Few video game remakes have ever taken their remit to recreate, reimagine, and reinterpret their source material more liberally than Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, a game that not only revived a 20-plus-year-old gaming classic for a modern era, but also deliberately set itself up to ask a bunch of questions about where the lines between “remake” and “sequel” overlap.
Now, two years after the game’s release, Square has finally revealed the second installment of Remake, titled Rebirth, which is set to arrive some time “next winter.” (So, presumably either late 2023 or early 2024.) Along with the announcement, the publisher also announced an as-yet untitled third (and, presumably, final) portion of the trilogy, which is apparently already in development.
In addition to the news, the company released a brief story trailer for Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, asking a bunch of questions that fans were also left with after Remake’s deliberately obscure ending, i.e., what the fuck is the game’s mysterious antagonist, Sephiroth, actually up to? It also appears to show scenes from the original game’s memorable Nibelheim flashback sequence (from when hero Cloud and bad guy Sephiroth were still friends) and scenes that dovetail with the ending of well-regarded PSP title Crisis Core (which also ended up being radically re-interpreted by Remake’s ending a few years back, and which also appears to be getting a remake/remaster, Crisis Core: Reunion, announced today).
And if all of that sounds kind of confusing, well…That’s kind of par for the course when a company goes digging into its own history with such artistically enthusiastic aims. It doesn’t hurt that, in addition to its meta-narrative aspects and mining for nostalgia, FF7Remake was also a pretty damn fun game in its own right, with its designers improving on the combat from Final Fantasy XV, making a game that played as smoothly as the pre-rendered cutscenes from the original Final Fantasy VII looked.