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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth | Review Thread

Watching the minnmax review and its gonna be interesting how the ot turns out. This is very much a mass effect 2 situation where its all about smelling the roses and not really pushing through the main narrative.
 

Chuck Berry

Gold Member
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This is one of their team members. No, it's not a parody......

I feel bad for the dog
 

Comandr

Member
This review will contain spoilers. I will talk about the story elements, including the ending. I will spoiler within spoiler certain story elements. I will preface this review saying that I am a long time FF7 fan, having completed the original on PS1 back in the day many times, and many times since. It is because of my reverence for the original material that my views and opinions are intrinsically linked to the remake series, and I think that matters. For context, I 100% completed the first three explorable areas of the game, and only partially completed the remaining. My playtime as of this writing is 53 hours.

Graphics: Some aspects were really astonishing. Some cutscenes were really amazing and I genuinely wasn't sure if they snuck in a CG cutscene during a screen transition or if I was looking at something in engine. Many segments fall apart though. Lighting in particular. There is a cutscene in the Gongaga reactorwhere distant shadow maps are completely culled during a camera pan out in the middle of a climactic cutscene. This looks especially goofy because of the tone of the scene and then... there is a hard line shadow just disappearing and the entire world is becoming less detailed as the camera pans out. Stuff like this is all over the place. LODs, especially shadows, are extremely aggressive, with the sharpest detail only being rendered immediately next to the player. This creates a huge amount of visual noise as you are exploring the open world. Unreal 4 is really showing its age; and I think for a current gen exclusive, nothing - apart from perhaps the geometry density of the open world - screams current gen to me. This could have easily been a PS4 game. Some animations - particularly traversal animations, are pretty rough.

Sound: The music is often incredible. There is so much music in the game, so many themes with tons of variations of each playing all over the place. It really is a joy to listen to. The sound mixing is not great. As someone that plays with a home surround sound setup, the balance was all over the place. Often times you will be looking directly at a character during a cutscene, and they sound muffled like they are covering their mouths while the music BLARES in the background, or ambient noise from local NPCs will come in crystal clear while you are missing important story dialogue because its so muted. NPC shoutout loops were particularly annoying. There was a bit where I was buying and selling in a shop in a town and an NPC happened to be inside as well, constantly repeating a line about trading some fresh vegetables for some gear. This line repeated easily over a dozen times in the minute or so I took to do my thing.

Gameplay: For the most part, the moment to moment playing the game is really where it shines. Combat is super fast and fun, you feel like you have a ton of control over given situations. Perhaps... too much control. This is where the game feels unbalanced. No character has a ton of MP, you may only be able to cast the strongest version of a given spell 2 or 3 times before you're out of MP. But then you often don't ever need to expend MP. The game throws so many different abilities at you that only consume ATB, magic seems almost inessential. Great spells like deprotect, debrave, bio, etc - all the most dangerous enemies are immune to them anyway.

Pray provides a ridiculously powerful group heal for 2 ATB, and on a character like Barret who can generate ATB (and stagger) extremely quickly with his basic attack and other abilities, it almost feels like cheating. From a basic attack, Barret can generate 2 ATB in about 5 seconds. So you can heal the entire party for about 30% of their total health in about 8 seconds. Need to exploit a certain elemental weakness to stagger an enemy? Well don't worry about equipping the right magic materia for that, because all characters have access to a handful of elemental attack abilities that only cost 1 ATB. Negative status effects don't last very long, and wear off after battle anyway. Your character dies? They auto-revive after the fight. Curing conditions mattered more when your characters just stayed poisoned/silenced/dead until you made the effort to resolve that condition.

Then there's the "rest stops" as I call them that the game puts EVERYWHERE. You will often find a bench where you can fully heal at, along with a vending machine and a station to mess with your folio upgrades. The game is so afraid of the player going into a given situation underprepared. This reached farcical levels for me when... the turks steal the keystone at the gold saucer and Dio has his employees CARRY OUT a bench and vending machines into the middle of the arena in a cutscene so you can rest up before the fight. You can even talk to the turks while they're chilling out! These rest stops are everywhere. In dungeons, all over the world map. Even in weird inappropriate places? Nothing breaks up a scene with Vincent being moody like looking over and seeing this.
A5SPvAF.jpg

Speaking of folios... The balance is super wacky. Early on, Barret gets an ability that gives him essentially permanent regen. Cloud gets one that... makes him take 5% less damage while defending. Tifa gets an one that makes her extremely powerful primary ability last 50% longer. Yuffie takes 3% less damage from elemental attacks. So many of the abilities feel completely unnecessary or a waste, and some of them are game changing. In a way, it kind of influences the primary party composition so you have the best team possible. When folios are first introduced, its by a bespoke shopkeeper in Kalm. This makes it seem like oh you better do this while you're in town because you won't have access to this all the time in a menu. But no there are tons of places to do this. So much so that it makes me wonder: Why wasn't this just available all the time to a player in a menu?

