Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade Review

Since Final Fantasy VII Remake came out for PS4, the game received raves and many award nominations. Despite adding countless qualities, the game also had its share of flaws, including some technical details that did not go unnoticed by critics and fans.

With the arrival of Final Fantasy VII Intergrade Remake on the PS5, the impression I get is that it’s the definitive version, fixing snags here and there, including some famous ones, and adding a DLC to the package that excites even more for the future of the rest. Check out our full review of this new edition!

Final Fantasy VII Remake seems to have been designed for the next generation

The PS4 (and its generation alongside Xbox One) managed to produce impressive games, even at the end of their lifecycle. However, some games like Final Fantasy VII Remake show that visual beauty doesn’t always hide all the defects and technical limitations that older hardware delivers.

Yes, the game even on PS4 Fat or even on PS4 Pro brings beautiful environments and cutting-edge technology from Square Enix, but also scenes like the door with very low quality, scenes in still images that look like a .jpg and textures that clearly show the hardware limitation. That’s not counting the pop-ins, the famous late loads of visual aspects.

PS4 vs. PS5:

Did that spoil the experience? Certainly not, these are details after all. But they sure didn’t add up, did they? The PS5 version of the game not only brings better resolutions and performance but also fixes all (or almost all) of the points mentioned above, making the experience much more pleasing to the eyes.

Final Fantasy VII Intergrade Remake it has two graphics modes: quality, which makes gaming at 4K and 30 fps, and performance, which brings 60 fps at a lower resolution: 1584p, according to our calculations (Digital Foundry counted 1620p, maybe with a larger and more accurate sampling) . Compared to the PS4 Pro’s dynamic 1620p resolution, which could drop below that, the gain is considerable.

In our tests, we didn’t see resolution drops in any of the modes. Final Fantasy VII Intergrade Remake on PS5, but you can’t rule out the possibility. However, the performance gain at nearly constant 60 frames is a very nice gain for an action RPG game like this. If there are falls, they are so small that they are barely noticeable.

The technical upgrade is nice, but the most important thing is the other improved effects: fog, lighting, textures, bloom effects and more. If it’s been a while since you’ve played or seen the PS4 version, you might pass these improvements, but when you put the versions side by side, the difference is noticeable. Just play the PS5 version for a while and go back to the PS4 to feel the sharp difference in quality.

There are two specific areas that benefit greatly from the new version: Sector 7 and the Upper City of Sector 7 before heading to Shinra. Sector 7, being a larger and less linear area, was the worst textured environment in the game, which includes the famous door that didn’t seem to load (and it really was that way). Rocks, floor textures, pop-in: all negative elements fixed.

In Uptown, we saw the Midgard skyline and the landscape was unimpressive: like a remnant of the 32-bit era, the backdrop was a large 2D rendered image, taking away depth and looking like a cardboard city background. The PS5 version doesn’t 100% fix the problem, but it cheats well! There are many 3D elements in the distance and the mix of techniques hides any glaring defects.

PS4 vs. PS5:

In practice, everything is better, prettier and more fluid. It’s nice that the 4K option at 30 fps exists, but the performance difference is so glaring and the image so small, that it’s simply the way to go. All the improvements added to almost instantaneous loads, which on PS4 took 40 seconds, create a definitive version of the experience.

Some textures are still bad on PS5:

And, the best part, is that the PS4 to PS5 tech upgrade is free, as long as it’s not the version offered on the March 2021 PS Plus. Of course, it’s not like visual perfume would dramatically transform an experience (especially one already very good in that regard), but having the extra dose of refined graphics helps create the immersion in an RPG as dense and immersive as this one.

Fortunately, the next-gen edition doesn’t stop there and there’s one last and very nice new thing: a DLC that tastes like I want more.

Final Fantasy VII Intermission is a gift to fans (but it’s short)

Although it’s basically the same game on PS5, Final Fantasy VII Intergrade Remake has extra content (it’s paid or available in the full edition) that is must-play for anyone who’s played the game on PS4 and is eagerly awaiting more details for an upcoming part 2.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode INTERmission brings the pleasant surprise of putting us in the role of Yuffie, the charismatic ninja from Wutai, in a plot between the events of the main adventure. We won’t give spoilers to the story, but even if it’s a plot of parallel content, it’s well worth it to jump right into the DLC and see more details of the protagonist and her origins.

