Over two years ago, Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s (FF7 Remake) ending left us with more questions than answers. With the death of the harbinger of fate at the climax of Remake, Square Enix completely blew the roof off the continuity of the original 1997 release. Therefore, anything could happen in future installments of the three-part trilogy. It’s this upheaval of the original game that makes Rebirth and the two other FF 7 installments more than your everyday remake, and well worth the price of a full game.
Before the launch of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the developer announced that the game would release in three installments that each expanded and enhanced separate parts of the original game. This left the community in uproar as they learned that every installment would be listed at full market price and, of course, no one wanted to pay 180 dollars for one story over five years, especially since the original 1997 release was a full story for sixty dollars.
People were even more skeptical after the long and complicated development of the FF7 Remake after it was announced back in E3 2015 and were worried if this game would even live up to the singular sixty-dollar price tag. Tetsuya Nomura, creative director of Square Enix, visited CyberConnect2’s studio after a visit to the studio and was unimpressed with the quality of work they were producing and decided to bring development back to Square Enix.
When asked about the development transition, Dan Tsukasa, a game developer, and 3D artist said: “They didn’t take [FF7 Remake] away and continue it, they started it again because CyberConnect2’s work was just so useless and not far enough along, but still far enough along that remaking it was faster than refactoring it.”
Luckily it seems like FF7 Rebirth isn’t suffering the same fate. Square will be using assets from Remake and the INTERMission episode to pump high-quality content into Rebirth.
Once FF7 Remake was finally released, Square put the price point controversy and development hell skepticism to rest by almost entirely altering the ending of the Midgard section of the game. In the finale of Remake, the player gets to see an alive Zack Fair, who we know dies in the events of Crisis Core. Zack is surrounded by the whispers meaning Cloud’s actions in the finale are affecting other realities.
Zack being alive shows there is a separate reality adjacent to the original 1997 timeline and that Remake and subsequently, Rebirth won’t be following the original story that Nomura wrote.
After Rebirth’s trailer dropped at Final Fantasy 7’s twenty-fifth-anniversary celebration, it was clear that Square will be breaking off and altering some key parts of the story and completely flipping the game on its head. I believe that newcomers and die-hard fans alike will be pleasantly surprised at what Nomura and his team have planned for Rebirth.
With all that said, is it justifiable for Square Enix to charge the full market price for these three games? In my honest opinion, I believe it is a fair price point if they truly plan on enhancing this iconic story and twisting the tale of Cloud and his friends on its head.
Tetsuya Nomura, the game’s creative director, doubled down on the fact this was a new fresh experience worthy of a full 70-dollar price point. He took to Twitter and said “FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH is being designed so that people can enjoy this game whether they know the original game or not. In fact, new players might even enjoy starting their FINAL FANTASY VII journey with FINAL FANTASY VII REBIRTH. Cloud and his friends embark on a new journey in this game, and I believe that the scenes that they witness after leaving Midgar will give players a fresh, new experience.”
While a tweet can’t be a definitive answer, I believe in full certainty that Square has something special planned for Rebirth. 2020’s Remake showed us that Square Enix can take a small chunk of gameplay from the original and expand it into a 30-hour journey, which gave players a more personal experience and was able to give more weight to situations that once seemed anticlimactic. This can be improved with Rebirth, which aims to tackle a bigger chunk of the game and turn iconic characters, set pieces, and story beats into a huge, grandiose, stunning story that will hopefully culminate into the best Final Fantasy game in the last decade.
With almost three years of development and more than enough experience and feedback from Remake and the INTERMission episode, I think 70 dollars is a more than worthy price for the second part of Square’s 3 part masterpiece.