×
Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What the critics are saying about the Final Fantasy VII remake

After years of speculation, delays, and fan anticipation, Final Fantasy 7 Remake will finally arrive in stores this Friday. However, several critics have already gotten their hands on the game and shared their thoughts on this update of a classic. True to Square Enix's word, it seems that Final Fantasy 7 Remake is more than just a retread of the original. 

The plan is to release this bad boy episodically, with each new release being essentially a full game's' worth of content. In fact, the second episode of FF7R is already in development. With that in mind, you may be wondering how the first installment turned out. After all, considering how beloved the original Final Fantasy 7 is by fans and critics alike to this day, this remake has some pretty massive shoes to fill. Does more game for your buck mean it's better? Don't you worry; we've got you covered.

The good news is that Final Fantasy 7 Remake has received a lot of love. Critics seem to be completely on board for the updates made to combat and graphics. Meanwhile, the gripes about the game are pretty similar across the board. While the overall story and character interactions have been praised, many people are zeroing in on how the game feels like it's been artificially padded to meet that longer run time for the first episode.

The attention reviewers have paid to the game's story and characters shouldn't be much of a surprise. Cloud Strife and the other characters from the original version of Final Fantasy 7 are among the franchise's most popular. Still, the remake appears to have been quite successful in updating the original's story and even making a few surprising changes. This last thing has been pointed out in a few reviews as being worth the experience all on its own.

Kotaku's Jason Schrier has been particularly fascinated by how the game approaches the very concept of a remake. Rather than simply being an update the game with new graphics and gameplay tweaks, Schrier described Final Fantasy 7 Remake as "a brand new video game wearing Final Fantasy VII's skin."

Schrier's review praised the risks the game takes with reinventing the characters and storyline that we know from the original game.

Schrier wrote, "I'm not sure if people who haven't played Final Fantasy VII will appreciate it as much or find the story all that comprehensible. But if you have at least a basic familiarity with the adventures of Cloud and crew, you're likely to appreciate what is one of the most audacious remakes that we've ever seen in any medium."

This audacity challenged Schrier's original skepticism toward the game. As he mentioned on Twitter, he was originally unsure of how the game would turn out, but was blown away by the final product.

Though VG24/7's Kirk McKeand had some issues with some of the changes made to the original game's story, as well as the amount of filler in the plot, he was very enthusiastic about the gameplay itself. "I don't say this lightly, Final Fantasy 7 Remake has the best combat system in a 3D Final Fantasy game," wrote McKeand. "It's like a living cutscene."

Polygon's Carolyn Petit called Final Fantasy 7 Remake "flawed, but fascinating." Petit lauded the game's new content, but likewise felt as though some of it was stretched a bit thin.

Basically, if you're looking at snagging Final Fantasy 7 Remake for yourself, you'd better be ready for a few surprises. If you're one of those fans who has played and replayed the original version multiple times, then you may be unsettled by some of the changes made to the source material. Then again, even longtime fans have seemingly been converted by the new game's ambitious sense of scope and overhauled combat system. It really seems like this is one that fans will have to make their minds up about individually, but it's comforting to know that the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. 

The one thing that pretty much everyone seems to agree on is that the story feels like it has been padded out significantly. This includes the introductions of several new supporting characters, subplots, and side missions. This makes sense, considering this first chapter has taken roughly the first 6 hours of the original Final Fantasy 7 and stretched it into a 40 hour experience.

Inverse's review seems to have summed up just about everyone's thoughts rather succinctly: "For the most part, it's an enormous success, with achingly beautiful aesthetics, a mesmerizing story, and snappy combat. Uneven pacing and the repetitive nature of dungeons keep it just shy of perfection, but overall FF7 Remake is a game to cherish for fans and first-timers."