I saw the gameplay demo at E3 2019. It was FANTASTIC! The way the developers are mixing the spirit of the original character designs with a more realistic look works even better than I had hoped for. The modernization of Tifa’s design wasn’t a feat I thought they would accomplish so well, either. Everything looked like I had hoped, in the demo / trailer, until they showed that logo. The singular product that is supposed to release on March 3, 2020 is officially called “Final Fantasy VII: REMAKE”.
The marketing department at Square Enix knows what they are doing. Just like any other company, they have made mistakes but I think we can all agree that they are fairly competent at their job. The job of getting a message across with just the title of a game, being one of them. The deliberate naming of this game could convey a few different things. The more cynical side of me believes they are trying to lay the groundwork for letting us (the fans) know that this is all we are getting.
The Midgar portion of the original FFVII accounts for roughly 30% of the overall scripted dialogue in the entire game (According to the video, below, from Kotaku’s own, Tim Rogers)
If you take into account that the game has an average playthrough time of 40 hours (yes you can spend hundreds if you want to) that puts 12 hours of possible gameplay in Midgar (I’m bad at math, but I Googled it) Even if you lowball the percentage, you still get at least 8 to 10 hours of possible gameplay out of the Midgar portion of the original game. That is not inconsiderable. Also, at the press conference, we learned the Midgar section of the remake is even larger than the original.
The leaders on the FFVII: Remake project have told us the Midgar piece of the game has been fleshed out to the length of an entire Final Fantasy title, on its own. This seems to mean we will be visiting all of the places we know from the original release, as well as new areas that we couldn’t travel to before. This information appears to have been confirmed with the reveal that Sephiroth will be spotted, by Cloud (Strife. Surely you know he’s the main character, if you are reading this. If you don’t, that’s cool. Comment below and I’ll give you a confusing explanation as to who he (believes) he is) in Midgar. Of course this didn’t happen in the first release of the game. I have no doubt that most everyone will enjoy the game they release to us. I really believe that it will be the only part of the game that we get… physically.
I’m not trying to convince you that Square Enix is trying to gaslight us. I have faith that the people working on this game have every intention of creating and releasing a great product that is a love letter to the original game, but is also a new and exciting vision all its own. Mark my words; Someone is working on lighting effects for the Mog arcade minigame in the Golden Saucer section, as you read this. I believe ultimately this person’s effort is in vain, but I surely hope it isn’t.
Honestly the entire crux of my thesis relies upon the subtitle, “Remake”, that they’ve marketed the game with. By the time of the official release, Square Enix may slap a “Part 1” at the end of it. I really believe that this game has been fraught with so many troubles that it will continue to become a money pit for Square and the company will eventually pull the plug. Worst case scenario? We all have an amazing looking, 40 hour, remake of the best part of Final Fantasy VII, and that’s it. Best case? The first part comes out in March 2020 and subsequent installments come via $40 DLC packs over the next 5 years.
No, Final Fantasy VII: REMAKE- Part 2 won’t come out. But that’s okay.