It’s been a long time coming. Ever since the rumors flew of a reimagined world of Midgar, fans were curious about a possible remake of the classic JRPG from 1997. Now, decades later, it returns under Final Fantasy VII Remake. I’ve played bits of it in the past, but my first one was Final Fantasy IX, traveling with Zidane and his merry band of thieves and oddities.
The remake was released on PS4 in 2020 to critical acclaim, opting for an action RPG as opposed to the traditional turn-based style it’s adopted in the past. I’m reviewing the game as it appeared on Steam. While that port it has minor frame rate issues, I’ll focus on the game as a whole. I also won’t review its INTERmission DLC, but I’ll save it for the future. So let’s get into it.
The planet is slowly dying, and Shinra: the massive energy corporation is to blame. A band of revolutionary fighters known as Avalanche seeks to cause chaos for Shinra by blowing Mako Reactors, Mako being the planet’s lifeblood. For one mission, however, Barrett hires a former SOLDIER named Cloud Strife. While Cloud seems to be doing this for the money, he’ll need everyone’s help when an old foe returns.
Not much needs to be said about Final Fantasy VII that hasn’t been said already. It’s iconic cast, powerful and touching story, it’s music. The remake takes special care of preserving all of that while transitioning to a new engine and a new combat system.
The combat is heavily action based. String a few attack combos together and slay anything that moves. The game goes through four major characters, only three of which will be active at any time.
Cloud, with his giant Buster Sword, Tifa with her close-quarters-combat, Barrett with his arm machine gun, and Aerith, a mysterious woman at the epicenter of a Shinra plot. The previous game had a lot more characters, but they make either cameo appearances, appear as extra, uncontrollable characters, or don’t appear at all. The two that do appear, Red XIII and Yuffie, exist for a short time, or in Yuffie’s case, appear in the INTERmission side story focusing on the nation of Wutai.
The gameplay is surprisingly smooth for an action game. Switching between party members is swift and you can control their actions without swapping at all. The game enters a slowdown state when you choose actions. It really helps when faster enemies try to hit you, or timing a spell to block an enemy attack.
The story stands well enough alone on its own. It definitely follows a three-act structure but it’s engaging as a whole. Cloud does come off as a bit unlikeable at first, but his character arc grows throughout, especially during his time with Aerith.
All this makes for one of the best entries in the Final Fantasy series. If you’re looking for a grand RPG to play, this is a good place to start. Fast-paced combat, a stellar story, amazing visuals, and a game that’ll keep you glued to your seat.
That’s all for today. If you liked this article and want more from Silver Claw, check out my Patreon where I have all sorts of perks. Moonlight Blade is coming soon. Of course, the story will be free here for everyone over the coming weeks. Patrons, however, will get the full story early this fall, with Chapters 1 and 2 being released for everyone.
That’s all for today. Next post, I’ll be reviewing Stray, a post-apocalyptic adventure where you play as a cat, and I’ll be reviewing A Once and Future Reckoning by Rajan Khanna from Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
Safe travels, adventurer.