Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Review 34534

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Review – Even Better the Second Time

When Final Fantasy VII Remake was released in 2020, it fulfilled the dreams of many fans who had played the iconic original PSX game. With its modern take on combat, gameplay mechanics, and fidelity, many felt that the experience delivered wasn’t enough, as it only covered a small portion of the original game—specifically, the city of Midgar. Almost four years following its launch, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth picks up where the remake left off, promising a grand adventure for Cloud and his companions as they continue their journey to find and confront Sephiroth. As the second part of the promised trilogy, will Rebirth maintain the momentum Square Enix built with this ambitious remake project?

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth picks up right where Final Fantasy VII Remake concluded, with the escape from Midgar. Their mission to locate Sephiroth and unravel the mysteries in Midgard begins with Cloud recounting his initial assignment as a member of SOLDIER alongside Sephiroth in Nibelheim. The first chapter mirrors the already-released demo, reintroducing the controls for those who haven’t played in years and other improvements.

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Like the first game, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s pacing is divided into several chapters. While Rebirth contains fourteen chapters, fewer than Remake, don’t be misled, as Rebirth offers approximately twice as much content. With the game no longer confined to Midgar, Rebirth‘s landscape includes open-world environments to explore. Players can expect to journey through various regions, from Grasslands to Junon, Junon to Gongaga, Gongaga to Cosmo Canyon, and beyond.

With a shift to an open-world format, players will embark on their extensive journey through the Grassland Region of Kalm immediately after completing the initial Nibelheim flashback. To encourage exploration in each region, Chadley, a familiar face from the first game, returns to provide players with insight. For each region, Chadley will assign various tasks called World Intel. Each region’s Cloud visits will offer different methods to make exploration more manageable. Whether utilizing a Chocobo that can climb cliffs, glide through the wind, or employ a buggy to cross the desert, a mode of transportation is available in each region players explore.

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Wondrous New Locations

There is a wealth of content to unlock, from activating towers that reveal additional intel to hunting down monsters and scouring for treasures with a Chocobo. The sheer amount of content awaiting discovery is staggering, yet it’s a welcome addition as each piece of intel expands on Final Fantasy VII Rebirth‘s lore. Unlike in the original game, where some players may have felt the lore was lacking, Rebirth offers far more for players to become invested in the world, its characters, and every aspect of the Final Fantasy VII universe.

Without revealing too much of the game’s narrative, it’s important to note that Rebirth‘s retelling of events from the original game is not a strict one-to-one recreation. While many memorable and iconic scenes from the original are present, players should approach the game with an open mind. The developers made additions and changes to enhance the overall experience. When I played through the game, I felt an initial rush of nostalgia. However, the additions/changes deepened my understanding and appreciation for this iconic story.

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Powerful Combos

Furthermore, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth introduces a relationship system where Cloud can form stronger bonds with other characters throughout the game. There are several instances in which players will be presented with choices for Cloud to make, which will either deepen their relationships with said characters or not. These bonds will significantly impact later events, such as a dating scene while riding the Gondola or elsewhere.

Up to this point, many may have questioned the true purpose of Zack’s appearance in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, and the changes it brings to the story. I suggest allowing the story to unfold naturally; everything will become apparent in due time.

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Among the many Final Fantasy games I’ve played in the past, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth stands out as the JRPG that taught me to appreciate storytelling and occasionally reminded me to take breaks. Thankfully, Rebirth offers numerous diversions to steer players away from its phenomenal storytelling. The game’s side activities are extensive, meaning experiences in the Grassland Region won’t necessarily mirror those in Junon or Nibelheim. The sheer volume of side activities is so vast that players will undoubtedly appreciate developers’ efforts to ensure diverse content.

One of the activities that genuinely captivated me was the new card game called Queen’s Blood. In Queen’s Blood, the objective is to claim as much territory as possible on a 3×6 board before all spots are filled. Scoring is determined by the number of cards each player has on each row. As players journey through the world, there are various NPCs you can challenge. Winning matches gives you new cards to strengthen your deck further. Beyond mere challenges, Queen’s Blood also offers opportunities to participate in tournaments, such as those held in Gold Saucer, and collect Legendary Cards. Moreover, the game features an intriguing backstory that adds depth to the experience.

