Final Fantasy 7 remake is officially out! Something that fans have waited a very long time now. So how this old game is doing as a remake? Well, the short answer is very well, honestly.
First and Final impression
Graphically the game is amazing, even the cut-scene transition sometimes directly to the game. This means that you need to be ready on your controller as you can switch between video to gameplay in a second. All the places look more alive and are well detailed. Some background sometimes looks very low resolution for some reason. This happens when you go high and look down, everything looks like a flat poor jpeg image. But all the character design, monster, and foreground is really great.
The story is following the original game but with a lot of changes. Everything takes way more time to be done, which frightened me a bit because I wonder if it means that the total game will be over 300 hours of gameplay(?). I personally do not believe that it denatures the original game, that is a choice from Square Enix and I agree with it. This offers an interesting and more detailed experience… but some parts of the game also feel like fillers. I played for example from the beginning to chapter 7 non-stop. but then from 8 to 14 it felt a bit long. Without a spoiler, in some of those chapters, you will be running in a big map back and forth for some quest (unless you prefer to ignore the side quest and just focus on the main story).
The maps are ok. The most interesting ones are in my opinion in mission and not while in free mode. I would have like to spend a bit more time in the good part of Midgar, instead of being able to visit the sewers and wrecked parts of it. That is probably linked to my previous comment: the mission parts are really thrilling and I could not stop while playing them, but when in free mode, I felt the game a bit less amazing.
Plus and minus of the gameplay
The gameplay is really good and I did not felt that the game was too hard except a few bosses (I will probably work on another article with some tips on that). But a few things in battle are definitely broken.
Sadly Square decided to put a lot of cut scenes in battle and, well, if you decided to launch a very strong attack at this moment, you are screwed. What will happen is that you will lose your attack and the MP (magic point) and ATB (the bar that allows you to launch a special attack) or the Limit Break etc. And yes that is a big problem. It can take a few minutes to get those attacks ready, and just a second to see them vanish (but counted as done) because there was a god damn cut scene. That also sometimes makes the difference between an easy fight and an almost impossible fight.
So in a nutshell: if you launch an attack with a cut scene, the enemies can still attack (and kill) you. If an enemy launch a cut-scene, you lose your attack and you are frozen in time during the cut-scene. If you launch your attack just before the cut-scene (for example the boss is supposed to do something when you remove 1/3 of its life) then your attack will do 0 damages. I even had a boss that I killed just before it launches an attack with a cut scene, but it still launches it and died just after it.
I mean, seriously Square Enix? If you plan to put some cut-scenes and things like that in the middle of the battle, you need to think it through. And be sure that there are no such issues!
It took me 38h to finish Final Fantasy 7 Remake and I do not regret any of those. As mention, some battle features are a bit broken, but it does not apply most of the time. And when it does, just need to learn when the enemy will launch some cut-scene and void to do anything important at that moment. The rest of the game is amazing, a sweet reminder of the original game with way better graphics and more detailed story.
I would definitely recommend the game, both for people who played Final Fantasy 7 before and people who did not, as this is still an excellent game.