The juice you get for completing lengthy side content doesn't seem worth the squeeze; with the exception being... finding all of the springs in the Corel region and unlocking the Tonberry King enemy. He drops an item used in trasmuting an accessory that gives you 30VIT/SPR and protects you from slow and instant death. By this point in the game, the amount of defense you gain from that will probably be better than even any armor you might have. You might spend a bunch of time collecting transmutation materials and leveling that up and making new armor... only to find that the first thing they sell at a shop in the next chapter completely outclasses it in both slots and stats. The best weapons will come from chests you find along main path of the story.

Completing the mog houses opens up a merchant that sells rubies and emeralds that you can find literally everywhere on the ground, and folios for one or two characters that give you an extra 10SP each. For the record, that's two levels worth of SP. But the amount of time it takes to find the mog houses and complete them ... it might have actually been faster- and overall more beneficial to just grind out the levels. To further add insult to injury, you can't simply buy anything from the mog house with gil. They only accept moogle tokens which you can just find rarely in random boxes throughout the world. So get out there and start smashing stuff.

This echoes with much of the World Intel side content, to paint a picture that says "Is any of this actually worth it?" There are no really great unique rewards outside of a small handful, and the best stuff is found along the critical path of the story anyway. Almost mockingly, one of the last side quests available in the game flat out tells you hey thanks for accepting this quest- uh you'll need to complete a bunch of other world intel in other regions before you can continue this quest so... go do hours of seemingly unrelated work and then check back in with me before you can start this one. Side content seems to exist in its own bubble where the designers expect players to complete all of it, but then the benefit for doing so is lesser than ignoring the content completely.

Level design: Some re-imaginings of certain areas are wonderful. Kalm was great. Costa Del Sol was great. I loved the Golden Saucer (aside from the entrance that you take from Corel, which is essentially a utility room? It doesn't make any fuckin sense. A huge entertainment venue would never let an entrance to their park be into an unthemed utility room where the very first thing you see when you step off the transport is a pile of storage boxes and an open employee lounge area.)On the other hand, many dungeons were simply too long. The dungeon beneath Shinra Manor where you control Cait Sith is insufferably long, with his stupid throw boxes gameplay gimmick. You're stuck doing that for close to two hours. The final dungeon is FOUR HOURS long.

And what the fuck happened to Cosmo Canyon? In the original, it's a small, peaceful settlement of native american style people just living with the land and studying the planet. Now it's like some.. hippy tourist trap? Cosmo Canyon is huge and there are hundreds of people there. There's people selling food additives blessed by the planet that make everything taste great. You can buy all sorts of tchotchkes. They have talking circles were you can talk about how you were bullied when you were young for being fat and everyone claps and has group healing. Bugenhagen gives seminars on planetology to strangers, presumably for money.

The level design also doesn't do anything to explain how these people got there. I can't undersell how many people are at this damn place - probably more than Costa Del Sol, and they came on a gigantic cruise ship. There is a small airport, because the designers wanted to give a narrative reason how the players got around the world, but didn't bother to explain how literally anyone else did. So...Hundreds of people got off a plane at an airport and just hiked through monster infested canyons to get to Cosmo Canyon I guess. But you never see any of these people out and about anywhere. There are a handful of inns or merchants out in the wilderness but... no people. There are actually very few monsters even. Combat is relatively sparse in the open world.

If you take a moment to zoom out, and think about it, it's so strange that there are hundreds of people in Costa Del Sol, Cosmo Canyon, and the Gold Saucer, but you never see anyone coming or going. No one is walking around. There's a fucking gym in the middle of the Corel tropics and no one coming or going. This creates a situation that exists BECAUSE VIDEO GAME. The designers wanted the players to engage with this gym and the minigames characters and minigames therein but didn't bother explaining anything else about it. So where's the line? They spent probably thousands of collective manhours building Cosmo Canyon into this huge tourist attraction and tons of npcs and giving them all voice lines and yadda yadda. It was clearly important of them that they paint a picture of what this place looks like... But then it stops at the door.

Part of me wonders if at some point in development this wasn't a FFX sort of situation where you just chose locations from a menu but then they walked that back and quickly built a world to mash all of these locations together. When you are in the air with Cid traveling from major locations, the world below looks especially rough. There are definitely PS2 level geometry and textures present.

Finally, narrative:
This one is messy. Spoilers ahoy. There are quite a few segments that are overly long and drawn out. One that stuck out to me was a flashback of Aerith as a little girl in her final moments with Ifalna where .. you control her and have to pound the streets pressing X to Jason. Many scenes overstay their welcome and I can't explain why other than they wanted to make the story more grandiose. But more isn't always better. This particular scene will not age with the same grace as the original, for example. In 2022, in an interview with scenario co-director Motomu Toriyama, he stated that whispers would no longer be able to alter the plot. Because you killed them at the end of Remake. They're gone. Psyche, they're not. Whispers are back. But now, Sephiroth has his own whispers; they're dark. They fight the white whispers. Who fucking knows what they are. Early on, we get cutscenes of Zack seeing a news report in Midgar showing Shinra ship off dead bodies of our party members. Despite SE's best efforts, it becomes clear that this is an alternate reality. This is a Zack and his world from an alternate timeline. This side story continues and concludes with Marlene, of all people, explaining to Zack that if Aerith, who has since been comatose, wakes up, she will die. She knows this because she shared a vision with Aerith when Aerith rescued her from 7th Heaven in Remake. This is where shit starts to get really murky.