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Fun Activities

In addition to Queen’s Blood, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth offers other activities like Fort Condor. The abundance of mini-games in Rebirth surpasses that of the Remake. Unlike in the Remake, where mini-games can become repetitive, those in Rebirth are diverse and integrated throughout the experience. I have never enjoyed mini-games as much as those found in Rebirth. However, one drawback worth mentioning is the occasional clunkiness of the controls in some side activities. Whether it’s controlling ships in Gold Saucer or dealing with awkward controls during rail shooting segments, it can be a bit frustrating at times. Furthermore, the game’s attempt at stealth is underwhelming and can be annoying, especially when trying to sneak behind a Chocobo to catch it.

Regarding combat, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth further refined the combat system. Those looking for a challenge have dynamic mode where enemy levels scale to the player characters. This eliminates the ability to overpower/level those around you.

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Final Fantasy VII Rebirth also offers more customization through the Folio System. This works similarly to a traditional skill tree. Skill points (SP) are given when character levels and can be used to purchase unique synergy or character skills. Synergy Skills enable two active characters to execute combined attacks that buff the party or add an ATB (Active Time Battle) slot for more attack options. Since there are various instances where players need to use certain characters, it’s recommended to level up everyone’s skills to make them more competitive when the time comes.

In Rebirth, the player’s top priority will be strengthening characters and engaging in other activities. Unlike Remake, where the level cap is 50, players can reach 70. Another activity where players’ combat skills will be tested is the return of Chadley’s combat simulator. The number of combat simulations available depends on how much intel players have in each region. This time around, a plethora of combat simulations are available, not to mention that acquiring summons will be similar to Remake, where the only way to obtain a summon material is through Chadley.

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Once again, Materia plays a significant role in Rebirth. To enhance combat abilities, players can access a wide selection of Materia obtained from shop fields or from Chadley using intel points. The number of Materia players can equip on each character depends on the said character’s equipment. Similarly to Remake, each character can equip about three pieces of equipment, which can be obtained in the field, dropped by enemies, or crafted.

Item crafting is another significant feature introduced in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. While exploring the open world, players will scour for materials scattered virtually everywhere. The variety of materials uncovered will prove helpful when crafting items such as potions, accessories, or key items used in side quests. Item crafting is particularly beneficial, considering items purchased from stores like Giga Potions can be quite expensive, and earning money in this game is a bit challenging.

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In terms of performance, I have to admit that I’m not overly impressed, but the overall quality is commendable. While I usually opt for performance mode to enjoy a solid 60 FPS, this isn’t the case with Rebirth. Instead, I choose to play in Graphics mode because I can’t tolerate the loss of visual quality in performance mode, even though a patch attempts to address concerns before release. Although the post-patch performance mode improved the blurriness I experienced earlier, I still prefer playing in Graphics mode to appreciate the game in the highest resolution possible. The 30 frames per second in Graphics mode allows me to enjoy the game.

Rebirth runs smoothly overall regarding technical performance, although occasional pop-ins may occur. Fortunately, I haven’t encountered any game-breaking bugs that detract from the experience. As a fan who cherished the original game on the PS One, I’m amazed by the visual splendor of Rebirth. The developers have masterfully recreated iconic locales like Cosmo Canyon, the Grasslands, and Junon with meticulous attention to detail, offering a visually stunning experience that pays homage to the original while embracing modern advancements.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Review Verdict

Editor's Choice - Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth shines as a standout game of 2024, offering players an expansive and immersive experience that keeps them engaged from beginning to end. With a perfect mix of nostalgia and fresh innovations, Rebirth surpasses its predecessor in every way. From its stunning open-world exploration to its polished combat system and fun side activities, Rebirth sets a new benchmark for JRPGs. All these things combine to cement Final Fantasy VII Rebirth’s status as a must-play game that will likely remain one of the year’s best titles. Mark

von 10

Editor’s Note: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth was reviewed on PlayStation 5, and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.

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