Final Fantasy VII Remake Combat Will be Different but “Recognizable”

Friday, July 31st, 2015

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In a recent interview with Official PlayStation Magazine UK, Tetsuya Nomura revealed some new tidbits of information about the battle system of the Final Fantasy VII remake. The original game utilized the Active Time Battle system that the series had used since Final Fantasy IV, but the new system is promised to be very different. Most of the specifics on the remake are still fairly sparse due to the game still being early in development, but Nomura did reveal this in a section of the interview about changes to the combat:

We are bringing dramatic changes to the Final Fantasy VII Remake so we’re hoping that you’ll look forward to additional information that we’ll be able to release when the time comes. And of course, that being said we want to clarify: we’re not going to be changing it into a shooter or something like that. We are going to be bringing dramatic changes, but we want to make sure it’s still recognisable [sic].”

This is not too much to go on, but it is possible to hazard guesses about the system based on what Nomura has said before about wanting to not retread the exact same path that was made with the original game, just with prettier graphics. It is entirely possible that the development team is pursuing an Action RPG approach to the battle system, more in tune with how Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts work, especially if they are taking a cue from the action sequences of Advent Children. Action RPGs do have the potential for more cinematic battles, which is something Square Enix has been pursuing time and time again. While retooling the battle system to make it simply an Action RPG would certainly fit the bill of being a “dramatic change,” the Materia system would also likely have to be completely changed around. Another significant difference presented with an Action RPG setup would be micromanaging the AI of the party, since with the old system, players could control what the entire party did at all times. A lot of this is certainly dramatic, but it is up to interpretation as to what is meant by “recognizable.” Still, it does mean that the team does want the game to still feel like Final Fantasy VII, even if it plays differently.

Of course, this is all still speculation. We still do not have very much information, but these bite-sized, tantalizing bits of information are enough to get the imagination going. What do you think? Do you want Final Fantasy VII Remake to use an Action RPG basis for the battle system? Or would you like the development team to come up with something entirely new, perhaps a hybrid of old and new? Sound off in the comments below. Final Fantasy VII Remake will release sometime in the future for PS4.

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About Alexander Jones

Alexander Jones is a 24 year-old with a BA in History and has been gaming as far back as he can remember. Growing up, he was raised strictly on Nintendo consoles, but this fueled a passion for Japanese gaming and design. Though he does still have a soft spot for Nintendo, he has grown to love any developer and console with fun, enjoyable games. Some of his favorite games of all time include Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy XIII, Chrono Trigger, and Katawa Shoujo.




  • Steven Shemwell

    I’d rather it be a shooter than an action style =/

    • TachyonCode

      A shooter is just action style with blinders on and massive deficiencies in melee combat strategy options.

      Gimme a game that puts Transistor to shame and we’ll talk.

  • mic

    I just want to have control over all party members, or at least be able to play as them all. Unlike 15, Crisis Core, KH, etc. If I want Tifa to solo a boss and leave the other two KO’d, I should have the freedom to do so. OG gave lots of freedom. And the materia and equipment system let you set up every member for different playstyles.

  • Infophile

    All I can say is, I’m now confident in their ability to claw defeat from the jaws of certain victory.

  • Hogtree Octovish

    I really hope that it just means they’re changing it to a 10-2 style system, where the characters move around the battlefield instead of staying still in a line (and maybe some light chaining).
    Also, as you said, if they change the combat too much, they’ll probably have to do a complete overhaul of the Materia system.

    In my opinion, the ATB system is part of the charm of the PS1 (and SNES)-era Final Fantasy games.
    Take that away (especially in a remake) and it all falls apart.

    And this is from someone who loves the Kingdom Hearts games, and Birth By Sleep is one of my favourite games of all time.
    But what feels good in one game may not work for another.

    • TachyonCode

      Ever play Transistor? If they go that route, they could certainly keep the charm, and still advance the mechanics and include action-style options as well. I say it’d be a welcome upgrade.

  • multibottler0cket

    If it’s ATB, or at least still fully turn based, with visual differences, that’s fine, like moving around so the battle scene looks more realistic, whatever, but if it deviates anywhere from that, much like anything after FFX, it will deviate so far from what made FF great in terms of gameplay.

  • BenHo Calrissian

    Every time Tetsuya Nomura talks about the FF7 remake, my interest in it dies a little more. Seriously, how do they not understand WHY we want a remake of Final Fantasy VII? As soon as they change anything other than the graphics, they’re ruining what was good about the game. I’m glad I was already skeptical about this project when the initial trailer said that Nomura was getting the directors chair, but it’s still disappointing to have it confirmed that he’s planing to wreck it.

    rest in piss squareenix

  • JDobbs

    Now all the fans of the original are going to overreact and rage.

    • azariosays

      shut up jacob. i’m raging!

    • JDobbs

      Fans use rage. Critical Hit. Its Super Effective. Square Enix Faints. Fans gain 1,000 EXP and 780 Gil.

  • ConanThe3rd

    Square Enix, the Suspect eye of Sauron be upon you for this transgression.

  • Keichi Morisato

    as long as the game retains that classic ATB combat in some fashion, i am fine. i don’t want this to be an action game, we already are going to get 3 S-E Final Fantasy Action games within the next 4-5 years, so we don’t need another.

    • azariosays

      the reason i fear this is going to be an action game is because i feel like they think it’s easier and want to put the game out as soon as possible. by easier i mean like re building the battle system and balancing stuff when they can just use the ff15 engine and do something off that. i am with you though i hope they keep the atb.

    • Keichi Morisato

      also, making it an action game would *snarky Jim Sterling voice* “appeal to a wider audience”.

  • Eric

    Honestly, the combat system is what makes FFVII one of the best. If they change it too much, then they may as well have just made a new game.

  • Micah J Femino

    Every Final Fantasy game would benefit from the Gambit system that was in FF12.