English
Gamereactor
Videos
Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth
HQ

Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth - Video Review

We share our thoughts on the second part of Square Enix's massive remake of its iconic JRPG, which now features several new gameplay elements that separate it from its 2020 predecessor.

Audio transcription

"Remakes are the new gold of the games industry, or at least that's how it feels these days with virtually every major publisher looking at the greatest hits of the past to polish them up and give them a new lease of life. We're not immune to this kind of nostalgia-inducing lure, but the endless stream of remakes that are content with just updating the visuals also makes us a little weary. Perhaps that's why the end of the first installment of Final Fantasy 7's remake trilogy was so intoxicating. Already with its wild expansion of the first game's world and contemporary gameplay update, it was perhaps the most ambitious game remake to date, but the ending took it one step further by throwing the original game's entire narrative up in the air and allowing anything to be possible. Now, the second installment is here, and thankfully it still possesses all of the qualities mentioned above. Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is, in short, an excellent sequel and an essential title for all of us who grew up with the 1997 classic as well as those of you who jumped on the chocobo in 2020."

"If you've played Remake, and you should before you dive into Rebirth, you'll most likely know what to expect. A big, colourful, action-oriented JRPG with a lot of heart.
The world itself, however, is markedly different in design, with frequent large open areas replacing the mostly narrow corridors and streets of Remake. However, the open areas are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they are faithful to the original's overworld, and it's great to be let loose in graphically stunning versions of the familiar areas. But, there's no getting around the fact that the activities Square Enix has sprinkled across the world are a bit generic. We're talking towers that activate, battles against particularly difficult enemies, and treasure hunting on the back of a chocobo. However, Square Enix should be commended for linking the activities to several of the game's other systems. By completing the activities, your team's level increases, giving you access to better upgrades in the game's skill tree, and by seeking out temples, you can get to the top of the game. However, you can't get to the top of the game, and by seeking out temples, you can't get to the top of the game. However, you can't get to the top of the game. However, and by seeking out temples dedicated to the game's summons, you can make battles against them more manageable. The more open world is a win for the game, because it contextualises the epic journey that this part of the trilogy is built around. You're simply more immersed in the adventure and the journey when the open expanses reveal themselves, accompanied by the classic overworld theme. It also helps that the world, from a purely graphical perspective, impresses with its open plains, towering peaks, lush jungles, and detailed cities."

"The latter is one of the game's highlights, because as a fan of the original game, it's amazing to see how Square Enix has taken small towns on a few screens and blown them up into intricate, vibrant places. The story may suffer a little from being the middle chapter, but director Naomi Hamaguchi and the rest of the team still manage to provide the game with a start and ending that makes sense. Besides, as we all know, it's the journey and not the destination that matters most, and it's the journey that Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth excels at."

"The dialogue may be on the overly explicit side, and tonally the acting is all over the place, but that's part of the charm, and for us, both the deeply silly moments like a Red XIII dressed as a human and the deeply serious ones like Barret's confrontation with his past hit the mark more often than they missed. Much of your path through the world is still paved by the blade of an oversized sword, but compared to Remake, Square Enix has paid far more attention to varying the experience this time around. The journey takes place on land, water, and in the air, and on land cars, segways and of course chocobos ensure that you don't have to cover the now vast distances on foot. The latter in particular gets a lot of love, each region has its own special chocobo with a unique ability such as climbing walls or gliding from great heights."

"Square Enix also makes great use of the large groups of characters by dedicating certain sections to a specific character. They all have a unique ability that changes the gameplay slightly and creates a much needed dynamic and variety from Cloud's less than thrilling way of traversing.
Despite the greater variety however, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth's biggest problem is the same as the Remakes, a sometimes poor sense of pacing. It goes without saying that with three games that are each almost as long as the original game, new dialogue exchanges, boss battles and areas need to be added and sometimes this helps to create better characters and a deeper world, while other times the game drags out these sections probably due to a fear of being too short."

"Of course we also need to take a look at the technical side of things. Overall Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is a polished product and we didn't experience any notable issues on the technical front. However, the game's performance mode is a disappointment with its rather muddy appearance making it a less obvious choice to play in than it should be. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth does justice to its origins by beautifully updating it for a contemporary audience while daring to tinker with some of the things that some fans might consider sacrilege. The changes may not be as radical, as the Remakes ending suggested, but that's fine. In its current form Final Fantasy VII Rebirth hits the sweet spot between nostalgia and innovation. Square Enix still has a bit to learn about open worlds and they have a bit to learn about brevity, at least more often. But the game is so rich in fun, beautiful and breathtaking moments that you can only be delighted with the game we have now."

Reviews

More

Videos

More

Movie Trailers

More

Trailers

More

Events

More