So in Remake Timeline... Aerith rescues Marlene. The contact with Aerith causes Marlene to have a vision of Aerith being killed by Sephiroth in OG Timeline.. then now, in Rebirth Timeline where Zack is alive, Marlene is talking about events from a timeline that ... was altered by Remake timeline. What the fuck. Fast forward to the ending...The Forgotten Capital.
Cloud has to fight both white and black whispers on the approach to Aerith as she is praying. Sephiroth descends. Cloud sees him at the last moment and actually deflects his attack, knocking Sephiroth's sword away. He actually saved Aerith. But then! The screen glitches like it does when Cloud has his episodes, and Aerith is actually dead. But then it glitches again and she's not dead. Cloud starts a fight with Sephiroth, who was actually Jenova, of course. SAFER SEPHIROTH shows up for some reason, and Zack is ... pulled in from another timeline to fight with Cloud. Then Sephiroth ...cleaves reality with his sword and sends Zack to a different timeline. Then Zack is sent to another timeline AGAIN? The entire party is now fighting Safer Sephiroth across different dimensions. Then Aerith shows up from a portal and says she is going to help Cloud settle things. I guess she wasn't dead after all. The fight ends and everyone looks very sad. The group is just staring the lake. Cloud says let's go. Aerith looks over at him. Cut to a different shot and she's gone. So... Cloud can see her, but no one else can. Finally the ending cinematic. Aerith is seeing everyone off while Cid fixes the tiny bronco. Cloud and Aerith have a conversation but no one else seems aware of it.
This whole scenario is like a narrative kick in the balls. You have almost no idea whats going on until the very very end where it's pretty obvious. This is not a satisfying way to tell a story. Jerking the player around with this timeline skipping back and forth.
Consequently, it comes across as a net negative for fans of the original, and a fucking dizzying mess for newcomers who never played the original.

TL;DR: 6/10. Future patches and an editable ini on the PC version will fix a lot of niggling graphical issues. A messy narrative, overlong gimmick dungeons, and unsatisfying side content doesn't balance out the excellent combat enough to make this game really one to remember. It's fine. But it will never be legendary.
 
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Luipadre

Gold Member
Finished the game late last night. Would give it a 6/10. Will update this later with a full review and thoughts.

Highlights: great combat, actually pretty good side quests (odd jobs), some enjoyable supporting characters but many annoying ones. Some genuinely jaw dropping graphical moments. Several times unsure if I was looking at CG or in-engine. Narratively the game is a fucking mess. Enormously bloated. Lots of shockingly bad graphical issues, even more unforgivably during cutscenes. Lots of audio issues, annoying repeat ambient chatter from npcs.

You played 20 hours a day or what? Or just rushed through it
 

violence

Gold Member
I’m still early in the game. I’m not sure about the open world yet. It’s kind of doing whatever every other game is doing.
 

Bojji

Member
This game screams FUN just like remake, they also clearly had fun when making it, it's goofy as fuck in places and I love it. Music is amazing, graphics are super mixed but ok overall.

Ubisoft style open world is not a minus for me, this thing (unlike Valhalla) is pretty much optional and I have fun doing those quests. Normal side quests are The Witcher 3 level of quality but there is not that many of them sadly.

I'm in chapter 7 right and I love it. Remake plummeted in quality in last sections so I wonder how this one will look like.
 
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the assess ability annoys me. Why not once you assess an enemies weakness it then adds a little icon of the weakness next to health bar? Pain in butt trying to remember all the time
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
the assess ability annoys me. Why not once you assess an enemies weakness it then adds a little icon of the weakness next to health bar? Pain in butt trying to remember all the time
When you use assess once you can use touch pad to see the enemies information. Also some enemies takes specific tactics to pressure them instead of just hitting them with elemental weakness.
 
the longer they take to patch the blurriness of performance mode just shows they had NO intention of fixing it until people started complaining
 

Lokaum D+

Member
damn, what is happening with image quality is this game ? so much ghosting and blur, how is the a ps5 game ?

already miss FF16 image quality, hopefully they ll leave unreal and use FF16 engine for part 3.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
the longer they take to patch the blurriness of performance mode just shows they had NO intention of fixing it until people started complaining

They already tried their hand at 'fixing' it in the demo. I doubt there will be any transformative patches for this. Maybe they'll rejigger how the upscaling works and change it from nearest neighbor again, but who knows.
 

Bojji

Member
They already tried their hand at 'fixing' it in the demo. I doubt there will be any transformative patches for this. Maybe they'll rejigger how the upscaling works and change it from nearest neighbor again, but who knows.

They should just reverse it to what is used in 1.0 version. I'm stuck on console without internet connection because I don't want to upgrade and I play in performance mode.

What I found out is that disc version is super polished and fully playable, nice change compared to sorry state many games launched in last 4 years.
 

Go_Ly_Dow

Member
A high 9 from EDGE today for Rebirth


They gave Remake a 7 for reference.

Meta back up to 93 after another 10/10 came in, but will likely drop back to 92 after the EDGE review is added which has a great weighting on Metacritic.
 
