Writing Environments: The Three Towns of FF7 Remake

How do video games keep their towns from getting repetitive? The same formula always plays out: arrive, side quests, boss battle, leave.

To keep things from getting boring, some make dramatic location changes. For example, a switch from a sandy sea side to a green valley. Others alter the nature of side quests — You could go from protecting families from monsters to getting swindled by crafty gamblers.

Final Fantasy VII Remake takes inspiration from the above, but it also does something more satisfying. The towns…