Like a kid with a bad attitude or a lackluster HBO show, from what we've seen so far, Final Fantasy 7 Remake triples down on the swearing. To a degree that's a little eye-roll inducing too. Today at E3 2019, we went hands-on briefly with Final Fantasy 7 Remake and saw an extended demo of the game's famous opening moments in a lengthy presentation with producer Yoshinori Kitase, who also directed the original game. And boy, there was way more than Cloud dropping a swear like in last night's Square Enix 2019 showcase.
In the original, Barrett always had a loose tongue. But in the Remake, it's amplified. And it's not just him either: Cloud swears once or twice in the demos I saw; the officers you fight in the hallways of Shinra let out an "oh shit!" on occasion. It's all a bit much, and maybe a little tryhard. Like a game with an edgy vibe trying to prove its M for Mature rating, Final Fantasy 7 is going down a strange path from the dialogue I heard.
Take, for instance, a familiar very early sequence in the original game. In an elevator, Barrett informs cloud about how the reactors are draining the lifeblood of the world: Mako. Cloud barely registers this; he shrugs nonchalantly and he says, "It's not my problem." Barrett says back, "The planet's dyin' Cloud!" But y'know Cloud: dude only cares about getting in and out quickly.
Meanwhile, Final Fantasy 7 Remake lengthens this exchange. "This pump's sole purpose is to drain the planet dry. While you sleep, while you eat, while you shit! It's here suckin' Mako up. It doesn't rest, and it doesn't care. You do realize what Mako is don't you? Mako is the lifeblood of our world," Barrett rails into Cloud in the elevator, a far longer scene than in the original, wherein the original, Barrett comments on the Reactor draining all of life, asking Cloud if he even cares. He doesn't. "The planet bleeds green, like you and me bleed red. The hell you think's gonna happen when it's all gone, huh? Answer me! You gonna stand there and pretend you can't hear the planet cryin' out in pain? I know you can!"
"You really hear that?" Cloud coldy responds. "Damn straight I do." And here's the kicker: a deadpan, "Get help," which enrages Barrett. Cloud at the start of Final Fantasy 7 rightfully sucks as he always has; he strikes me as the sort of person who throws plastic into non-recycling trash cans and doesn't take global warming seriously. Luckily, though, the dialogue's not all as corny as that exchange.
"So for the original Final Fantasy 7, we didn't have things like voice acting; like motion capture, motion performance, or facial animation. Camera work outside of the cutscenes," producer Kitase tells our room during the demo, through a translator. "The Remake really has a greater emphasis on character and storytelling through the use of all kinds of these techniques and also using some new technology."
As bad as the dialogue in the above exchange is, and the attention to minute details helps make the Final Fantasy 7 makeover feel like an even more impressive upgrade from its obviously dated blue text boxes. In some areas where Avalanche is waiting for you to initiate a button press to progress or approach a certain character, you can hear them talking idly; subtitles for what they're saying even appear on the left side of the screen. When Cloud and Barrett have small talk in between combat, Cloud will actually turn his head to talk toward him in a natural way.
Even though it is confirmed to be just the Midgar portion of the game, Kitase promised that it will be the full-RPG game length fans of Final Fantasy games expect. Whether that means more light banter, more sassy comebacks from Cloud, or more cringey monologues, we'll be tuning in when Final Fantasy 7 Remake launches in March 2020. Stay tuned for additional coverage from our time watching and playing extensive demos of Final Fantasy 7 Remake too. In the meantime, check out our full breakdown and observations from the Final Fantasy 7 Remake demo.