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Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

After a successful first part in 2020, Square Enix is ​​offering the second part of the Final Fantasy VII remake on Playstation 5. We were able to play it in preview.

It's difficult to talk about the history of Video Games without mentioning the Final Fantasy saga. His seventh opus, released in 1997, is still among the best-selling opus of the license today. With a major impact on the industry itself, Square Enix is ​​concocting a remake of the adventures of Cloud and his companions in the form of three separate games and &agrav; destination for the Playstation 5. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, second opus of this major remake project, will be available on February 29 and we are delivering our exclusive review to you. before the release of the title.

Editor's note: This review was completed by fully realized &agrav; from a digital version of the game provided by the publisher on Playstation 5.

An extended but not forced narration

The few lines that follow will spoil the end of Final Fantasy VII Remake released in 2020. This first opus of the major FF7 remake project ended on a surprising cliffhanger for those who had finished the game. the previous games of the license & the time: Zack Fair, mentor of our hero, appeared in bad shape but very much alive. A surprising fate since the latter did indeed die in the original opuses of the Final Fantasy 7 saga.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth therefore begins shortly after this surprising revelation. There we find a very damaged Zack. through his previous fights and who tries to make his way to the top. Midgar while being hunted by the Shinra company. At the same time, we also follow the rest of the adventures of Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Barret and Red XIII who set off to discover the outside world. Midgar in order to hunt down Sephiroth and put an end to his death. his dark designs towards the planet.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

The storyline of FF7 Rebirth takes up the main passages of the original 1997 opus. © Square Enix

Always organized by chapters, the storyline of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth alternates between very restricted progression (based on multiple cutscenes and corridor levels ) and progression in the open world, a great new feature; of this opus. This allows players to choose how they approach the game by focusing only on the main storyline or, at the same time, the main storyline. the opposite, by multiplying additional activities to gain experience and improve your equipment. An experience also driven by the new difficulty of the game. of the title, called "dynamic" and which modifies the level of the opponents according to that of the team to always guarantee a more or less high challenge. We will however regret that certain passages at the dé The purpose of the story does not allow you to return to the open world to return to do missed quests or carry out a few fights to increase the level of the group.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

The composition, equipment and levels of your characters remain an important concept for progressing in the game. © Square Enix

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth also features a brand new affection system for your party members. Whether it's Barett, Red XII, Tifa, Aerith or future members who will join you, it is possible to participate in this event. several activities and side quests in pairs with a character from your team. Carry out these actions and carry out dialogues with them to influence your relationships and modify the dialogues and feelings of some towards Cloud.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

Spending time with your teammates can improve your relationships with them, but be careful not to. your answers! © Square Enix

Like the first part of the remake, FF7 Rebirth takes up the main plots of the segment of the original opus that it embodies while slightly stretching certain passages . Several NPCs thus gain depth and importance in the story, and certain passages become much more fleshed out and sources of new fights and bosses. However, these additions do not seem forced in order to extend the lifespan of the title and the development of the story remains pleasant. follow.

A world as big as it is littered with of quests

Exiting the city of Midgar allows à Square Enix is ​​greatly expanding the playing field for this FF7 Rebirth. If the first opus of the Remake was mainly made up of large corridor levels with a few digressions, Rebirth oscillates between these same passages and larger open world areas. The latter is in particular the opportunity to find many additional activities, fights against monsters and recovery of natural materials. cessaries à the new object synthesis mechanic.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

Items are sometimes crucial in certain fights. You can find them as well as buy them or craft them. © Square Enix

The open areas, however, remain clean à each chapter of the story. The plains constitute Chapter 2 in particular while the mountains are specific to Chapter 4. You will therefore not be able to move freely between the two without going through fast travel and a loading screen.

