As one of the most iconic RPGs out there, it's no surprise that Final Fantasy 7 would eventually earn itself a fresh coat of paint. We're in a boom of remasters, remakes, and redos, and fans clamored for years to see Cloud Strife's adventure get the same treatment.
We first got word that a remake was coming at Sony's E3 conference in 2015, but information on development was scarce for years after. The remake finally resurfaced during E3 in 2019 where Square Enix debuted several new trailers and announced the FF7 remake's release date for the PS4.
The remake is out now on PS4, but a PC release still hasn't been officially confirmed. News of the PS4 version being a timed exclusive makes us optimistic we'll see the Final Fantasy 7 remake on PC. Now that we're into 2021, it seems like news of that console exclusivity period should be popping up soon, if it is indeed coming.
Here's everything you need to know about Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
What's the release date for Final Fantasy 7 Remake?
The PS4 release date for the (first part) of Final Fantasy 7 Remake released April 10th, 2020.
We still don't have confirmation that the remake is coming to PC at all, but it's been stated multiple times that the PlayStation exclusivity will last for a year. If we do get FF7 on PC, it won't be any sooner than April of 2021.
How about the next installment?
No word yet on the second installment—more about the remake's "episode" format below—for either PS4 or for PC. We do know the next part of the game is already in development though.
Here's the story trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Remake
The story trailer for the FFVII remake introduces a bit of the plot but mostly many of the characters you'll recognize from the original.
Is Final Fantasy 7 Remake actually coming to PC?
Well it's not not coming to PC. Almost every time we hear about the remake, there are caveats like "debut first" on PS4 or "timed exclusive." Square Enix has said it has "no plans for other platforms," though that tends to be the kind of thing a publisher says when it just isn't ready to make any promises yet.
Recently, PS4 owners have datamined what seems to be an upcoming demo on console and found references to higher resolutions for PC and Nvidia/AMD.
For a bit of reference, here are some Japanese Square Enix games from the last few years, and when they launched on consoles and PC.
Final Fantasy 15: November 29, 2016 (PS4/Xbox), March 6, 2018 (PC). Delay: 15 months
Dragon Quest Builders 2: July 12, 2019 (PS4/Switch), December 10, 2019 (PC). Delay: 5 months.
Octopath Traveler: July 13, 2018 (Switch), June 7, 2019 (PC). Delay: 11 months.
Dragon Quest 11: September 4, 2018 (PS4 and PC). Delay: None.
Final Fantasy 12: July 11, 2017 (PS4), February 2, 2018 (PC). Delay: 7 months.
There are also notably some Square games that haven't made the console to PC leap, like the first Dragon Quest Builders and Kingdom Hearts 3. But it's worth pointing out that nearly the entire Final Fantasy series is on PC, while none of the Kingdom Hearts games, and very few Dragon Quest games, have made the jump.
Check out the original reveal trailer for the remake
The first trailer for Final Fantasy 7 Remake back in 2015 didn't reveal much information beyond the game's existence. Still, it was a pretty moody, pointed teaser. The final lines: "For they are coming back. At last, the promise has been made" are almost enough to give you goosebumps, with that eerie music and the sword on Cloud's back. Square Enix was making a promise, indeed.
The story is slightly different in the remake
The Final Fantasy 7 remake is more than just a visual update. In an interview with Wired, director Tetsuya Nomura said "we're not intending for this to become a one-to-one remake, or just the original Final Fantasy 7 with better graphics."
Nomura goes on to clarify that there are certain major plot points that he feels shouldn't be disturbed because of players' attachment to them. "I want to make it so it's relevant to the modern era, as well as having an element of surprise." He says. "I don't want to change it so much that it's unrecognizable, but make sure that it's something fresh and new [yet still] recognizable as FF7."
What is combat like in the remake?
We got a good look at the combat in Final Fantasy 7 Remake during E3 2019. Turn-based combat is officially out. The remake has a combat system closer to what was used in Final Fantasy 15.
As you fight, your "ATB meter" will fill. When you have portions of the meter filled, you spend them to trigger a tactical mode that slows time so you can initiate special attacks or use potions.
You also switch between party members at will to use their various attacks and spells.
Actually, you can still fight in "classic" mode
Square Enix has also explained that the remake will have a combat mode styled to feel more like the classic turn-based system. It isn't a one-for-one recreation, but lets the player choose abilities through a menu rather than being action-based.
On Twitter, Square Enix explains that the classic mode lets the players leave the standard attacks on auto-pilot. "In standard modes, the ATB Gauge fills up by repeatedly attacking your enemy, but in Classic Mode this aspect of gameplay is handled automatically," it says.
"The player does not need to do anything and the character fights automatically, charging up their ATB Gauge." After the meter is charged, it sounds like it's up to the player to choose abilities and spells from a menu similarly to how they would in the 1997 game.
Everyone got a serious glow up. Seriously.
What's this about being split into parts?
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is so much bigger than the original that on PS4 it comes on two Blu-Ray discs... just for this first "episode." In remaking the original game, Square Enix is breaking it up into multiple installments. This first part takes places entirely in Midgar, whereas in the original game, you leave the city after 5-10 hours of play.
Square Enix hasn't said when the second part of the game will be released, but that it is in development already. It does feel a bit like the trend where movie series ended with a finale split into two separate movies, but according to producer Yoshinori Kitase it's for the best.
"If we were to try to fit everything from the original into one remake installment, we would have to cut various parts and create a condensed version of Final Fantasy 7," he said in 2015. "We knew none of you would have wanted that."
If we were to dream up a best case scenario for PC players, the second part of the remake would release in 2021 concurrent with the initial PC release and we'd be treated to a complete game via digital download rather than having it split into parts. But given the scope of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, a trilogy seems a whole lot more likely, and who knows when we'll be seeing the later entries arrive on console or PC. Fingers crossed that after this first episode, PC players get Final Fantasy 7 at the same time.