When Square Enix officially revealed the hair raising Final Fantasy VII remake trailer back at this year's E3 expo it's safe to say that the long standing fanbase were very very excited, and for good reason too.
Because this isn't just some old ported re-release no sir, if the cinematic trailer and what we've heard so far about the upcoming Final Fantasy 7 is anything to go by this is a complete remaster the likes of which fans have been dreaming of ever since the next-gen consoles arrived on scene.
Information has been coming in in dribs and drabs so far; the recent news that Final Fantasy VII was to come in an episodic multi-part release format may have dampened the excitement somewhat for certain sections of the fanbase, but you can't win them all I guess.
Square Enix's rationale for doing so does make sense though, as FFVII producer Yoshinori Kitase explained that they didn't want to cut any content from the original game, and the only way to make this work on current platforms was to spread it out over several releases.
Translating the entire game onto one disc was never going to work, he says:
"The idea that a remake of Final Fantasy 7 would not fit into a single release was there from the very beginning... As you can see in the trailer, we showed Sector 1 and Sector 8 but in those areas alone, I think you can see a lot of density. When you're remaking the entirety of the original version in that quality, it's not possible to fit it all in one release."
We also learned that we're getting a mechanics upgrade that will likely make "dramatic changes" to the gameplay battle system according to director Tetsuya Nomura, though he promises that the gameplay will still remain faithful to the original so, that's something.
The most recent bit of information comes courtesy of IGN who report that the Final Fantasy VII remake will be running on the versatile Unreal Engine 4 rather than using an in-house, Square Enix specific engine. The C++ Unreal Engine 4 was initially designed for FPS focused games, but it's spread out as it has developed and is now used for a wide variety of gameplay formats like RPGs and stealth.
It might be a little disappointing to some fans that the Final Fantasy VII remake wont exactly stand out from the crowd running on the Unreal Engine, but using this popular system will give the remake a well needed fluidity boost from the original 1997 game.
Speaking of fluidity, according to IGN Square Enix were initially persuaded to use Unreal Engine 4 after being impressed by the fluid movements of Cloud's iconic spiky hair as he moved through the landscape. So at least we know he's going to have some pretty fantastic locks flowing in the breeze, if nothing else.
Taka Kawasaki, the studio head at Epic Games Japan - the developers of Unreal Engine 4 - is certainly pleased to announce this news, describing it as "an unforgettable moment" in the history of the popular game engine:
"We're humbled that Square Enix has chosen Unreal Engine 4 to recreate one of the world's most beloved video games of all time. It is a joy to work with the talented developers behind the franchise, and this marks an unforgettable moment in Unreal Engine history."
For a better idea about how Final Fantasy VII looks running on Unreal you can check out the recent combat trailer and take a look for yourself.