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Final Fantasy VII Intergrade Remake Review PC


 

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix

Reviewed on: PC

Also available on: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5

Release: 16th December 2021

Rating: MA16+

Price: $114.95

 

This game has layers, one moment I am destroying a reactor of the Shinra Power Company, then finding a young girl's lost cats, then cross dressing and beating up a mobster. It’s a pretty fun and interesting experience


Final Fantasy VII Remake is the remake of the classic and incredible RPG called Final Fantasy VII which was originally developed by Square soft in 1997 for the PS1. But being this is a remake rather than a remaster there are quite a few key differences in the storyline and gameplay. Instead of comparing the two this review will be purely on the remake as a standalone.


FF7 remake was released on the PS4 on April 10 2020, the PS5 on June 10 2021 and then finally Microsoft Windows on December 16 2021 as an exclusive on the Epic Games Store. I for one was extremely excited by this as I am a fan of the franchise and have been for some years now and to see a full retelling and revised gameplay of the original had me very intrigued but as only a PC gamer I had to wait until recently.


The Plot



The protagonist of the game is a man named Cloud Strike a mercenary with a curious past as a former SOLDIER, the elite of the Shinra Power Company, accepted a job to assist the eco terrorist organisation known as Avalanche, a group whose primary goal is to destroy the Shinra Power Company led by a man named Barret Wallace, hulking in stature intimidating presence and a machine gun arm. The Shinra Power Company extracts a resource named Mako from the Earth, but Mako is the lifeblood of the Earth so in doing this they are slowly killing the Earth. SPC uses the Mako not only as a power source but infuses it with soldiers to turn them into super soldiers with enhanced speed, strength and unbelievable abilities.

The World


FFVII Remake is set in the city of Midgar, a sprawling metropolis and the power base for the Shinra Power Company. Over the course of the game you see a large part of the city from inside of the Mako reactors to remnants of destroyed urban areas, it does an incredible job of environmental storytelling which in my opinion is very underrated. Each area you visit is more exciting than the last. Every area feels like it has truly been lived in and reacts to your character. During your time in Sector 7 and Sector 5 there are small quests you do. After these quests are done, when you walk past people you can hear them talking about you, this is such a nice little touch as it shows that your actions affect the world around you. These quests aren’t exactly anything overly special to the player but you get the feeling your doing some good in the tough world that is Gaia. From my playthrough my favourite zone has to be the Wall Market, an area exploding with life and intrigue from the awesome Chocobo carriages to the small tucked away alleyways hiding items.


The Gameplay



When you aren’t in combat you can free roam unless a character is guiding you to a certain area and they will react if you try to leave them which is kind of funny. A character named Aerith is taking me to her house and I wanted to look at something real quick, she stops me and says something like “no it’s this way silly”. I couldn’t help but laugh and enjoy the fact that NPC’s react like a normal person would. In combat it has dramatically changed since its predecessor. The original was turn based combat, the remake however has changed to a hack and slash fest which feels so good as you lay into enemies plus the use of abilities and Materia, but in order to use an ability, Materia or item you need actions points which you get from attacking things and running around in the fight, you gather the points fairly quickly in the fight. If a fight goes on for long enough your character gets to use their “Limit Break” a special ability that can really turn the tide of the boss fight, these can be utility like a heal for example or just massive damage. One thing that they did retain from the old school combat is you can access a menu to use skills, materia (magical abilities) and items, when you open this menu time is heavily slowed down. This can be streamlined to using certain keys to trigger an ability or item so the action never really stops. My favorite part of combat has to be the summon materia. So firstly though materia is a small spherical gem that is socketed into a weapon and piece of armor, better the gear the more slots you get. Materia ranges from buffing, defensive, offensive and summon spells. When you use a summon a massive creature is spawned into the fight and brings devastating power with it and when its timer expires it does one final big attack then leaves. There are 9 different summons all up and they just add that little extra spice to the fight.


My Thoughts



I have thoroughly enjoyed the game, the world is fun, interesting and engaging. The graphics on PC are gorgeous, the NPC’s are very well written and voiced and the combat is extremely satisfying, the music is absolutely gorgeous and the environments are very detailed and fun to explore. However the PC port isn’t what I would call perfect, the customisation options are lacking. Graphical stuff I can sometimes forgive, it has enough so I can ensure it runs well on my system but I would like more. The fps drops during cutscenes can ruin immersion, thankfully it doesn’t happen too often. Something that is bothersome is the combat customisation. Instead of using the combat menu mid fight you press hotkeys to activate skills, items etc. But you can only have 4 hotkeys. In some games like MOBAs that is fine as you generally have 4-5 skills but in FF7 you have a lot more than that so even with hotkeys you still need to often use the combat menu for something specific which ruins the flow of the battle. This has always bothered me, the default keys for PC ports are always so strange and weird. Normally with PC games the keys are 95% of the time the same, CRTL for crouch, ESC for menu, I or TAB for inventory, pretty much if you like the standard keys your gonna need to mess around with that for a hot minute, it's not a massively bad thing just annoying. But with all that being said I am loving the game, I’ve clocked a solid chunk of time in it and will continue to do so until the second and third parts are released.



I would definitely recommend this as a buy.


Have a lovely day and happy gaming!


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