Following E3, I found myself bringing up the Final Fantasy VII remake to everyone I know. The announcement was one of the most exciting moments of E3 that I’ve ever witnessed; it turned three grown men into squealing children. Over lunch, a friend and I were discussing the fact that Square Enix has said that the official title will be revealed at the end of the year, which raises some questions. While most will be anticipating FFVII HD Remix or something similar, the possibility of something more is present. My friend jokingly claimed, “It will be like their last big game. Final Fantasy VII-2.” That statement, while enormously funny, blossomed into a couple theories.
A Rewritten Story
Even though this game holds a special place in the hearts of millions of people, its obvious that the story could’ve been delivered more effectively. Sure, the plot was fairly complex for the time and the characters were interesting. Yet, in a modern gaming environment, the current script would be unacceptable. Compare VII to Telltale’s The Walking Dead, a game that relies solely on the story and the wording of each line of dialogue, which makes Final Fantasy seem like a poor fan fiction. The Walking Dead revitalized a whole genre, using clever dialogue, characterization, and moral dilemmas that rarely left a safe decision. As such, it’s safe to expect a more in-depth narrative in the new Final Fantasy VII.
Reworking the script could expand the world and characters we’ve come to know and love. Think of the depth it could have. Each exchange could be more dynamic, more meaningful. It would be a damn waste to do otherwise. Yet, even though I want these well-deserved changes to the script, I would love to see the classic script as an option.
Square Enix is still getting over the sickness of sequel-itis. When Final Fantasy X was given a sequel, many were skeptical and most critics considered it ridiculous. A console generation later, Final Fantasy XIII was released, a solid flop critically and financially, lacking major components that the series was built upon. Not only did Square try to patch things up with a sequel, but a third title as well. Therefore, Square Enix making a straight up sequel to Final Fantasy VII would, unfortunately, fit their pattern.
Would this benefit FFVII? Possibly, but the game would have to be handled very carefully for it to work. A consideration of the game’s current canon would also have to be considered, especially when several games have already been made in its world. It would be interesting to see how the world has changed since the times of Dirge of Cerberus. I’m not sure this would be the best course of action for the game, but it is a possibility I’m willing to mull over. This could also be a chance to bring characters from the expanded canon into the picture; I would love to see Cloud go up against the likes of Genesis.
A New Way to Fight
Something about the trailer seems like it could be running in the same engine as the Final Fantasy XV demo seen earlier this year. This is more apparent from the angle in which Cloud and Barret are captured. It seems like the player could pick up from there, running down the steamy streets of Midgar.
This slowly led me to imagine playing as Cloud and fighting off waves of enemies in real time, just as I’ve done as Noctis. Think of the cinematic style of Advent Children, made playable. This theory may be a bit of a stretch, but considering the developers are in their twilight, a new way to play would be an interesting and challenging angle for the game.
A True Classic in Every Sense
I’ve always been a big advocate of playing older games. Often times I avoid picking up newer titles, just because I enjoy the classics much more. However, I’m also a fan of being creativity and taking risks in an industry that has a tendency to be stagnant for many years at a time. One can chart out the patterns gamers have seen over the years, and when games break those conventions it makes those instances that much more memorable.
I loved Final Fantasy VII, even though I agree that it hasn’t aged as well as other titles in the series. Yet, I would love to see the new project—whatever it may become—developed with creative liberty.
Final Fantasy VII being remade was seemingly an impossibility, dangled in front of the noses of fans like a carrot in front of a starving horse. Always, rumors would flood the internet and tech demos were shown and denied, but it finally seems like players will be able to visit Midgar once again.
Yet, if this title never comes to fruition, I will know true despair.