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rofif

Banned
Overrated. I would’ve given it 9 or 10 in the beginning 30-40 hours. But 70h in and it sucks for at least last 20-30 hours. Story bits are alright but it feels like it lost the plot.
And I lost any interest in repetitive mini games and open world activities. It’s bloat city.
And while story is interesting and entertaining, it is way too convoluted just for the sake of being complex. It feels like kingdom hearts 3 return dx psp game level of fuckery they did to make it more interesting. In the end, more is not always better. That goes for open world and the story.

I am enraged now and I admit the game is good but sadly it doesn’t capture remake for me. In fact I wonder if I will have worse time replaying remake knowing where it goes.
 

Varteras

Member
The game was awesome, right up until the final stretch. The latter character-specific "environment puzzles" were an unenjoyable slog that overstayed their welcome real fast. One far more than the others. About halfway through it felt like the game's pacing shifted from "Here's a new zone to explore!" to "Yeah. New zone. Probably just do the story and maybe come back later".

There were many story moments I loved to death and, as an OG fan, I got a little misty-eyed. But towards the end, the story suddenly threw so much convoluted bullshit at me. I thought I had a grasp on what was going on, but the final chapter plainly told me to go fuck myself and everything I thought I knew. Leaving me with no real answers, no sense of satisfaction, and a very, very lengthy slog of probably 10 encounters back-to-back. Which you should pray you don't die on, lest you have to watch unskippable cutscenes before you can try again. The end of the final, final, final battle had me blurt out, "We're doing this again, huh"?!

One side activity in particular can die in a fucking fire. I absolutely despised the combat design of one of the characters and only used them when I had to. That said, I adored all of the other character designs and what they brought to the table. Other than one of them, I never found myself groaning if the game forced me to use any of them.

I enjoyed the summons in this one even more than Remake. And one new version of a summon is straight fucking fire and I never get tired of calling it in. The Synergy system was such a welcome addition that I got tons of use out of. Some of them saved my ass in certain fights. While I was happy that the Limit Breaks were no longer something you equipped, being able to use a level 3 Limit Break was a chore to set up and required very long fights. That is on top of having to spend a fuck ton of time in the game amassing the folio points needed to unlock them.

The side quests and Protorelic missions should not be avoided. They provide character development and story beats that you'd miss out on. In fact, the fate of a character from Remake is only revealed through side content. Some mini-games even have their own storylines.

I loved so much about this game but it was sadly soured by a finale that felt very messy. I put 80 hours into it. Could have easily been 100+ as I didn't do literally all side content before going to the end. The last 10 hours were a let down. Hopefully for the third part they tighten up the ending. Because if it ends in a similar way to how this one did, it'll be another Mass Effect 3 situation. A solid start, a fantastic middle, and then a whimper of an ending. I do recall a dev saying Rebirth was their Empire Strikes Back. I really hope that's the case and the ending was SUPPOSED to make me feel this way.
 

Comandr

Member
The game was awesome, right up until the final stretch. The latter character-specific "environment puzzles" were an unenjoyable slog that overstayed their welcome real fast. One far more than the others. About halfway through it felt like the game's pacing shifted from "Here's a new zone to explore!" to "Yeah. New zone. Probably just do the story and maybe come back later".

There were many story moments I loved to death and, as an OG fan, I got a little misty-eyed. But towards the end, the story suddenly threw so much convoluted bullshit at me. I thought I had a grasp on what was going on, but the final chapter plainly told me to go fuck myself and everything I thought I knew. Leaving me with no real answers, no sense of satisfaction, and a very, very lengthy slog of probably 10 encounters back-to-back. Which you should pray you don't die on, lest you have to watch unskippable cutscenes before you can try again. The end of the final, final, final battle had me blurt out, "We're doing this again, huh"?!

I loved so much about this game but it was sadly soured by a finale that felt very messy. I put 80 hours into it. Could have easily been 100+ as I didn't do literally all side content before going to the end. The last 10 hours were a let down.
Overrated. I would’ve given it 9 or 10 in the beginning 30-40 hours. But 70h in and it sucks for at least last 20-30 hours. Story bits are alright but it feels like it lost the plot.
And I lost any interest in repetitive mini games and open world activities. It’s bloat city.
And while story is interesting and entertaining, it is way too convoluted just for the sake of being complex. It feels like kingdom hearts 3 return dx psp game level of fuckery they did to make it more interesting. In the end, more is not always better. That goes for open world and the story.

I am enraged now and I admit the game is good but sadly it doesn’t capture remake for me. In fact I wonder if I will have worse time replaying remake knowing where it goes.
Nailed it. Which really makes me wonder how many of these reviews actually saw the game to the end. There is no way a fair and honest review of this game is getting perfect 10s with that ending. Not to mention all of the technical issues. A 10 is a perfect game. So what the fuck?

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Ending bullshit aside, this game does not look great in a lot of circumstances - and those circumstances are mostly gameplay. You know, the 90% of time you're engaged with the game. How is this game getting 10s all over the place when lighting and textures are absolute shit for a PS5 exclusive game? This is the massively anticipated sequel to a remake of one of the most influential games of all time from one of the biggest names in video games. WHY is this excusable?
 

