Ahead of Rebirth, it’s time to give Final Fantasy VII Remake some overdue respect

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Main characters from Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade.Square Enix

When Final Fantasy VII Remake launched successful 2020, tensions were high.

Fans of nan original Final Fantasy VII, some a genre- and childhood-defining RPG, were already skeptical astir nan task owed to nan truth that it would only accommodate a very short portion of nan 1997 release. Those frustrations would get compounded by immoderate overmuch much superior ones: Remake would motorboat weeks into nan societal isolation era of COVID-19. Despite getting a lukewarm captious reception, nan different remake would quickly go a polarizing crippled among fans. Even Digital Trends was critical of it astatine nan time: “Although nan complete Final Fantasy VII storyline is simply a fascinating, affectional globe-trotting adventure, this first 40-hour romp is thing but.”

It was an understandable reaction, but hindsight is 20/20. The further we move distant from nan tense discourse that defined its launch, nan easier it is to see Final Fantasy VII Remake for what it really is. With fans presently buzzing astir its upcoming sequel, nan seemingly much faithful Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, it’s clip to springiness Remake nan captious reassessment it deserves. Set speech nan nostalgia goggles and you’ll find 1 of nan astir subversive big-budget video games ever made.

Bound by fate

When Final Fantasy VII Remake begins, it seems for illustration a perfectly religious modernization of nan original RPG. We get a acquainted opening series wherever mercenary Cloud Strife engages successful immoderate ecoterrorism, blowing up 1 nan evil Shinra’s pollution-causing reactors. Its a overmuch longer series than it was successful nan original, but it’s reasonably by nan book compared to different retooled sequences.

That’s a spot of a ruse. The escapade goes successful a extremist guidance later connected erstwhile Cloud and institution are haunted by mysterious Whispers that look to beryllium controlling their fate. As it turns out, these creatures (dubbed “plot ghosts” by critics) are trying to unit nan pack to instrumentality to nan original’s series of events. They rather virtually extremity Cloud from deviating from nan script. That bizarre revelation wholly changes nan attraction of Cloud’s Midgar adventure, putting him successful a conflict against nan literal conception of destiny.

If you ne'er sewage astir to playing it, you tin astir apt understand why group felt a small miffed.

team-ninja-rumored-to-be-developing-final-fantasy-action-gameSquare Enix

No, Final Fantasy VII Remake isn’t a 1:1 recreation of its iconic counterpart — but that’s what makes it special. The connection “Remake” successful nan title is simply a spot of a reddish herring. It’s not that nan crippled is a remake of Final Fantasy VII; it’s about remaking Final Fantasy VII.

The bold task makes much consciousness erstwhile you position it done that metatextual lens. Cloud and institution aren’t conscionable RPG heroes, but stand-ins for nan imaginative squad trying to devise specified a daunting project. The original Final Fantasy VII is simply a beloved crippled that intends a batch to its fans and nan gaming manufacture arsenic a whole. A remake would person to contend pinch beardown emotions, making it difficult to deviate from its iconic story.  Any writer moving connected a revisit would beryllium bound by fate, trapped successful a predetermined book defended by its ain crippled ghosts: protective fans.

Rather than trying to skirt astir that reality, Remake turns subtext into text. The consequence is simply a wildly subversive crippled astir our conflict to break free from fate. That’s delivered successful classic Final Fantasy fashion, afloat of absurd escalation and a conflict against God, but it’s an incredibly humanistic communicative too. We get to spot Cloud return power of his ain communicative alongside a improvement squad confidently laying retired its ain imagination for nan world of Final Fantasy VII. It’s a life-affirming game, 1 that posits that we’re masters of our ain destiny. And that’s particularly hopeful successful discourse of a communicative astir nan inevitable demolition of our satellite owed to ambiance change.

Cloud and Tifa successful Final Fantasy VII Remake.Square Enix

Even divisive pieces of Remake‘s creation usability successful that creator context. Its tight, linear levels reenforce that thought by trapping players successful claustrophobic corridors pinch an inevitable exit point. Rebirth, by contrast, will flip players into open-world spaces — a reflection of nan party’s newfound freedom. Controversial decisions for illustration that springiness Remake its power, allowing Square Enix to present a amazingly focused communicative wherever each facet feels thematically grounded.

Though I’ve ever felt for illustration Final Fantasy VII Remake sewage a bad rap astatine launch, nan divided guidance to it only reinforces its point. There was immense unit for Square Enix to present connected instrumentality expectations. Straying from nan original’s way would beryllium a risky move that would undoubtedly ruffle immoderate Chocobo feathers. But you don’t often make awesome creation without bold decisions. Final Fantasy VII Remake wouldn’t beryllium nan masterfully self-reflexive crippled it is without daring to cull inexpensive nostalgia (if you want to spot a institution move your memories into cash, effort nan microtransaction-filled Final Fantasy VII Ever Crisis).

Remember that erstwhile you dive into Final Fantasy VII Rebirth connected February 29 aliases effort its caller free demo today. It couldn’t beryllium without nan bid fighting backmost against its ain crippled ghosts.

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Giovanni Colantonio

Giovanni is simply a writer and video shaper focusing connected happenings successful nan video crippled industry. He has contributed stories to…

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