Over the weekend Square Enix had a pleasant surprise for Final Fantasy 7 fans. The company that Cloud built showed off the first gameplay footage of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, running on the PlayStation 4. While fans were mostly in awe of the footage, it was difficult to miss the fact that the footage showed combat that was more along the lines of Kingdom Hearts than the turn-based combat of the original Final Fantasy 7.

After numerous interviews and an official press release from Square Enix, we finally have some official details to share with you concerning what was shown this past weekend and what you can expect from the highly anticipated title. Sit back, grab a tasty beverage and let’s dive into the city of Midgar one more time.

Battle System Changes

The battle system in Final Fantasy 7 Remake will not be turn-based like the original. There’s no getting around that point so get that out of your head right now. That said, most people who watched the gameplay trailer believed the combat was completely action-based, making it look more like Dissidia or Kingdom Hearts as opposed to a more traditional RPG combat system. What we’re actually getting is a mixture of the two that will hopefully satisfy fans of the classic while giving newcomers something to get excited about.

Think of the new Final Fantasy 7 Remake battle system like a more strategic version of the Kingdom Hearts combat system. You’ll be able to control any member of your three-person party, but you won’t need to be good at action games such as Ninja Gaiden. Players will have time to plan out their attacks and formulate a strategy, there’s still something that resembles and partially functions like an Active Time Battle (ATB) meter, but you’ll have to manually execute your attacks and combos.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake producer, Yoshinori Kitase, made it clear that players will still be able to change weapons, use magic and come up with a battle strategy just like the original game. It won’t be a straight action game, and in fact when compared to Dissidia and Kingdom Hearts, Dissidia would be the most action-oriented of the three games, followed by Kingdom Hearts, then Final Fantasy 7 Remake. So expect the game to be less action-based than a Kingdom Hearts title.

Episodic Release Schedule

Final Fantasy 7 is a huge game that took up three discs and feels considerably larger than many of Square’s more recent RPGs. Couple this fact with the graphic fidelity that Square Enix is aiming for and it would be nearly impossible to fit all of that into a single game without cutting some of the material. Square also wanted to add to the game and expand the Final Fantasy 7 universe. To do this the company has decided to split the Final Fantasy 7 Remake into multiple parts.

We don’t yet know how many parts the Remake will be or how much time will pass between releases, but Square was quick to point out that each episode will be the size of a full game. It’s not out of the question to assume that each episode could cover the material found on a single disc of the original game. Going this route you’d have a decent ending point for each game without feeling as though you’re only getting half a game. In addition, with the new content being included in the Remake, it will make each disc considerably longer.

The 20th anniversary of the original release is 2017, so while Square Enix hasn’t announced an official release date for the title, it’s a likely bet the first episode will arrive in time for the anniversary. It also wouldn’t be too farfetched to assume we’ll get each episode no more than a year after the previous installment, but again, Square Enix has yet to announce any official release schedule.

Unreal Engine 4: Advent Children

Some fans thought Cloud’s arms looked a little skinny in the trailer, but that was apparently due to lighting. The development team began with a baseline goal of the graphics seen in Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children in real-time throughout the Remake. With the power of the PlayStation 4 they can make this happen and more.

The graphics on display in the gameplay trailer use Unreal Engine 4 and already look very close if not better than Advent Children. However, there’s still more power to be had as the models will look better by the time the first game releases at some point in the future. If you weren’t happy with what you saw in the trailer, don’t worry because things will improved. If you were already pleased, then you should be happy to know things will still get better.

With Final Fantasy 7 Remake already much further along than most people expected, keep a close eye on Prima Games as we offer more Remake knowledge as soon as it becomes available. For now you can check out the changes you should expect from the Remake as well as everything we know about the upcoming title.