Comandr

Member
A 10 is not a perfect game or anything close, A 10 is a game where the impact of the games positives vastly outweigh the impact of its negatives.
A 10/10 lets you reminisce about the parts that you think were bad while still smiling because of how great you felt about the game as a whole
This doesn’t make any sense. A 10/10 is a perfect game. You literally cannot score higher than that. That is why that score should be reserved for the absolutely best of the best. These are genre defining games.

The fact that reviewers and consumers are assigning 10s to anything less than a perfect game underlines just how deeply flawed the system and peoples’ perceptions are. This is my whole point.


They’re not?

And how does Zelda get 10s when it looks much worse?

Maybe because they’re good games? Your post is completely hyperbolic and focused on selective outliers if you zoom in or pay close attention to random stuff
I disagree that my post is hyperbolic. When you’re flying the tiny bronco to nibelheim in a scripted, on rails sequence, look down. Those are some PS2 grade textures and geometry. You can see stuff like this ALL over the place.

The way the main character looks in almost all lighting conditions at any time outside of cutscenes is also not “focusing on random stuff.”
 

Lethal01

Member
This doesn’t make any sense. A 10/10 is a perfect game. You literally cannot score higher than that. That is why that score should be reserved for the absolutely best of the best. These are genre defining games.

The fact that reviewers and consumers are assigning 10s to anything less than a perfect game underlines just how deeply flawed the system and peoples’ perceptions are. This is my whole point.

The only thing flawed is you, wanting 10/10 to mean something it never has.

10/10 has never and will never mean "has zero flaws" by anyone who knows what they are talking about, it's not a grade on a math test.
Whatever flawless 10/10 game you can imagine can be worse than a much more flawed game that simply has more to love despite those flaws.

It means the best, not the most flawless
 
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Madflavor

Member
The game is back up to a 93 on Metacritic. It may go back down because Edge hasn't added their yet, but they gave Rebirth a 9. So even Edge thinks Rebirth is the tits.

For reference they gave Remake a 7.
 

Comandr

Member
The only thing flawed is you, wanting 10/10to mean something it never has.

10/10 has never and will never mean "has zero flaws" by anyone who knows what they are talking about, it's not a grade on a math test.
Whatever flawless 10/10 game you can imagine can be worse than a much more flawed game that simply has more to love despite those flaws.

It means the best, not the most flawless
1) why are you making this personal?
2) I never said a 10/10 was “a game with no flaws” a perfect game can still have issues, but not many, and minor ones at that. If you are going to quote me, and then put words in quotations make sure it’s something I actually said?

One could argue that Super Mario Bros for example is a perfect game. It’s easily picked up by new players. It’s nearly infinitely replayable. It performs well, the design holds up over time, controls tight, iconic music and sound. No excess bloat or segments of the game that are drawn out in an unfun way.

The game still has some problems though. There are a number of glitches and bugs in the game. But they are minor.
 
I disagree that my post is hyperbolic. When you’re flying the tiny bronco to nibelheim in a scripted, on rails sequence, look down. Those are some PS2 grade textures and geometry. You can see stuff like this ALL over the place.

The way the main character looks in almost all lighting conditions at any time outside of cutscenes is also not “focusing on random stuff.”

So out of a 100 hour game you are using a single case of a small section?

How is that not hyperbolic?

No one is claiming FF7R is perfect but the game looks phenomenal most of the time
 

Exede

Member
Having a lot of fun so far in the game, i'm on Chapter 12 and played arround 80h.
I like most of the side quests, some great ones that add to the over all experiance are awesome and then there this... side quest i have now in the Gold where i have to fight in mini games and kinda master them to have a chance.
It's the first quest i really consider to skip. But hey that a small part of the game.
Great great game and well worth my money. For me a good 8.5 or 9/10
 

Comandr

Member
So out of a 100 hour game you are using a single case of a small section?

How is that not hyperbolic?

No one is claiming FF7R is perfect but the game looks phenomenal most of the time
I feel like you are intentionally ignoring the various screenshots I submitted. These are all from different points in the game, and the example I gave that you are quoting is also another example in the game. That's why I said
You can see stuff like this ALL over the place.
This is the definition of a repeat issue. If this was just another FF7R apartment door issue, you'd have a case here. And that's just textures. There are plenty of lighting issues. I outlined as much in my lengthy review on this page. This scene is from Gongaga: Look at the parting shot of this cutscene. This is an unavoidable story cutscene. The fading shot looks awful. Culled shadow maps, geometry popping into low LODs. This is a cutscene! The one time developers have complete control over a shot! This fade to black is so jarring it strips the scene of any emotional impact.
 
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YeulEmeralda

Linux User
This review will contain spoilers. I will talk about the story elements, including the ending. I will spoiler within spoiler certain story elements. I will preface this review saying that I am a long time FF7 fan, having completed the original on PS1 back in the day many times, and many times since. It is because of my reverence for the original material that my views and opinions are intrinsically linked to the remake series, and I think that matters. For context, I 100% completed the first three explorable areas of the game, and only partially completed the remaining. My playtime as of this writing is 53 hours.

