“We thought to retain the elements that people love and just change the presentation,” says co-director Naoki Hamaguchi.
Remaking games is always a tricky process, especially when the game you’re remaking is as beloved and legendary as Final Fantasy 7. How much do you change? How much do you remove? How much do you add? Questions like these are always on the forefront of developers’ minds with remakes, and with Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which essentially expands just the introductory area of the original game into a full-fledged release, that must have been doubly true.
And while we can obvious expect to see a lot of new content – given the scope of that expansion – that puts more meat on the bones and fills in plenty of gaps, as far as adapting content from the original release is concerned, Square Enix’s approach has been to stick to the source material as closely as possible.
“I believe this can only be said because we are so close to launch, but there was a time where I was trying to wrack my brain on what concepts to hold on to, in order to meet fans’ expectations for the remake of such a beloved title like [Final Fantasy 7],” Final Fantasy 7 Remake co-director Naoki Hamaguchi said while speaking with US Gamer.
The approach that development team landed on was to keep the spirit of the original intact by not messing with its most iconic and beloved moments or elements too much. Instead, they chose to expand on that stuff, rather than completely changing it or replacing it with something new.
“What I have personally come to realize, through trial and error, was not to create a completely new work merely borrowing the setting of the original [Final Fantasy 7], but to revive elements that are beloved by the fans,” said Hamaguchi. “And without changing them, expand how they are depicted, utilizing the advancement of technology and game design over the last 20 years. In order to be accepted by the players of [Final Fantasy 7 Remake], we thought to retain the elements that people love and just change the presentation in a way that modern gamers would enjoy.”
“Every concept in the game has been expanded from elements of the original title in some way,” he added, “and I believe that we were able to produce a game that will leave a lasting mark in regard to remakes in the entertainment industry.”
How successfully Final Fantasy 7 Remake adapts such an iconic game remains to be seen- but at least there isn’t long left until everyone finds out. Though many around the world have already got their hands on the game, its official release date is a week from now, on April 10, exclusively for the PS4. Reviews will begin going live on April 6.
Also, free up some space on your console’s memory, because this game is going to be massive.
Square Enix recently released a meaty new trailer for the game (the last one it will get before its imminent release), which you can check out through here.