Final Fantasy 7 Remake: Hands-on With The New Demo
So, last night I had the pleasure of trying out the Final Fantasy 7: Remake demo, and I thought I’d give my thoughts here on what my experiences were. I did play it in full, and admittedly I don’t think that I actually ever played the original. I know, gasp you should – but I was into so many other games at the time, that the Final Fantasy series wasn’t ever really something that I found myself diving into. So, with that, you’ll know that I have no bias on this or anything of the sort. So let’s get started.
So, you start off the Demo basically just like Square Enix showed it off at E3 last year, but obviously it’s a bit more polished and graphically, it’s gorgeous. You start off seeing Aerith, who’s lost her way in the island of crazy pants, and is off throwing flowers like a woman who clearly knows what she wants in life. After this, we see the train stop and Cloud and the gang of super fellas get off. It’s at this point that you’ll start getting hints and pop-ups on what to do, and thank God for that because I was lost. I have played games in the past where you had to stop mid-fight to choose abilities, spells, potions, etc., so it was a nice nostalgic feeling. Overall, it was easy to get a grip on how things worked.
The Combat, Movement & Camera
I have to admit, while I did love the effects and the combat that was being offered… I really hated the camera. I felt like I had to fight the camera over and over to really get immersed in the game, or well, demo. I’m sure this may be fixed and adjusted by the time of release, but during this review, I did feel like it was a constant fight. This was felt especially more harshly when having to combat multiple enemies.
I have a clip of just a small sample near the beginning of the demo, as you go through a few soldiers you need to defeat. You can tell that there’s a bit of a struggle with the camera, and it’s a shame because I really wanted to experience the combat and overall excitement. However, I am curious if this could be remedied by clicking on the lock-on button to focus on one enemy, and thus having the camera turn automatically with you. Even so, I feel you should be the master of your own camera techniques.
I’ve already said it, but the combat felt clean, immersive, and if I may say… gorgeous. The effects and the bad-ass movements once you go into Limit Mode or even Punisher Mode to change the way you attack, was awesome. I did find it a bit weird switching over to Barret for the first few times. Issuing commands from another character felt a little difficult to get into the groove, but honestly I feel that’s just because of the length of the demo, and you’ll probably get used to it and even work it out in better ways as you progress more and more in the game.
I will say though, just like with the camera, the movement felt a bit off. Perhaps that’s just me being nit-picky, due to the camera itself, but in certain situations that automatically lets you jump, climb up/down ladders or go into holes – it felt a bit sluggish and weird. Again, that’s probably just something that I’m personally not used to and will get used to as the game progresses, but being so used to action, fast-paced games, I couldn’t help but feel the difference. But, that’s just me, and I won’t fault the game for that.
The Atmosphere, Audio & Graphics
The game has some of the best graphics I have seen in recent years. As some viewers know, I’m also a musician so audio is in my every day life. The voice-acting, the audio design for walking, fire, etc. it was all perfect. What you would once see in a cinematic scene for video games, has turned out to be the game itself. I applaud the studio for their hard work for this title, as you can tell how much love, passion (probably also sweat and tears) was put into it. Kudos guys. Truly.
As for my thoughts for the demo entirely, I believe the image below can say it better than I ever could. After all, a picture is worth a thousands words – so a 60 fps gif is worth… a lot.