FFVIIR Producer: “The New World of FFVII Has Only Just Begun!”

Square-Enix-Final-Fantasy-7-VII-Remake-Cloud-Press-Image

Fans of Final Fantasy VII Remake are eagerly awaiting for “part 2” of the episodic series. Yoshiniro Kitase’s (Final Fantasy VII’s Director, and FFVIIR’s producer) recent comments hint at the direction that the series will take, but not at a release date.

Tetsuya Nomura, FFVIIR’s Director, has a history of absurdly long development cycles when directing projects. Kingdom Hearts 3, and FF Versus XIII – the eventual Final Fantasy XV – each took more than 8 years to make under his watch.

In FF Versus XIII’s case, Nomura had to be pulled out of the project in order for Tabata to step in. Consequently, it is difficult to gauge if Final Fantasy VIIR “Part 2” will be out this year.

What Kitase Said About Final Fantasy VII Remake

In a recent interview with Famitsu, Yoshinori Kitase, hinted at Final Fantasy VIIR being integral to his “2021 Aspirations”. In the interview he stated that, “My Aspirations, not just in 2021 but beyond, will be how the (Final Fantasy VIIR) story will broaden from here on out.”

Because Kitase cleverly inserted the word “beyond” in his reply to the question, it is safe to assume that FFVIIR Part 2’s rumored 2021 release is not set in stone, as of yet.

One would think that with the assets (at least for characters) in place, and SquareEnix’s command of the Unreal 4 engine, the turn around for the sequel would be short. However, there are a few reasons for why this might not be the case.

The Planet is a Big World

Final Fantasy VII Remake over world
How will this scenery look with modern Unreal 4 engine visuals?

Final Fantast VII Remake, an episode focused on the initial stages of Final Fantasy VII’s story, was a fairly linear, if almost on rails (with some optional side questing in each chapter) experience. To be fair, so was the initial Midgar phase in the original game.

However, one of the more magical moments in the original title was leaving Midgar, and finding yourself in a beautifully rendered 3-D over world map that begged to be explored.   A year later, Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time arrived to set a new standard for 3-D open worlds. Since then, RPGs have only gotten bigger, and more ambitious.

Nomura, and team did a good job at conveying the life in Midgar’s slums in the first episode. But FFVIIR was an extremely linear, and story focused experience, which in the game’s design defense, remained true to the original game in that aspect.

However, we have come to expect more from modern RPGs. Thus, I am very curious to see how the FFVIIR team approaches the “Over World” section of the upcoming FFVIIR episode with the new found graphic fidelity and more realistic size scaling of the characters in relation to the world’s environments.

Will Square open up the world for us? The original game imprinted that ‘open world illusion’ in me (even if the game remained a mostly linear affair). Or conversely, will the team follow the more on rails approach pioneered in the series by Final Fantasy X?

What ever direction is taken by Nomura and Co. The world outside of Midgar is very different from the Mako “city that never sleeps”. I would not hold my breath for a 2021 release given the implications of such a big world.

Then There is the Story

Final Fantasy VII Remake Aerith
Aerith’s fate might change for the better in the new timeline.

Most intriguing of all, the question of what direction the story will follow in episode 2 burns deeply in my mind. Final Fantasy VII Remake is not a traditional game “Remake”, but a sequel under the disguise of one. The story was different in the first episode, and it will continue to distance itself from the original work in the second.

Kitase admitted in his statement that he couldn’t “even imagine what it would be like.” And well, neither can I. Such is the way in which the game ended. FFVIIR’s ending opened a myriad of timelines while suggesting that moving forwards, and out of Midgar, the story will not go according the original story’s script.

Much care needs to be invested in this area. No one wants another ‘Kingdom Hearts irrationality‘ scenario, and Nomura and Nojima are bordering that fine line with the game’s ending. Here is hoping that the story doesn’t devolve into that. A good job was made fleshing out some characters, and hinting at a bigger array of choices for Cloud’s romantic relationship with Aerith, Tifa, and perhaps, Jessie.

The Final Fantasy VII Remake That We Are Likelier to Get in 2021

For now, Xbox and PC Owners should look forwards to Final Fantasy VII Remake’s ending its timed exclusivity on PlayStation on March this year. Finally, -and hopefully – Xbox owners will get to enjoy the game this year, as many felt left out by the game’s one year timed exclusivity to Sony.

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By Samuel Rivera

An avid video game player and book reader, Samuel has been playing video games for the last 31 years. He has played nearly every PS1 JRPG known to man, and loves Ocarina of Time more than any other game.