FF7 Remake Demo – In-Depth Review by R.N.B. III
2020 is looking to be another that promises more stellar remakes with the upcoming release of Final Fantasy VII – Remake. A fully revised remake of the 1997 Squaresoft classic. From the beginning, I feel that any gamer does themselves a disservice by not at least playing an hour of the original. If not completing the game before experiencing this remake. The reason being is seeing the dedication to detail that Square Enix has taken in this remake. Before the player even presses start, the nostalgia factor kicks in as the original game intro cinematic plays, showing an at times jaw dropping re-imagining of the start of the game. Then we are transported to the start screen which shows a high definition version of the original 1997 start screen of Cloud looking up at a giant Mako factory. The all too familiar melody that has stayed in the memory of millions of Final Fantasy fans begins to play… a striking of a series of chords on a harp in an almost angelic style.
When one can pull oneself away from the beautiful music and press start, the player is then pulled into the beginning cutscene of Cloud Strife and the group known as Avalanche assaulting a Mako factory. The seamless transition from cutscene to gameplay has been pushed to a cinematic artform by SquareEnix, that never interrupts the player from the experience. What does interrupt the player is the tutorials. Heavy laden in the beginning of the demo, it is explained with the basic combat and abilities. While useful, the rate at which these tutorials are issued can be a bit jarring but not annoying. This is in part thanks to the overhauled combat system. Gone are the days of the classic turn-based fighting style and here is the future of the hack and slash beat em up. Don’t mistake that this means that the combat has been dumbed down. Hit points, status effects, and status results such as dodges and misses still spring up over characters heads when blows are given, received, dodged or flat out missed. Coupled with the fluid combat system that allows for the player to flow from character to character (In a way that screams for a co-op mode) as they trade blows and rack up points to unleash stunning attacks that burst with action and color. Fighting enemies is no longer a turn-based bore but a beautiful fight of flashy moves and explosions.
While the PS4 Pro does not quite reach 4k 60fps on this demo the visual are no less gorgeous to look at, players will find ample use of the Playstation share button. Here’s hoping the Xbox Series X version pushes this game to its visual limits. Following the story of the original game you take control of Cloud and Barret as they fight along the other members of Avalanche as they storm a Mako Factory in order to destroy it from within. Here is where I was able to notice the English dialogue firsthand. While not bad and clearly not the work of amateur voice actors, there still was a hint of campiness in the voice actors performance that made me smile. I almost let out a laugh as in the final part of the demo, Barret can be heard humming the FFVII Victory Fanfare song.
Which brings me to the music… hats off to the orchestra and conductor for recreating a move caliber soundtrack for this remake. At any given time you can hear music being played that enhances the games experience, especially the battles. All in all, this demo gives a preview of a hotly anticipated game that is well worth the over half a decade wait.