The debut of Final Fantasy VII Remake on the PlayStation 5 console is by no means the end of the work for the developers. On the contrary, it's just the first part of a refreshed edition of the legendary FF7, not even telling half the story of the original. Directors Motomu Toriyama and Naoki Hamaguchi talked about the challenge of the project an interview with IGN.
Final Fantasy VII Remake was not "just" a faithful recreation of the original in new visuals. Instead of turn-based battles, by default we got fights combining this classic system with solutions known from action RPGs. Hamaguchi stressed in an email conversation with IGN that the overriding goal for the developers was and is to change the game in such a way that it matches (or even surpasses) the expectations of players, but at the same time does not "desecrate" the memories of fans of the original.
"There were many things we learned from the reception [of Final Fantasy 7 Remake - ed. note] since its release, but I feel that the response was especially great for the elements we remade while being cognizant to pay homage to the source material, [...] I don't want to limit it to just this title; I am reminded that for the next installment, it's of utmost importance not to damage the memories from the source material while reimagining it so it surpasses people's expectations."
Striking a balance between staying true to the source material and making changes is a difficult feat, but in the case of the first installment of FF7 Remake it's fair to say that Square Enix rose to the challenge. However, there are many more "challenges" in creating the next episode. Hamaguchi stressed that the team must now "create gameplay that takes advantage of the vastness of the world" beyond Midgar, where the action in the remake has so far been confined. How exactly this will translate to the gameplay experience - we'll find out after the second part of Final Fantasy VII Remake is released. It's just a shame that we'll have to wait a long time for it.
- Final Fantasy VII Remake - official website
- Final Fantasy VII Remake – Review of the Most Iconic jRPG Ever