Square Enix today announced that Final Fantasy XII, the last Final Fantasy game on the PS2 — and arguable the last true Final Fantasy game — is getting remastered in HD for the Playstation 4 in 2017. The game, which gets a new subtitle, The Zodiac Age, will utilize the Japanese-only job system that allows players to assign hard roles to the game’s cast of characters and takes away from cross-training skills and powers.
Not much else is known about Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, other than it is coming for PS4 (and possibly PC) and that it will hit both Japan and the west in 2017. Square Enix did release an announce trailer that shows the character models looking more refined than the 2006 game on the PS2. The same techniques were used on the wonderful HD remaster of Final Fantasy X/X-2 in 2014.
Final Fantasy XII took place in the kingdom of Ivalice, and followed a street boy named Vaan and a couple of sky pirates named Balthier and Fran as they banded together with a princess, Ashe, and her king-slaying bodyguard, Basch, to stop the empire from being taken over by a madman and his nefarious Judges. Final Fantasy XII has been compared to both Game of Thrones and Star Wars in its epic medieval-meets-science fiction storytelling and very dark themes. The battle system was also the first to do away with random encounters, giving players the opportunity to see the enemies on the field and decide if they wanted to fight or flee.
Final Fantasy XII was supposed to be the first of the new age FF games, but the battle system and designs were scrapped for 2008’s ill-received Final Fantasy XIII, which took away world exploration and put more emphasis on battle management than actual fighting. The fact that Square Enix has remastered the game for HD and is bringing to the PS4 shows that maybe SE realizes that they had a pretty stellar game on their hands, one that was lost at the very end of the PS2’s lifecycle, and now players who may have missed out can finally play arguably one of the best games in the franchise.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be released in 2017 for the PlayStation 4. We will continue to cover the development of the long-awaited remaster.