Final Fantasy 7 has always had a place in the hearts of '90s gamers, and the announcement of its remake at Sony’s press conference at E3 2015 was welcomed by cheers from loyal fans. Here’s everything we know about the Final Fantasy 7 remake so far, including the confirmed release date and the latest trailers.
You might also want to take a look at our list of the best PS4 games to tide you through to the game's eventual release, or read our hands-on preview of Final Fantasy 7 Remake from E3 2019 to find out what we think after playing it ourselves.
When is the Final Fantasy 7 remake coming out?
Final Fantasy 7 remake release date: 10 April 2020
Just when we thought the end was in sight, Square Enix delayed the first episode of the Final Fantasy 7 remake yet again... though only by a month, slipping from 3 March to 10 April. While it's only episode one, it's certainly not a small game. According to the company, the remake focuses on and expands the story of Midgard, and takes place across two Blu-ray discs.
The much-requested Final Fantasy 7 remake was announced during the Sony keynote at E3 2015, with a promise that it would be coming to the PlayStation 4 “first”. This means that FF7 isn’t an outright PS4 exclusive but much like Xbox's exclusivity period with Rise of the Tomb Raider, PlayStation users should get it before everybody else. Twitter tipster Wario64 shared early box art that reveals the timed exclusivity ends on 3 March 2021, so that could be when we see the game appear elsewhere.
Though not confirmed, we assume that the Final Fantasy 7 remake will also be available for Xbox and PC gamers once the PlayStation exclusivity period has expired.
Gameplay & story
The announcement trailer shown at E3 2015 wasn’t a gameplay trailer but instead a CG trailer. It showed a variety of locations and characters that were also in the original FF7, which was welcomed with huge applause by the audience. The main focus was around Midgar City, setting the scene for the upcoming game before slowly teasing glimpses of main characters including a sword-wielding Cloud and gun-wielding Barret, among others.
However for those of you that were hoping for a shot-for-shot remake of the original Final Fantasy 7, you may be disappointed to know that director Tetsuya Nomura told WIRED that it wouldn’t be a direct recreation of the original game. “In terms of taking a such an iconic game and giving it a fresh feel, we can't go into too much detail but we're not intending for this to become a one-to-one remake, or just the original Final Fantasy VII with better graphics,” Nomura says.
Judging by the WIRED interview with Tetsuya Nomura, we don’t think that a lot has happened with regards to the development of the game. Take the following quote for example:
"We're taking something that's text-based with no voice over. If we add voice over to it, that will trigger some adjustments that need to be made to accommodate for that. Then, because we're making it in full HD, we'll need to think about all the resources that are needed to populate the screen. We'd need to go in and see what needs adjusting in that aspect. It's like a chain of events; 'OK, we're going to revamp this part, what do we need?' and see if there are any changes that creates. As I say, we can't go into the specifics at this point but we'll need to revisit elements within the game to see what is appropriate."
"It will essentially be a full scale game for each part of the multi-part series. In 13, each instalment told the story from a different angle. It was kind of like approaching an unknown territory in a sense," producer Yoshinori Kitase told Game Informer.
An interview with Tetsuya Nomura featured in Famitsu Weekly sheds more light on what to expect from the combat system.
“Battles are not command-based, they’re action-based," said Nomura. "Regarding cover actions, there are places where they can be done on the map, but they are not required. Because it’s seamless, I showed that there can be actions in response to various scenes."
Nomura then gives a specific example, citing the Guard Scorpion boss battle and claiming that it will feature "map destruction and a great number of attacks that weren't in the original" culminating in a "significantly flashy battle".
As part of its 30th anniversary celebrations, Square Enix unveiled the above artwork for the Final Fantasy 7 remake showing Cloud holding his Buster Sword with Midgar in the background.
In February 2017, the following screenshot of the Final Fantasy 7 remake was revealed showing Cloud in action and what the interface will look like.
Watch the trailers
At the top of the page you'll find the announcement trailer for the Final Fantasy 7 remake. The narration of the video seems to work on two levels, and while it helps to set the scene for the remake and adds an air of mystery to the video, we also feel like the narrator is speaking directly to loyal Final Fantasy fans.
"The reunion at hand may bring joy, it may bring fear, but let us embrace whatever it brings, for they are coming back. At last, the promise has been made."
Meanwhile, you can watch the PlayStation Experience trailer from late 2015 showing cutscenes and gameplay.
Not much else was showcased until E3 2019, when a new trailer appeared alongside the long-awaited release date.
Since then it hasn't slowed down, with The Game Awards 2019 delivering yet another trailer, this time mostly cinematic and focused on Cloud: