Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion has officially kickstarted its media blitz, with a range of new reports detailing features and functionality launching with the upcoming remaster. The game is currently set to land in late 2022, and will be a direct translation of the original story for PSP, built with what looks to be the same graphical engine used in Final Fantasy VII Remake.
This go around, the game will reportedly have more robust voice acting (Tyler Hoechlin’s Sephiroth appeared in the first Crisis Core trailer), remastered visuals, and tweaks to the gameplay to keep the game feeling contemporary on modern consoles. This includes a new ‘menu-based battle system‘, optimised UI, and improved character and camera movements.
We also know the game will be used to introduce players to protagonist Zack Fair, who’s set to have a major role in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
‘If you played [Remake], or the original, you’ll probably know that Zack is in the first … game where he doesn’t appear at that point in the story in the original Final Fantasy VII,’ Yoshinori Kitase, executive producer on Reunion, told Eurogamer. ‘He’s featured more than he was. We thought that people who were starting the story there would really want to know more about this character.’
Not only does this reveal more of the importance of Crisis Core, which acts as a prequel to the events of Final Fantasy VII, it also reveals that the upcoming Remake sequel, Rebirth, will differ slightly from the canon of the classic games. Zack Fair is an essential part of Final Fantasy 7 lore, and it sounds like he’ll play an even more important role in the future of the Final Fantasy 7 compilation.
Another tidbit revealed by PlayStation Universe, who spoke to creative director Tetsuya Nomura, is that the remaster was not withheld due to its inclusion of the likeness of popular Japanese singer-songwriter Gackt, who plays Genesis Rhapsodos in the story. For years, rumours flagged his appearance as a likely reason why the game never escaped the PlayStation Portable – but this doesn’t appear to be the case at all.
It was also revealed in this interview that all the assets of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion have been recreated from scratch, with a view to being as faithful to the original game as possible.
‘The assets have been made from scratch but there are improvements, here and there that we have made to other aspects of the game,’ producer Mariko Sato told PlayStation Universe. ‘Engine-wise, we are using Epic Unreal Engine 4, for showing the assets and things like that but the basic programming is being covered from the original game.’
Many reporters pointed out that major changes can already be seen in the Crisis Core remaster, with one notable difference being that the game’s Buster Blade has been remodelled on the version seen in Remake. According to Nomura, speaking to GameSpot, this is due to a desire to better align Remake and Crisis Core, design-wise.
‘This time around the design for the Buster Sword is going to be based on Final Fantasy 7 Remake, just to make sure that Crisis Core Reunion is aligned with Final Fantasy 7 Remake and there’s no discrepancies there in design, Nomura said. ‘With the remake being based on the original Final Fantasy 7, we wanted to sort of keep that all aligned, where Crisis Core is a peripheral story to the original Final Fantasy 7‘s story.’
Sato followed this up with a clarification that there will be ‘no additional story content’ in this remaster, reiterating that Crisis Core will be a ‘faithful retelling’ – in contrast with Remake, a game that implements minor tweaks to the original FFVII story.
While the port was difficult, due to the original game being based on outdated hardware, Sato told Press Start Australia that the process was also deeply rewarding.
‘It’s not just a simple transition from a small to big screen,’ Sato explained. ‘It’s also about, “how do we update the game so that it’s something that current, modern-day players will be able to really enjoy” because there’re so many action games and action battles that players of today have experienced.’
‘We wanted to really bring a modern feel to the battle as a whole, and we feel like we’ve been able to do a good job with that.’
Players will be able to get hands-on and see this transition for themselves when Crisis Core: Final Fantasy 7 Reunion launches for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC and Nintendo Switch in late 2022.