Graphics: Some aspects were really astonishing. Some cutscenes were really amazing and I genuinely wasn't sure if they snuck in a CG cutscene during a screen transition or if I was looking at something in engine. Many segments fall apart though. Lighting in particular. There is a cutscene in the Gongaga reactorwhere distant shadow maps are completely culled during a camera pan out in the middle of a climactic cutscene. This looks especially goofy because of the tone of the scene and then... there is a hard line shadow just disappearing and the entire world is becoming less detailed as the camera pans out. Stuff like this is all over the place. LODs, especially shadows, are extremely aggressive, with the sharpest detail only being rendered immediately next to the player. This creates a huge amount of visual noise as you are exploring the open world. Unreal 4 is really showing its age; and I think for a current gen exclusive, nothing - apart from perhaps the geometry density of the open world - screams current gen to me. This could have easily been a PS4 game. Some animations - particularly traversal animations, are pretty rough.

Sound: The music is often incredible. There is so much music in the game, so many themes with tons of variations of each playing all over the place. It really is a joy to listen to. The sound mixing is not great. As someone that plays with a home surround sound setup, the balance was all over the place. Often times you will be looking directly at a character during a cutscene, and they sound muffled like they are covering their mouths while the music BLARES in the background, or ambient noise from local NPCs will come in crystal clear while you are missing important story dialogue because its so muted. NPC shoutout loops were particularly annoying. There was a bit where I was buying and selling in a shop in a town and an NPC happened to be inside as well, constantly repeating a line about trading some fresh vegetables for some gear. This line repeated easily over a dozen times in the minute or so I took to do my thing.

Gameplay: For the most part, the moment to moment playing the game is really where it shines. Combat is super fast and fun, you feel like you have a ton of control over given situations. Perhaps... too much control. This is where the game feels unbalanced. No character has a ton of MP, you may only be able to cast the strongest version of a given spell 2 or 3 times before you're out of MP. But then you often don't ever need to expend MP. The game throws so many different abilities at you that only consume ATB, magic seems almost inessential. Great spells like deprotect, debrave, bio, etc - all the most dangerous enemies are immune to them anyway.

Pray provides a ridiculously powerful group heal for 2 ATB, and on a character like Barret who can generate ATB (and stagger) extremely quickly with his basic attack and other abilities, it almost feels like cheating. From a basic attack, Barret can generate 2 ATB in about 5 seconds. So you can heal the entire party for about 30% of their total health in about 8 seconds. Need to exploit a certain elemental weakness to stagger an enemy? Well don't worry about equipping the right magic materia for that, because all characters have access to a handful of elemental attack abilities that only cost 1 ATB. Negative status effects don't last very long, and wear off after battle anyway. Your character dies? They auto-revive after the fight. Curing conditions mattered more when your characters just stayed poisoned/silenced/dead until you made the effort to resolve that condition.

Then there's the "rest stops" as I call them that the game puts EVERYWHERE. You will often find a bench where you can fully heal at, along with a vending machine and a station to mess with your folio upgrades. The game is so afraid of the player going into a given situation underprepared. This reached farcical levels for me when... the turks steal the keystone at the gold saucer and Dio has his employees CARRY OUT a bench and vending machines into the middle of the arena in a cutscene so you can rest up before the fight. You can even talk to the turks while they're chilling out! These rest stops are everywhere. In dungeons, all over the world map. Even in weird inappropriate places? Nothing breaks up a scene with Vincent being moody like looking over and seeing this.
A5SPvAF.jpg

Speaking of folios... The balance is super wacky. Early on, Barret gets an ability that gives him essentially permanent regen. Cloud gets one that... makes him take 5% less damage while defending. Tifa gets an one that makes her extremely powerful primary ability last 50% longer. Yuffie takes 3% less damage from elemental attacks. So many of the abilities feel completely unnecessary or a waste, and some of them are game changing. In a way, it kind of influences the primary party composition so you have the best team possible. When folios are first introduced, its by a bespoke shopkeeper in Kalm. This makes it seem like oh you better do this while you're in town because you won't have access to this all the time in a menu. But no there are tons of places to do this. So much so that it makes me wonder: Why wasn't this just available all the time to a player in a menu?

The juice you get for completing lengthy side content doesn't seem worth the squeeze; with the exception being... finding all of the springs in the Corel region and unlocking the Tonberry King enemy. He drops an item used in trasmuting an accessory that gives you 30VIT/SPR and protects you from slow and instant death. By this point in the game, the amount of defense you gain from that will probably be better than even any armor you might have. You might spend a bunch of time collecting transmutation materials and leveling that up and making new armor... only to find that the first thing they sell at a shop in the next chapter completely outclasses it in both slots and stats. The best weapons will come from chests you find along main path of the story.

Completing the mog houses opens up a merchant that sells rubies and emeralds that you can find literally everywhere on the ground, and folios for one or two characters that give you an extra 10SP each. For the record, that's two levels worth of SP. But the amount of time it takes to find the mog houses and complete them ... it might have actually been faster- and overall more beneficial to just grind out the levels. To further add insult to injury, you can't simply buy anything from the mog house with gil. They only accept moogle tokens which you can just find rarely in random boxes throughout the world. So get out there and start smashing stuff.