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Just like the base game did, DLC again gets into the concept of “expanding what already exists”. Any hardcore PS1 title fan knows Yuffie, her origins and motivations for being in the group, but Square Enix has expanded the universe with new characters and captivating plots that sustain the new version of the world of Final Fantasy VII.

The pair Yuffie and Sonon is perfect to balance serious events with good humor, bringing a dynamic of a “big brother” who takes care of his clumsy little sister, who exudes an energetic and cute personality that delights anyone. In the course of DLC events, there are many characters from other expanded titles, like Nero, who come out here. It’s hard to comment a lot without spoiling, but it’s an essential chapter for those who want to indulge in more content.

And, closing with a flourish, the return of Fort Condor is extremely welcome: there are several boards for different strategies and many troops that can be acquired or conquered to improve your game method. It’s a shame there are few battles and the challenge isn’t too high, but I’ll remain excited to see more of the mini game in part 2.

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Unfortunately, everything good seems to be short-lived. I did absolutely everything the INTERmission I had to offer: I explored everything, completed every Fort Condor mission, scoured every bit of the map, and made every possible challenge. Even so, the duration of the DLC reached 6 hours and 20 minutes.

It’s the kind of material that, regardless of duration, is pure quality. It’s the feeling of wanting to progress to learn more about this new revamped series and unfold each event that takes place during the adventure. The famous “better short and excellent than long and repetitive”. It could be bigger, of course, but it’s an excellent material to enjoy during its lifetime.

Yuffie will be fixed to my group in Part 2

The development team has already commented that some elements of INTERmission will be present in Part 2 of Final Fantasy VII Remake – and it’s not by chance. Despite using what came as a base, there are some additions that will be missed if left out in the future, such as new mechanics, minigames and combat improvements.

Yuffie became, for me, the best character in terms of gameplay. Strong, agile and with a lot of versatility in melee and long range attacks. The flexibility of attacking with the shuriken and hurling it over great distances sold me the idea that Wutai’s ninja will constantly be in my party in Part 2. Oh, and did I mention the ninjutsus?

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The most amazing and fun mechanics is to switch almost instantly from slashing blows to ninja techniques, which are a kind of magic that can have elemental attributes with one of the weapons abilities. Fast defense combined with parry matter create perfect parries situations, which turn combat into something like a Platinum game.

The combat pace is so intense that when you go back to the base game, it’s almost like playing in slow motion. That’s not counting the stories that offer unique abilities with control shortcuts and synergy mechanics. Sonon is a much more useful ally in DLC than his companions in Final Fantasy VII Remake, but activating synergy mode is asking for a visual spectacle and a well-crafted battle satisfaction.

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Yuffie and Sonon’s combined attacks are much more efficient and the abilities are quite powerful. The duo’s dynamic is so good that it’s hard to remember that the party is made up of three characters in the original title instead of a duo. Of course, additions and improvements are welcome here and won’t go unnoticed by whatever lies ahead.

The fights we saw earlier were far from bad, but the level is pretty high around here. It becomes a pleasure to play and seek even more any extra challenge, like the Shinra simulator, for the simple pleasure of being rewarded for the correct use and timing of the player’s skills. Even with little time between releases, it’s palpable how the evolution of combat helps make it even more fun.

Worth it?

Final Fantasy VII Intergrade Remake it’s a very interesting combo for players who haven’t had a chance to play the original content on PS4 and, to top it off, it still gets a pretty good DLC in the package. Without a doubt, for newcomers to the experience there is a plateful to delight in one of the most amazing games of the past generation, now remastered with the praise it deserved from the beginning.

Yes, the price is hefty for the initial purchase and we are already starting to see higher prices in the new generation. However, as the base title graphic upgrade is still free, it’s practically impossible not to be a great deal. If you only want the DLC apart, the price is very honest: US$ 20 on the American PSN and R$ 104 on the Brazilian one. Yes, it’s expensive in Brazil, but apart from the context of the high dollar, the content is cheaper than many DLCs from other games. And, it’s worth remembering, that it’s content as good or even better than the base title.

There are few things to criticize here. If there are defects, they are inherent in the original game in terms of pace, mechanics or story. Looking for the egg, maybe having some better-crafted textures would be welcome, but far from what we saw initially. For fans and onlookers, Final Fantasy VII Intergrade Remake it’s the complete package done right.

Voxel Grade: 95

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade has been kindly provided by Square Enix to carry out this review.

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