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Final Fantasy VII Remake: The Kotaku Review

A remake is, by nature, an egotistical exercise. Choosing to revise and re-release an old work of art is looking back at it and saying, “You know what? I could do this better.”

Sometimes that turns out to be true. Sometimes it turns out to be horribly false. And sometimes, a release comes out that leaves you stunned, wondering what just happened and questioning the very nature of what it means to remake a video game. Must it be a graphical overhaul, faithfully recreating a classic work for modern sensibilities? Or can a remake be an opportunity to right old wrongs, to undo past injustices, to change the nature of your characters’ destinies?

Final Fantasy VII Remake, out on April 10 for the PlayStation 4, is a brand new video game wearing Final Fantasy VII’s skin. This remake is still a third-person role-playing game that blends fantasy with cyberpunk. It stars the same characters and explores the same events as the seventh and most popular mainline Final Fantasy, which was released in 1997. Yet this game is also an entirely different creature. For the bulk of its run time, Final Fantasy VII Remake is a glorious retelling of Final Fantasy VII’s story. It expands, tweaks, and fleshes out parts of the game that we’d previously never seen. It takes the first five hours of Final Fantasy VII—which make up about a tenth of the original game—and transforms them into a 40-hour extravaganza, with a new script, a new combat system, and all sorts of new characters.

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