A neverending journey into a world filled with emotional highs and lows. A dream come true for Final Fantasy 7 fans.
- System: PlayStation 4
- Developer: Square Enix
- Publisher: Square Enix
- Release Date: April 11, 2020
- Pricing:$59.99 [Standard Edition]
- Rating: T
- Genre: RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://ffvii-remake.square-enix-games.com/en-us
Who it Caters to
The late 90’s was a pivotal moment for the gaming industry, as it ushered in a brand new wave of consoles and games that would eventually help shape the industry we experience today. Nintendo released the N64 to critical acclaim due to piloted titles like Super Mario 64 and Rare’s iconic Goldeneye 64. The system continued to generate steam well into the early 2000s but it was Sony’s PlayStation that continued to remain on the top as it released some heavy hitters such as Squaresoft’s (now Square Enix) beloved Final Fantasy VII. We’ll cut to the chase and say this: Final Fantasy 7 was a game-changer for its time and we now fast forward to today with Final Fantasy VII Remake, which not only blew us away entirely, but proved that this title was destined to be successful the moment it was revealed. If you’re like us and you grew up in the 90’s, then FF7 Remake is like walking down an illustrious memory lane, filled with emotional highs and lows, that continues to permeate in your soul well after playing the game all the way through.
What to Expect
Fans of the original were given many hints over the course of many years, with Square Enix dropping multiple hints during major press conferences like E3 that something was coming. It was only a matter of time before fans would explode with excitement as the announcement of a full remake would happen, and here we are today talking about this wonderful moment in gaming history. Final Fantasy 7 Remake is everything that you’d expect from the team over at Square Enix, who literally have been working on this title ever since the release of Final Fantasy XV, and likely even earlier than that. A visually stunning masterpiece that takes every shining moment from the original and paints a fresh mesmerizing image that is left etched in your heart, leaving you wanting more from the story as well as the characters. Everything from Cloud’s iconic celebration pose to the monumental moments that take place in the original are all there but revamped entirely to appease to not only the devoted fans, but also fresh new faces who’ve never had a chance to experience the original. There are even completely new scenarios to discover as well such as character dialogue, among other bonuses which we’ll leave you to discover on your own. For now, all we can say is that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a game you’ll dive into and never want to leave.
For Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the game is broken up into parts with this latest title introducing merely the tip of the iceberg in the entire narrative. We see Cloud join forces with Tifa and Barret, as they try to put an end to the tyranny that is Shinra Corporation, with the help from other notable characters such as Biggs, Jessie, Wedge, and of course Aerith. Throughout the journey, players will come to learn about the truth behind Shinra Corporation, as well as Cloud and his relationships with each character along the way. We’ll leave it at that as we don’t want to move onto spoiler territory for newcomers who haven’t experienced the game. Sure, the game is well over 20 years old and players can easily replay the original to see how things unfold, but it’s best to some things unsaid.
This is the one area of Final Fantasy 7 Remake that totally blew us away straight out of the gates. On a visual level Square Enix completely went above and beyond to bring every character of the series to life, even throwing in fresh dialogue to our surprise. The lighting in this game is truly spectacular, especially considering that this game is running on old hardware, but Square Enix really proved that the PlayStation 4 when taken to its limits, can make any game look incredible. From every facial expression to the almost perfect lip-syncing during cut scenes, to even the overall world design of Midgar with each Sector, looks fantastic. It really felt like you were walking through a Midgar that has come to life in such a breathtaking way, as if you could easily jump into the world through the screen and experience it hands-on.
