With much fanfare, the Final Fantasy VII Remake is now finally on the Playstation 5. While the original version on the Playstation 4 was decent, the aging hardware obviously held back Square Enix’s original vision for the game. Now, on the Playstation 5, we can finally see what the game was originally meant to be…and it’s a doozy.
With a ton of hours in the original game (you can read my review here), does the Playstation 5 version warrant another playthrough?
Read on and find out!
What is Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade?
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is an upgraded version of Final Fantasy VII Remake (a single player action RPG) for the Playstation 5. Developed and published by Square Enix, the game is an exclusive for the console. Our review code was from the awesome guys at Square Enix Asia!
If you own the original game digitally or on disc for the Playstation 4, the Intergrade update is free for you when you download the game on the Playstation 5. You can even bring over your save from the older console, though I advise just starting all over so you can nab the new trophies.
Since I’ve done the original game’s review and there are no major gameplay additions (only an optional Simulator battle against Weiss is added to the main game after beating INTERmission) to the game (I’ve reviewed the INTERmission DLC separately here), I’ll just be jumping right into the new additions and whether they’re worth the price of replaying the game again.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade mainly upgrades the game’s visuals, adds some cooler lighting effects and a photo mode.
Oh and all the DLC from the Playstation 4 version is now free. YAY!
Unfortunately, Ramuh, the new summon from INTERmission, can’t be brought over.
It also gives you the option of two gameplay mode; Performance (which gives you a 60FPS framerate at the cost of visuals) and Graphics (which targets a 30FPS frame rate, 4K resolution and other graphical bells and whistles).
Hands down, the best mode to play the game with is Performance.
That 60fps framerate is a night and day difference. While the game is the same, the increased FPS means it’s more responsive and looks better in motion. Once you’ve tried the Performance mode, going into the Graphics mode is like a punishment.
Maybe it’s just me…but I’m actually fine with how the game looks on Performance mode. Yes, I know the game looks much better on the Graphics setting, but I’ll take a higher framerate than sharper visuals any day of the week.
Even then though, the 4K visuals aren’t really that big of a deal especially when the base game already looks so damn good!
Take a look for yourself.
That’s the same shot I took with both modes.
On the Graphics setting, the only noticeable difference to me were the shadows under the railing on the right, under Cloud and on the textures of the chipped stones. They’re a bit sharper on the Graphics setting, with a higher level of detail on objects that are further away.
Again, the same things are different here. Sharper detail on Cloud and the rocks, more reflective materia on his sword.
Playing on the Performance setting is pretty much like the 4K setting and it’s only when you stop and take screenshots that you can see any difference between the two.
However, I do have to point out that while most game textures have been touched up or improved, not all of them have.
There are still low resolution textures in the game, no matter which setting you’re on. Is it annoying? Hell yes. Does it impart your enjoyment at all? Hell no. It’s just a minor nitpick (and a minor disappointment) but there’s zero reason to put much thought into it.
Photo Mode is the game’s other new addition…which is sadly a disappointment. It’s fine for taking regular photos but you’ll quickly discover its limitations.
Compared to other Photo Modes (such as the ones in Marvel’s Spider-man or Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart), the one in Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is barebones and feels really half-assed. There are only basic settings (angle, filter and some others), which isn’t enough to set up that perfect shot. It doesn’t help that you’re only able to move the camera a shot distance from Cloud, which means setting up dramatic shots is a nigh impossibility most of the time.
The disappointing Photo Mode aside, pretty much everything else added in the Playstation 5 version of the game rocks! Of particular note is the much improved loading times. Due to the Playstation 5’s SSD, everything loads much, much faster now. It’s not instantaneous but compared to the loading on the Playstation 4, it sure seems like it!
The Bottom Line.
Is the game worth it if you’ve never played the Playstation 4 version? Yes. Is the game worth it if you’ve completed the Playstation 4 version? Hell Yes.
If you’ve the PS4 digital version or disc, the upgrade is free. Why not replay it since you can get all the trophies all over again? Unless you got the game from Playstation Plus (which can’t be upgraded to the Playstation 5 version), there’s really no legitimate reason not to replay Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade.
The original’s flaws are pretty much fixed and there are a ton of worthwhile additions (fast loading, 60FPS) that breathe new life into the experience, even if you’ve Platinumed the game on the Playstation 4. Plus, you can Platinum the game again now!
I just wished that Square Enix had included new content to the base game to further entice those who’ve finished the game. New sidequests, weapons or even including the INTERmission Fort Condor mini-game would’ve been awesome!
Despite that, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is still worth a second playthrough, even if you’ve finished the original game. Playing it at 60fps is a totally different experience and more than worth it!
Great game made even better! Upgrades make this version THE definitive edition to play!
- PS5 trophies to unlock.
- 60fps Performance Mode.
- Great gameplay from the original version.
- Faster loading
- Some textures are still bad.
- Graphics Mode isn’t really worth it.
- Photo Mode is basic.
- No major content addition.