Impressions of the demo version of one of the most beautiful and long-awaited games of the year.
The first part of the Final Fantasy VII remake will be released on April 10. For the casual gamer, this will surely be one of the most beautiful and entertaining games of the year, but for longtime fans of the series, this is something much more. This is an opportunity to return to the world familiar from childhood and relive exciting adventures, which in the new version will become even more impressive.
On the eve of the release, we played the demo Final Fantasy VII Remake, got acquainted with the reviews of the Western press and collected in this material all the most important things you need to know about the game.
What is Final Fantasy VII and why does it need a remake?
Final Fantasy VII Is a JRPG released on PS1 in 1997. It is the most successful game of the genre (with over 10 million copies sold) and has made the PlayStation brand popular. A huge number of people around the world got acquainted with the role-playing precisely thanks to FF7, and requests for a remake of it have been heard since the PS2 was just born.
It’s still a great game – the original can and should be recommended to every fan of the genre. Final Fantasy VII has a deep combat system (although the low complexity does not really motivate you to dig into it), vivid characters, a rich scenario and a huge amount of content. But all this content appeared in it solely due to the fact that 23 years ago the graphics were primitive, and it was easy to create assets. Therefore, every year the game needed a remake more and more: these days, the heroes of FF7 look simply ridiculous. And the quality of the localization does not do justice to the characters. Final Fantasy VII deserves the best!
How will the remake differ from the original?
First, by the genre: turn-based RPGs are no longer in vogue, so the seventh “final” has turned into an action game. And secondly, the content: cool assets are now expensive and difficult to produce, and as a result, the remake had to be divided into several parts. Now the first will be released, and all of it will be devoted to the events in the city of Midgar. In terms of the original content, this is about a fifth of the scenario – and a tenth of the gameplay. Wherein Square assures that it will be a full-fledged game with a volume of one hundred gigabytes, capable of taking players for tens of hours.
This means that almost every segment will be supplemented and expanded: side tasks will appear, new areas of the city will open. And bosses that were too easy to fill up in the original will be ready to give a long and difficult fight. After all, they used to be simple opponents from the beginning of the game – and now the battles with them should be truly epic.
Air Buster, the second boss of the game, will be completed right in the process of passing the level, and the heroes will be able to spoil the AI of the robot before fighting with him or, for example, deprive him of a strong counterattack
What is FFVII Remake all about?
Its very beginning – what turned into a remake – is mainly devoted to the fight against the evil Shin-Ra corporation. She literally pumps out the life forces of the Planet with her reactors, converting them into electricity. And Shinra also has the strongest army and the coolest technologies. The city of Midgar she built is like a two-layer cake: the company’s employees live upstairs, and the poor people from the slums who do not see the sunlight live on the lower level. Final Fantasy VII is actually cyberpunk: high tech, low life.
Cloud, the protagonist of the game, is a mercenary recruited by Avalanche, a gang of eco-terrorists from the slums, who wants to save the planet from an evil corporation. At first, Cloud avoids the others and notes that he is only interested in money, but soon the confrontation with Shinra will become a personal matter for him too.
In total, the remake will have four playable heroes, of which three can be taken into battle
And how to play it?
As in other action RPGs: run around locations, communicate with characters, chop monsters, cast magic, block and roll. You can evaluate the action yourself in the demo that has already appeared in the PS Store.
Two characters are available in it – Cloud and Barrett. The first powerfully cuts enemies with a sword, the second deals less damage, but gets distant targets from a machine gun. You can switch between them on the fly by pressing one button, and enemies will always hunt for whoever you control in the first place. And rightly so: it would be unfair if AI-controlled partners were constantly spending all their health. And so the protection of the entire team is completely on the conscience of the player.
Your hits and blocked enemy attacks fill the ATB meter, which is spent on special moves, and on magic, and on using items. In other words, to heal, you first have to beat opponents – this is a rather unusual limitation. But at any time, you can turn on a tactical pause and give a command to any of your companions: by themselves, they will continue to save auto-attacks, but all tactical decisions depend on you.
Enemies also have a stun bar, after filling which they will stop attacking and start taking more damage. It is easiest to accumulate with magic attacks of the element to which the enemy is vulnerable. However, unlike Final Fantasy XIIIwhere no damage was done to them without stunning enemies, this mechanic is not so necessary here. If you wish, you can neglect it – and spend magic, for example, on healing.
There are only a couple of small complaints about what is shown in the demo. First, the heroes lack flexibility: it can be difficult to jump away from an enemy attack by “ordering” a combo in front of it. And if the hero takes damage while trying to drink the potion, then he will not be cured, and will spend the ATB scale. Secondly, the promised “tactical mode”, where you only need to choose special moves for the ATB scale, turned out to be an auto battle: the difficulty there is so low that even the boss dies without a single press of a button from the player’s side. At normal difficulty, however, everything is still interesting.
What are we afraid of?
- In the combat system – another Final Fantasy XV: beautiful, but very superficial. The demo so far inspires hopes of the opposite, but they can be deceiving.
- In the gameplay – empty, filler sidequests. There are few reasons for optimism: before that, there were practically no other side quests in the series. Remake director Tetsuya Nomura swears that the developers prioritize quality over quantity of content. Well, let’s check if they have enough talent for something other than the main plot.
- In the script – excessive rewriting of the canon. So far, the discrepancies with the original seem purely cosmetic, but one moment makes you raise your eyebrows: already in the demo it is shown that the reactor was blown up not by terrorist heroes, but by Shinra itself. It remains to be hoped that there will be a weighty explanation for this.
- In locations – excessive linearity. Some journalists complained about this, who had already managed to get to know the game better.
What do we hope for?
- For stunning graphics. This is Square Enix’s flagship release in 2020, and it’s bound to look great. The demo in this regard pleases, but it only features a dungeon-reactor; much more important is how a big living city will look.
- The fact that the combat system will be as dynamic, but at the same time deeper than in Kingdom Hearts… AI-controlled party members have always been the Achilles heel of real-time combat. However, the ability to give them commands on pause and take control of them at any time should fix possible problems.
- That the script will close the plot holes of the original and make the characters even more alive. Already in the demo, you can see a huge number of characters’ replicas: Barrett has five different reactions in store for just one laser attack of the boss. And the localization is clearly better this time.
- The fact that the remake will return almost everything that was in the original, and make the “seven” even better and more holistic.
Even Cloud’s favorite dressing up as a woman remains in the remake
Of course, the new version will not return the feeling that we had in the 90s when we first met Final Fantasy VII. But the return to Midgar and the opportunity to look at familiar events with new eyes is already worth a lot. I’d like to wish the remake of success – if only so that the other fragments of the original FF7 will receive the same colorful rethinking.
Source : Game Informer