That brings us to another great point about Final Fantasy 7 and that’s the sound and music. This game has brought us to tears on several different occasions and much of the reason can be placed on the revamped soundtrack for the game. Every song from the original has been painstakingly revised and altered to make sure that not only does it retain its charm, but that fans can come to appreciate the new approach with excitement and surprise. Throughout the game, players will be able to collect different tracks, all with their own unique feel to them, creating that emotional spark that keeps you coming back for more. The voice acting was truly brilliant, bringing every character alive and once again creating a very emotional connection between you and what’s happening throughout the story. From every remixed track to the often hilarious conversations that take place between Cloud and other characters is truly something to marvel, and we can only hope that the second part of the remake on the PS5 will do even better. We’d also like to mention that even the NPCs have a life of their own, which totally blew our minds when walking through every sector. Everyone literally has their own unique dialogue and story which just goes to show how much time and effort went into making sure that this game would deliver on all fronts.
Boy did Final Fantasy 7 Remake deliver! This is an experience that, if tried to explain thoroughly, would likely get jumbled up at some point because there’s just a plethora of things for players to discover throughout the game. Small things like wandering around Aerith’s garden and absorbing the picturesque scenery, to simply walking up to a group of NPCs and hearing them talk about the current situation taking place in the game is astounding. Final Fantasy 7 Remake did a solid job of retaining all of the great aspects of the original in terms of battle mechanics, but throwing in an action-style dynamic for newcomers to enjoy. Those who’ve dabbled with the likes of Yakuza will likely be familiar with how Final Fantasy 7 Remake plays out because the two really take advantage of a lot of action sequences, while still retaining the RPG experience that fans enjoy.
To be quite honest, the action-style mechanics implemented into the game help to strike a balance with the slow pacing of the story, allowing players to absorb themselves in the narrative before engaging in intense battles. While some really die-hard fans will likely complain that the remake doesn’t include a genuine “classic” experience, the truth is you can’t please everyone. This brand new experience of FF7 is a one-of-a-kind ordeal and even though we’re close to 40hrs of gameplay, everything about the game still continues to leave us itching to discover more. There are still a ton of Materia we’ve yet to try out in battle, VR missions that we still need to complete, hidden locations that we need to return to, and much much more.
That just goes to show you how much depth there is to Final Fantasy 7 Remake, since you simply can’t experience everything in one sitting and eventually you’ll need to replay certain areas again in order to find what you’re looking for. There were a few gripes, however, most notably texture loading issues and the occasional flimsy camera work during battles, but the overall game itself trumps these small setbacks and you eventually forget about them as you play through. Boss battles are satisfying, collecting rare Materia is a treat, conversing with your favorite waifu is charming, and listening to Barret and Cloud bicker over nonsense is some of the most entertaining dialogue we’ve heard in a while.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
We could honestly go on and on about just how much there is to see and do in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, but that would likely take us hours to write up. Just the Wall Market on its own is a journey and doing all of the fun mini-games in order to earn experience and Materia is truly something special. Sure, all of this can be experienced thoroughly in the original but not to this extent. Final Fantasy 7 Remake brings a nostalgic world to life in a magnificent way and we can only salivate for more content down the road.
- A once-in-a-lifetime experience to replay Final Fantasy 7 in a brand new way.
- The action game mechanics are a breath of fresh air that helps to balance the overall pacing of the game.
- The harder difficulty after completing normal mode is actually very challenging, and feels a lot more rewarding on the 2nd playthrough.
- There’s just so much to explore and discover in the game that you could easily pour hours into just wandering around and looking at the scenery!
- Sadly the game suffers from texture loading issues since there’s just so much for the PS4 hardware to load.
- During some battles, specifically flying enemies, the camera wouldn’t cooperate and created some weird moments.
Honey's Final Verdict:
While nothing in life is ever truly perfect we can safely say that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is remarkably close to it. It delivers in every category superbly and doesn’t leave you feeling jaded after one playthrough. In fact, the game leaves you in such an emotional state of the blues because you just want to experience more. Knowing that it all must come to an end after going through so much, and having to wait for part two to arrive, leaves a knot in your heart. However, for the time being, we all can bask in the greatness and bow our heads in thanks to the beloved passionate team at Square Enix. You did great.