This echoes with much of the World Intel side content, to paint a picture that says "Is any of this actually worth it?" There are no really great unique rewards outside of a small handful, and the best stuff is found along the critical path of the story anyway. Almost mockingly, one of the last side quests available in the game flat out tells you hey thanks for accepting this quest- uh you'll need to complete a bunch of other world intel in other regions before you can continue this quest so... go do hours of seemingly unrelated work and then check back in with me before you can start this one. Side content seems to exist in its own bubble where the designers expect players to complete all of it, but then the benefit for doing so is lesser than ignoring the content completely.

Level design: Some re-imaginings of certain areas are wonderful. Kalm was great. Costa Del Sol was great. I loved the Golden Saucer (aside from the entrance that you take from Corel, which is essentially a utility room? It doesn't make any fuckin sense. A huge entertainment venue would never let an entrance to their park be into an unthemed utility room where the very first thing you see when you step off the transport is a pile of storage boxes and an open employee lounge area.)On the other hand, many dungeons were simply too long. The dungeon beneath Shinra Manor where you control Cait Sith is insufferably long, with his stupid throw boxes gameplay gimmick. You're stuck doing that for close to two hours. The final dungeon is FOUR HOURS long.

And what the fuck happened to Cosmo Canyon? In the original, it's a small, peaceful settlement of native american style people just living with the land and studying the planet. Now it's like some.. hippy tourist trap? Cosmo Canyon is huge and there are hundreds of people there. There's people selling food additives blessed by the planet that make everything taste great. You can buy all sorts of tchotchkes. They have talking circles were you can talk about how you were bullied when you were young for being fat and everyone claps and has group healing. Bugenhagen gives seminars on planetology to strangers, presumably for money.

The level design also doesn't do anything to explain how these people got there. I can't undersell how many people are at this damn place - probably more than Costa Del Sol, and they came on a gigantic cruise ship. There is a small airport, because the designers wanted to give a narrative reason how the players got around the world, but didn't bother to explain how literally anyone else did. So...Hundreds of people got off a plane at an airport and just hiked through monster infested canyons to get to Cosmo Canyon I guess. But you never see any of these people out and about anywhere. There are a handful of inns or merchants out in the wilderness but... no people. There are actually very few monsters even. Combat is relatively sparse in the open world.

If you take a moment to zoom out, and think about it, it's so strange that there are hundreds of people in Costa Del Sol, Cosmo Canyon, and the Gold Saucer, but you never see anyone coming or going. No one is walking around. There's a fucking gym in the middle of the Corel tropics and no one coming or going. This creates a situation that exists BECAUSE VIDEO GAME. The designers wanted the players to engage with this gym and the minigames characters and minigames therein but didn't bother explaining anything else about it. So where's the line? They spent probably thousands of collective manhours building Cosmo Canyon into this huge tourist attraction and tons of npcs and giving them all voice lines and yadda yadda. It was clearly important of them that they paint a picture of what this place looks like... But then it stops at the door.

Part of me wonders if at some point in development this wasn't a FFX sort of situation where you just chose locations from a menu but then they walked that back and quickly built a world to mash all of these locations together. When you are in the air with Cid traveling from major locations, the world below looks especially rough. There are definitely PS2 level geometry and textures present.

Finally, narrative:
This one is messy. Spoilers ahoy. There are quite a few segments that are overly long and drawn out. One that stuck out to me was a flashback of Aerith as a little girl in her final moments with Ifalna where .. you control her and have to pound the streets pressing X to Jason. Many scenes overstay their welcome and I can't explain why other than they wanted to make the story more grandiose. But more isn't always better. This particular scene will not age with the same grace as the original, for example. In 2022, in an interview with scenario co-director Motomu Toriyama, he stated that whispers would no longer be able to alter the plot. Because you killed them at the end of Remake. They're gone. Psyche, they're not. Whispers are back. But now, Sephiroth has his own whispers; they're dark. They fight the white whispers. Who fucking knows what they are. Early on, we get cutscenes of Zack seeing a news report in Midgar showing Shinra ship off dead bodies of our party members. Despite SE's best efforts, it becomes clear that this is an alternate reality. This is a Zack and his world from an alternate timeline. This side story continues and concludes with Marlene, of all people, explaining to Zack that if Aerith, who has since been comatose, wakes up, she will die. She knows this because she shared a vision with Aerith when Aerith rescued her from 7th Heaven in Remake. This is where shit starts to get really murky.

