Although Square Enix opted to ship physical copies of Final Fantasy VII Remake early to specific markets and some players have been playing since last week, the review embargo only lifted today.
Final Fantasy VII Remake elicited a considerable amount of hype, with the high expectations that come hand in hand with being one of the most anticipated releases of 2020.
Has Square Enix succeeded?
Going by the reviews published so far, Square Enix has delivered on its promise of reimagining one of the most loved entries in the storied Final Fantasy franchise.
Despite some technical blemishes, filler side-quests, and questionable narrative choices, Final Fantasy VII Remake stands tall as a fitting homage to the original cult classic with the production value to match.
Here’s a round-up of Final Fantasy VII Remake reviews.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a spectacle from start to finish. You can tell how much care has been taken to bring this story back to life for modern audiences. As a retelling of a classic with plenty of surprises in store, the Remake offers engaging experiences for longtime fans and newcomers alike. Its action-packed combat, engrossing story, and gorgeously detailed setting successfully reminds you why Final Fantasy VII is beloved by so many.
Regardless of what the future holds, Final Fantasy VII Remake finds an impressive equilibrium between its past and its present. Square Enix nods to the original without depending on that familiarity, crafting a distinctive world and exciting combat system that feel modern. The new approach still has rough edges, but that doesn’t stop Final Fantasy VII Remake from carving out its own legacy.
I feel safe in saying that, for the most part, the Final Fantasy VII Remake gave me everything I was looking for. What I think it got right another fan may disagree with, and that doesn’t mean either of us are wrong. Changes have been made, but the core essence and spirit of Final Fantasy VII has been preserved brilliantly. Will it still be enjoyable and accessible to newcomers? That I can’t be so sure of, but I believe so. What future instalments have in store, who knows, but this Remake gives us some beautiful moments in a universe some players have spent 23 years falling in love with. That alone is pretty special.
Final Fantasy VII Remake is not what I expected. It’s a grand, ambitious, beautiful experiment, a bold new take on a game that millions of people remember fondly. It sometimes feels shackled by the weight of two decades worth of expectations, but it handles those restraints with aplomb. I certainly can’t wait to see what’s next. As a great man named Barret Wallace once said: There ain’t no getting off this train we on.
While I’m excited for the next game, I felt deflated for an entire day after the credits rolled. But the journey is completely worth it. Midgar is so well-realised, the main characters are wonderfully done, and the battle system is masterful. I can see myself moseying through the entire 40 hours again. At times it felt almost overwhelming to actually be playing it – like Square Enix had made a game specifically for me. I just wish the loyalty to the source material lasted throughout. Despite that, there’s no denying that this is the best Final Fantasy has been in a long time.
The expectations around Final Fantasy VII Remake are sky high, and it mostly manages to deliver. Its combat is top notch, its enemy variety kept me constantly entertained, and seeing this snippet of story fleshed out with real emotional arcs and the previously hidden humanity behind Midgar filled me with pure joy. The boring RPG filler and Kingdom Hearts-esque convolution that was inserted in between did stop my ear-to-ear grin from being constant, but never long enough to kill the mood completely. That leaves this remake as one that still delivered on letting me relive (part of) a classic in stupendous fashion, while also standing as a great RPG all its own.
Regardless of your history with the original game, Final Fantasy VII Remake is an astounding achievement. The wait for its release was a long one, but in gameplay, story, characters, and music, it delivers–the wait was worth it. For first-time players, it’s an opportunity to understand why Final Fantasy VII is held in such high regard. It’s the chance to experience a multifaceted story that grapples with complex subject matter, be in the company of memorable characters, and be moved by their plight. For returning fans, this isn’t the Final Fantasy VII your mind remembers, it’s the one your heart always knew it to be.
Final Fantasy VII Remake sets out to fully re-imagine a classic RPG with improved combat and an expanded story. Unfortunately, it’s hurt by weak side quests and a surplus of padding, and its biggest change is bound to be controversial. It’s one of the most coherent and enjoyable Final Fantasy releases in years, but it’s also likely to be one of the most divisive.