As was promised back in May, Square Enix finally gave the much-anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake a proper unveiling during their E3 press conference. The company released several new trailers, including an all-new story trailer and an in-depth look at the new combat system. On top of that, Square Enix did the seemingly impossible: after what felt like an eternity, the Remake now has a solid release date. It will launch on March 3, 2020.
Much time was spent on how the game’s battle system has been overhauled for the Remake. This was explained through a lengthy gameplay demonstration, which can be seen above. The game appears like a typical action RPG on the surface, with attacking and shielding all happening in real time. However, the Remake preserves one of the core aspects of the original game: the active time battle (ATB) system. With every action, an ATB bar begins to fill. Once it’s full, Tactical Mode is activated, bringing time to a halt, allowing the player is allowed to choose from a list of abilities. The main character Cloud was shown in the greatest detail during the presentation, but other characters will be available to control at any time as well. Any inactive party members will act on their own during combat, but their ATB actions must be chosen by the player. Square Enix looks to be aiming for a delicate balance of new and old when it comes to the Remake’s combat system, and so far, they seem set to achieve it.
Aside from the battle system, an extensive new story trailer was also shown. This showcased many long-awaited elements of the Remake, most prominently including Tifa’s new design (in case you were wondering, she looks fantastic). Many different iconic scenes from the game were also shown, including a look at the remade version of the game’s iconic opening cutscene and the first full appearance of the infamous antagonist, Sephiroth.
The game’s release structure was also slightly clarified. Although only mentioned in passing, it was confirmed that the Remake will be released as multiple separate games, which could be worrisome for fans. This first entry in the Remake series was announced to focus primarily on Midgar. Despite this broken-up structure, the game certainly won’t be lacking in content. The company said that this first part of the Remake alone would be expansive enough to fill two Blu-ray discs’ worth of content.
The first installment of the Final Fantasy VII Remake series will finally launch on March 3, 2020, for PS4; nothing was announced about the release schedule of the rest of the series.