So in Remake Timeline... Aerith rescues Marlene. The contact with Aerith causes Marlene to have a vision of Aerith being killed by Sephiroth in OG Timeline.. then now, in Rebirth Timeline where Zack is alive, Marlene is talking about events from a timeline that ... was altered by Remake timeline. What the fuck. Fast forward to the ending...The Forgotten Capital.
Cloud has to fight both white and black whispers on the approach to Aerith as she is praying. Sephiroth descends. Cloud sees him at the last moment and actually deflects his attack, knocking Sephiroth's sword away. He actually saved Aerith. But then! The screen glitches like it does when Cloud has his episodes, and Aerith is actually dead. But then it glitches again and she's not dead. Cloud starts a fight with Sephiroth, who was actually Jenova, of course. SAFER SEPHIROTH shows up for some reason, and Zack is ... pulled in from another timeline to fight with Cloud. Then Sephiroth ...cleaves reality with his sword and sends Zack to a different timeline. Then Zack is sent to another timeline AGAIN? The entire party is now fighting Safer Sephiroth across different dimensions. Then Aerith shows up from a portal and says she is going to help Cloud settle things. I guess she wasn't dead after all. The fight ends and everyone looks very sad. The group is just staring the lake. Cloud says let's go. Aerith looks over at him. Cut to a different shot and she's gone. So... Cloud can see her, but no one else can. Finally the ending cinematic. Aerith is seeing everyone off while Cid fixes the tiny bronco. Cloud and Aerith have a conversation but no one else seems aware of it.
This whole scenario is like a narrative kick in the balls. You have almost no idea whats going on until the very very end where it's pretty obvious. This is not a satisfying way to tell a story. Jerking the player around with this timeline skipping back and forth.
Consequently, it comes across as a net negative for fans of the original, and a fucking dizzying mess for newcomers who never played the original.

TL;DR: 6/10. Future patches and an editable ini on the PC version will fix a lot of niggling graphical issues. A messy narrative, overlong gimmick dungeons, and unsatisfying side content doesn't balance out the excellent combat enough to make this game really one to remember. It's fine. But it will never be legendary.


People complained about FF13 story well that one is actually simple to understand compared to FF7 remake.

I don't know just enjoy the ride I guess? Clearly this wasn't made for those of us who never played the original. You need meta knowledge.
 

Psychostar

Member
Still can't believe this game is real. I loved Remake and the fact they improved on that while jumping into the more open world part of this game, and making the open world elements actually good, is amazing too hear. Easily my GOTY of 2024.

Also, Tifa's bikini, DAMN !!!!! She looking fine lol
Nothing like a bit of motivation to carry you through those crunches am I right? :p I swear those jiggle physics worked wonders on my score.
 

Psychostar

Member
the assess ability annoys me. Why not once you assess an enemies weakness it then adds a little icon of the weakness next to health bar? Pain in butt trying to remember all the time
That's actually a cool idea. I agree that something like an elemental weakness that you are now aware of wouldn't cause too much clutter on the screen to just be able to see afterwards, and I don't see why they didn't add that in because they did it exactly as you suggest in the 'Gears & Gambits' minigame haha.
 
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Psychostar

Member
People complained about FF13 story well that one is actually simple to understand compared to FF7 remake.

I don't know just enjoy the ride I guess? Clearly this wasn't made for those of us who never played the original. You need meta knowledge.
I'm on Chapter 12 and loving the game, but I agree with you! I was having a conversation with a friend and they were very confused on some aspects, and they are coming into the series after Remake, so beyond the odd internet 'spoiler' of OG ff7, they shared your sentiment. I have a feeling part 3 when it comes out will tie things up nicely for you, as they are bound to go into more detail on the important happenings.

I have played Crisis Core, FF7 OG, Dirge of Cerberus and FF7Remake, and also watched "Advent Children" and "Last Order: Final Fantasy VI" so going into things, I am heavily aware of what's going on and as this game is definitely a sequel (or perhaps a prequel? :p) I definitely feel excited that some loose ends in the series might finally be tied up <3 .

My advice for anyone enjoying the game and wanting to get a better grasp is to definitely watch some youtube recap of OG7 and Crisis core ( or just watch "Last order", you can find it on youtube, as that will give you the most important scene you need to have a strong idea of a critical moment that is helpful and it's only 20 mins long)
 
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Go_Ly_Dow

Member
Another 10/10 and 95/100 added to Metacritic taking it to 137 reviews. The exceptional scores keep coming. Along with the 9 from EDGE but not added yet.

User score also very high, over 2,300 and 9.0/10. :)
 

Vyse

Gold Member
Super LTTP. Finished Remake last month and loved it. Wanted a break before I jumped into Rebirth. Was planning on holding off and was playing the Stella Blade demo with Rebirth just staring at me. Popped it in and I am immediately hooked. This game is so beautiful!
 

Danjin44

The nicest person on this forum
Super LTTP. Finished Remake last month and loved it. Wanted a break before I jumped into Rebirth. Was planning on holding off and was playing the Stella Blade demo with Rebirth just staring at me. Popped it in and I am immediately hooked. This game is so beautiful!
Played the Intermission (Yuffie Episode) before jumping in to Rebirth.....dont worry its not that long.
 

sncvsrtoip

Member
Finished yesterday. I didnt play oryginal title so I hasnt feel any nostalgia. First remake was totally uncomprehensible for me so gladly found in Rebirth storytelling and character motivation are defenitely more clear (its going totaly crazy at the end that I had to watch explanation videos). Rebirth is defenitly step above first remake tough I dont understand 10/10 scores. Its massive jrpg with many crazines with weird characters and ukward dialogs, polish though sometimes with suprising low assets/textures. I think could be little shorter so pace would be better, Im tired of mini games in substories tough if somoene like it he will be in heaven here. Even though imo game doesnt have best story or narration it still created in me emotions towards characters, so kudos for it. 8/10
 
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