience.” And then you and many others incorrectly picked up on this.

It IS a full complete game. It IS on multiple discs too lol. This is just the part of the game in Midgar in the early part of FFVII……… and its on 2 bluray discs. You actually would rather they remake the entire game, AND expand on the original game in just about every way, all in one go and release it on 10 bluray discs instead?

Instead of confusing this as FFVII being broken into multiple “episodes that are 5 hours long each” (because lets face it, that is what you are thinking the length of the first “episode” will be), try to understand that it is FFVII being EXPANDED into...

Show full comment

The game is not “episodic” and was NEVER once called this by Square Enix. This is misinterpretation by just about every gaming journalist out there since the end of 2015 when the press release went out about the game, here is a quote “FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE will be told across a multi-part series, with each entry providing its own unique experience.” And then you and many others incorrectly picked up on this.

It IS a full complete game. It IS on multiple discs too lol. This is just the part of the game in Midgar in the early part of FFVII……… and its on 2 bluray discs. You actually would rather they remake the entire game, AND expand on the original game in just about every way, all in one go and release it on 10 bluray discs instead?

Instead of confusing this as FFVII being broken into multiple “episodes that are 5 hours long each” (because lets face it, that is what you are thinking the length of the first “episode” will be), try to understand that it is FFVII being EXPANDED into multiple parts that are each full games in their own right as explained on the stage at E3 2019. For example, from the E3 demo, people have claimed that Jessie gets more character development in the elevator going down to reactor 1, then she did in all of her scenes in the original game put together.

And I will hold up my hand and say I was wrong if the first part of the FFVII Remake is 5 hours long with all side stuff and everything completed in the game, without skipping anything. And lets admit something else right now, if this game gets 9/10 scores across the board, if you are in any way a FFVII fan, you WILL be checking out this game. Or would you actually claim you wouldn’t play it, even if it went down to 25 quid or less after 5 months in a sale?

3.2

You might wanna pull your head out, commenting on everyone’s replies.

3.3

I’d prefer the remade the original game and didn’t add any of Tetsuya Nomura’s input to it, the guy has been useless since he had no one to steal from anymore. He’s terrrible at “expanding” on things. Usually just adding crappy characters, crappy love stories and massive plot holes.

Remember X-2? How it ruined Lulu with some bizarre nonsensical love story that they retconned back into the original? This will probably have really drawn out romantic scenes between basically everyone. Oh and long nonsensical speeches about stuff that makes no sense, somehow add the nonsensical “falcie” junk and several pointless fluffy haired teenage boys.

What else would you call the parts of something split into parts if not “episodes”?!? Star Wars was a “full complete film” and was still “episodic”…

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7

Much like RE2 Remake and with Capcom, I can’t believe I am actually excited about a Square Enix game again. What is this weird feeling? Is it called joy?

There is so much we don’t know about it though. I have high hopes that the game will play something like a semi open world game. Like at the start, after getting to Tifa’s bar, it would be amazing if the game opened up at this point. Like you could continue with the main story or go exploring, like you can go back to Sector 1 on top of the plate as it does look like you will be running around there at the start after blowing the reactor. The game launches in only 7 months so I would love to know more of this long before then. Hopefully there will be more at TGS. :)

One more thing I will add. How is this article about “things you found out at Gamescom” when you are referring to pretty much everything that was shown at E3, as confirmed by others that play it there???

FF7 is my favourite game of all time and I am so excited that it’s not only getting remade but also expanded into its own series of sorts, just means more and more Cloud and Co to enjoy!

Its frustrating seeing misinformed fans that also don’t listen when you try to explain to them what the FF7 Remake really is. Guess you cant help some people.

5.1

Fingers crossed they don’t mess it up. The fact Kitase is on board really helps the game. :) It will be a real disappointment if it isn’t at least 20 hours long. The stuff they showed so far is great but also brings up questions. The way we haven’t seen any of the sector 5 or 7 slums but they jumped right to footage in the E3 trailer of the Shinra building which is probably closer to the end of the first part or at least the point of no return. :/

Oh well, I better stop commenting about it, with me actually showing enthusiasm for a game for once and a Square Enix game too, as its clearly agitating at least 2 people here.

If they don’t like me commenting, then they better get ready next week when Sony does their “Next Month’s PS Plus games” post. All the cave dwellers will be out in full force commenting lol.

Some people just dont wanna like this game, no matter what. Kinda hilarious to follow :)

People are [DELETED] just wait for it to release, play it, then have an opinion.

People just wanna complain, wait for the game to release, play it, then have an opinion.

MiseryPrincess 25 August, 2019 @ 06:51
6.3

Why would people suddenly like this game when Square Enix have done nothing at all to fix their issues with it?

I mean, the only thing they did so far was “censor” (reduce) Tifa’s chest because their “Moral and Ethics” department said there was “public outrage”..

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1
jason-bridges 24 August, 2019 @ 16:56
7

Looks amazing so far, can’t wait!

Game looks good, but the combat and the car scenes in FFXV were so boring I quit the game after a few hours. I don’t think I’ll pick this up, at least not until they release the complete edition with all the episodes. Then it’ll be on sale for 20€.

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