Read our full Final Fantasy 7 Remake review.
When is the Final Fantasy 7 remake coming out?
Final Fantasy 7 remake release date: 10 April 2020
The FF7 remake is so nearly here, with an April 10 release on PS4 after literal years of delays. You can pre-order it now. However, developers Square Enix have warned that physical copies of the game could be delayed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
It's worth noting that this isn't technically the full game though. Square Enix has decided that the remake is so gargantuan that it's splitting the story up, so this game will run through to the end of the the Midgar section of the original. Other games will pick things up from there, but we don't know when they'll come out.
While the remake is coming to the PS4 first, it's expected to come to the PC and maybe even Xbox eventually too. The game's box are reveals the timed exclusivity ends on 3 March 2021, so that could be when we see the game appear elsewhere.
You might also want to take a look at our list of the best PS4 games to tide you through to the game's release.
Play the demo now
The other option if you don't want to wait until April is just to grab the game's free demo. Available on PS4 now, the free sample includes the game's whole first chapter (which you can actually watch us play through in its entirety above). Progress won't carry over though, so you will have to play through it all over again when the full game drops in April.
What's changed in the remake?
The first thing to know is that this isn't a simple remaster. Instead Square Enix has built the game up again from scratch, with a whole new combat system, new mechanics, and a story that's been expanded so much that it now won't even fit in one game.
As explained in brief above, the version of the game that ships on April 10 will only cover the story up until when Cloud et al. escape from Midgar City - everything beyond that will be saved for a future game - or games.
That doesn't mean this release will be short though. Split across two Blu-ray discs, the game will apparently be the same length as any mainline Final Fantasy game - so by the end of things, the full remake could be two or three times the length of a standard Final Fantasy!
"It will essentially be a full scale game for each part of the multi-part series. In 13, each instalment told the story from a different angle. It was kind of like approaching an unknown territory in a sense," producer Yoshinori Kitase told Game Informer.
The change is partly the result of a shift to a fully animated, voiced experience, which gave the devs the chance to expand on scenes and characters to make them more fully realised, which in turn pushed the game to be longer and longer.
It's not just the story that's changed though: combat has been totally revamped. The new combat system is real-time, requiring you to control Cloud and the other characters to do basic attacks, which build up 'ATB', while simultaneously worrying about blocking and dodging attacks. Once you've built up enough ATB, you can pause the game to select from each character's range of special attacks, spells, and items.
It's a mix of tactical and action gameplay, but you can shift things further in either direction. Attacks, spells, and items can be mapped to button shortcuts so that you don't need to pause at all, if you prefer things more action-based, or you can switch to a classic mode that plays just like the original if you prefer something more cerebral. You get a similar choice with the rest of the party, as you can jump between each character to control them directly, or simply issue commands.
If you want to get a sense of how much the game has changed, read our comparison to the original based on playing the game's first two chapters, or our E3 2019 preview from the perspective of someone who at that point had never played the original at all.
Watch the trailers
When the game was first announced it came with a pure cut scene trailer - no actual gameplay footage - teasing what was to come:
Later that year came the PlayStation Experience 2015 trailer with the first actual gameplay:
Not much else was showcased until E3 2019, when a new trailer appeared alongside the long-awaited release date.
Since then it hasn't slowed down, with The Game Awards 2019 delivering yet another trailer, this time mostly cinematic and focused on Cloud: