Update: Final Fantasy VII remake, or at least the first episode, just got of March 3, 2020 release date at its E3 2019 concert. Even more proof this game really exists!
After a decent but not mind-blowing debut of its State of Play online press conference, Sony’s latest stab at a Nintendo Direct last week ended on a much more exciting note. There may not be a PlayStation event at E3 next month, but it would be easy to forget after getting the surprise first new footage in forever of Final Fantasy VII Remake with a promise of more news in June.
Depending on who you asked, this HD PlayStation 4 re-imagining of the beloved (and bad) PlayStation 1 JRPG classic was first announced at Sony’s 2015 E3 show or way back in a tech demo for PlayStation 3. Either way, it’s been a while, and we still don’t have high hopes for the game releasing anytime soon. However, if nothing else, we’re now more convinced than ever that Final Fantasy VII Remake has become a real video game. Low bar, but small victory.
That definitely wasn’t the case before! In 2015 Final Fantasy VII Remake was little more than some spruced-up Advent Children CGI footage and a director who didn’t know he was a director until he saw his name on stage. Presumably what followed was years of actually developing the project, hiring and firing outside development teams in the process, and letting it basically do whatever it wanted even as Square’s Western games picked up the immediate slack and still got frustratingly ignored.
But just as Death Stranding went from nothing at all to a game I can now imagine people eventually playing, this weekend it finally sunk in that Final Fantasy VII is probably going to be a real video game. There’s a new trailer with snippets of new action-oriented gameplay, bothering those who prefer the original turn-based combat in an example of lofty dreams turning into disappointing reality. We saw updated versions of characters like Aerith with her dumb flowers and Barret with his unfortunate voice. And Square Enix even recommitted to the “ambitious” idea that this game is so big it’ll need to be released in episodic installments, carrying a torch for Telltale I guess.
The biggest proof to me though that Square Enix will actually ship a product called Final Fantasy VII Remake to store shelves is the company’s surprisingly consistent track record with its huge vaporware JRPG boondoggles that spend years upon years in development Hell. Final Fantasy XIII eventually came out. Final Fantasy XV eventually came out. Kingdom Hearts III eventually came out. Their quality may vary, but they came out. And so with nothing else on its elaborately over-designed Tetsuya Nomura plate, Square Enix will also make sure Final Fantasy VII Remake comes out. Then they can focus on making Verum Rex a game and not just a temper tantrum.