To start this I should probably say I am huge final fantasy fan boy I have been playing Final Fantasy games since 1998 when I first bought the original Final Fantasy 7. Since then I have followed the progress of Square and have loved the stories told in each game. after 12 main games and another 7 offshoot games they made the decision to merge with another company, that company was Enix.
They created the company Square Enix that has been making amazing games ever since, from the rebooting of the Tomb raider franchise to the more recent Marvel Avengers game, but unfortunately in my honest opinion the Final Fantasy franchise lost it’s soul they tried again and again to recreate the success of previous titles. But by trying to move further into a more free moving type of game play instead of the traditional turn-based combat that Square had made so successful, they lost their way.
But then there was a whisper on the wind of the return of a classic piece of gaming history in the form of a tech demo for Final Fantasy 7 on the PS3, the fans of the series were ecstatic with the news that the game would be remade, this was 2005 and it would take a further 15 years of the fans waiting to finally receive the game they have all been waiting for: Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
It was worth the wait, from the first moments of seeing the original opening train sequence remade with delicious 4k resolution and exciting orchestral music playing you knew that the developers had put so much time and passion into this game, they have stuck very closely to the original story and have added so much more detail to the characters and the world that they inhabit.
The main character Cloud starts off the story as a distant and quiet man with a dark past, but as the story progresses you start to see cracks in his armour, as he starts open up to the people around him he becomes more open with them and starts to discover things about himself that he didn’t know, the whole story is a wonderful character arc and really retells the story that should have been told with the original game.
The story begins with Cloud being hired by called Avalanche an eco-terrorist group who are working to stop the massive mega corporation Shinra from sucking the lifestream out of the planet and using it as a fuel source to power the city of Midgar, and it follows the group of unlikely friends as they pursue this goal to stop Shinra and prevent the end of the world as they know it, the characters are all very unique individuals from the gun-armed, bad-mouthed Barratt who leads Avalanche, to the soft-hearted and carefree Aerith the flower girl but not all is as it seems with these characters, they all have deep personalities with in-depth backstories.
Square Enix have really done an amazing job remaking Final Fantasy 7 the story has been more fleshed out and the graphics have been hugely improved, the orignal had polygonal characters and a flat background, with quite flat music because of the limitations of the hardware at the time, but now the remake has complete detailed 3d rendered characters with hugely detailed environments to explore, and they have kept it very true to the original keeping the same music scores but enhancing them with whole orchestral pieces, i honestly couldn’t be happier with this game.
Now lets talk about what has changed, and for anyone who hasn’t played this i will try and keep this as spoiler free as I can, the remake has introduced a new aspect into the game there are ghost like beings called whispers who will appear at some of the more important parts of the story and try and keep any changes from happening, they are an interesting new facet of the game as anytime the characters do something that didn’t happen in the original game the whispers would show up to make corrections, from moments going on longer than they are supposed to, to completely new scenes the whispers will always try and make sure that the story carries on as it should do. Also the antagonist and massive sword wielding bad-guy Sephiroth makes an appearance much earlier in the game than the original, which was quite the surprise to me, he has much more of an influence on the story, seemingly appearing out of nowhere to taunt the protagonist and influence the story.
The direction that Square Enix takes the story is really interesting and i’m very excited to see where they take it next, lets hope that it won’t be years before the next part.