Final Fantasy VII Remake News Round-Up: Multi-part release, Unreal Engine & more

Square Enix has announced and confirmed a multitude of new pieces of information about the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake today, following off the back of the reveal of the title's first gameplay footage in a new trailer at PlayStation Experience this weekend.

With so many stories floating around on the title, we figured it was best to round up all of the news into one post to make it easy for you to digest. Here's the latest on the Final Fantasy VII Remake:

The game will release as a "multi-part" series - several full game releases over time.

First confirmed by a Square Enix North America press release dropped late last night and later reiterated in new interviews published by the Japanese gaming press, it's now confirmed that Final Fantasy VII Remake won't just consist of one disc-based release, but multiple games released across an extended but as-yet unknown period of time.

"The idea that a remake of Final Fantasy VII would not fit into a single release was there from the very beginning. We still can’t share more information about its multiple parts, but please look forward to future announcements," Producer Yoshinori Kitase told the Japanese media.

"If we dedicated our time to a single release, parts of it would become summarized. We’d have to cut some parts, and additional parts would come in few, so rather than remake the game as a full volume, we decided to do multiple parts."

How exactly the game will be split remains unclear, but the intention on Square's part is to recreate as much of the game as they can and add new things to discover, using the increased focus on individual parts to make that a possibility.

Naruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm & .hack Developers CyberConnect2 are on board to aid development

While Square Enix staff are working on the Final Fantasy VII Remake, rapidly-growing Japanese studio CyberConnect 2 have been drafted by the company to assist in development and help take care of some of the heavy lifting in the title's development.

CyberConnect 2 have had a brush with Final Fantasy VII before, producing the ill-fated Final Fantasy VII: G-Bike mobile spin-off that has had a year of operation in Japan but is due to close due to a lack of interest later this month. Their involvement in FF7 Remake makes a lot more sense thanks to their strong history crafting action-based titles, and their expertise is surely likely to prove helpful.

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The title's combat will play out as real-time combat rather than ATB command-based 

FF7 is obviously seventeen years old now, and one of the things that's changed in the time since its release is that ATB battles are for better or worse no longer the gold standard of the Japanese style RPG genre. FF7's remake is therefore to follow in the footsteps of other Tetsuya Nomura directed titles such as Kingdom Hearts and the aborted Versus XIII by giving players direct control over Cloud and the rest of his crew.

"Rather than a command-based battle ensuing when you encounter an enemy, we’re aiming for a seamless active battle, as you can see in the trailer," Kitase told Japanese magazines. 

"Regarding the battle speed and tempo, for the sake of a stress-free battle, we want to do something on the level of Dissidia Final Fantasy. As far as the degree of action goes, it’s Dissidia Final Fantasy, then Kingdom Hearts, then Final Fantasy VII Remake. There won’t be any actions that require a technique. By using the new system, we want to do action battles while also being able to fight while thinking strategically," Nomura added.

The remake is being developed on Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4

Much like Kingdom Hearts III and Dragon Quest XI, FF7's remake has also now been confirmed as being built in Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4, an engine becoming increasingly popular with Japanese developers this console generation. What this means for the status of Square Enix's in-house Luminous engine, whose development team have been assisting on Final Fantasy XV, the first major game to use it more fully, remains unclear.

"We’re humbled that Square Enix has chosen Unreal Engine 4 to re-create one of the world’s most beloved video games of all time," said Taka Kawasaki, territory manager for Epic Games Japan, in a press release sent to GamesBeat. "It is a joy to work with the talented developers behind the franchise, and this marks an unforgettable moment in Unreal Engine history."


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