The open world of FF7 Rebirth is above all an opportunity to carry out several side quests and missions for Chadley. This little android, of ;jà present in Remake, has numerous missions spread across the world map in order to extend the lifespan of the title. Unfortunately, these are abysmal in terms of scenario, and quite poor in terms of gameplay: unlocking a tower to reveal the world map (is -this you Ubisoft ?), get rid of a monster camp, go and perform a few QTEs… Nothing particularly gripping, but these activities are among the main ways to earn experience for your team as well as money to upgrade your equipment.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

You will come across Chadley à multiple times in order to carry out several missions and side battles. © Square Enix

Who says open world says more terrain à explore. This is good news: Final Fantasy VII Rebirth includes several new movement features. This concerns in particular several vehicles that we are not going to spoil here, but also and above all the rise of chocobos. These large birds are &agrav; recover in each biome of the game and have multiple abilities to make you progress faster in the vast open terrains of the title. Each chocobo also has its own abilities. its region in order to explore corners impossible to do otherwise. access & foot. Enough to vary the discoveries and methods of movement in the exploration.

Fights as dynamic as ever

The combat system of FF7 Rebirth is largely taken from the first opus Remake released in 2020. You control a member of the Choose your team to face one or more opponents. Analyze your enemies to find their weak points and exploit them to put them in a “shocked” state. and multiply your damage.

Each character on your team has its own gameplay: Cloud is capable of performing powerful area attacks, Tifa continues blows at random. high speed, Barret can strike from afar with his machine gun, Aerith multiplies offensive and support spells, Red XIII can retaliate enemy attacks… Each player will find the gameplay likely to please them in one of the characters of the group.< /p>

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

Barret proves to be as interesting as ever against the odds. some enemies thanks to & his attacks à long range. © Square Enix

The novelty of the title, the synchronized attacks, allows à two characters to carry out a powerful assault as soon as enough action has been taken. carried out in combat. These attacks, which give rise to small, very dynamic cinematics are a new possibility. to come à defeat enemies and strengthen ties with different team members. These attacks can protect you as well as inflict heavy damage on your opponent. your enemies or grant bonuses à your team (cancel the MP consumption of your next spells for example).

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

Synchronized skills are powerful and result in new skills. small cutscenes. © Square Enix

Summons are also making a comeback. Shiva, Ifrit, Phoenix, Titan and many other Espers can be used during your fights to have a powerful ally at your disposal. &agrav; your sides. However, only 3 Espers are available at the start of your adventure. To unlock the others, you will first have to face them via Chadley's missions in battles. the difficulty raised. Free &agrav; you to measure yourself against these powerful entities with their full powers or to weaken them with a technique that we will not reveal here. The game therefore leaves the choice, once again, to select its difficulty.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

Summons like Ifrit are back, but some must be unlocked first. © Square Enix

Personalization pushed to the level of relationships

In order to improve the performance of your characters, several options are available. YOU. You will obviously find the classic levels there. win by obtaining experience through the fights and quests offered by the game. Equipment also remains a given. e à do not neglect since certain objects can improve your resistance to certain penalties or elements, which can greatly facilitate certain confrontations (an anti-fire accessory against an enemy naturally composed of the same element). eacutement is very effective).

The materia system is also back and allows you to equip the spells and skills of your choice on your characters. The player is free to choose and can very well equip Barret with multiple healing and support materia while leaving the player to choose. Aerith powerful spell materia. However, you will have to take into account that certain parts of the game will separate you from some of your teammates so try not to place a precious material on only one character!

We said it previously, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth places particular emphasis on the relationships you develop with the other members of Cloud's group. This is also felt in the fights and improvements to your skills since some can only be unlocked by increasing the level of your team . A welcome new way to invest in the good understanding of the group and to follow the different storyline axes likely to improve your relations with the characters of the game.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

The relationships between Cloud and his companions are at the very heart of the gameplay of FF7 Rebirth. © Square Enix

Mini-games à the shovel

In addition to the confrontations and side quests, the world of FF7 Rebirth is overflowing with different mini-games that can keep you entertained for several hours. The most prominent is certainly 'Queen's Blood', a strategic card game which is reminiscent of "Triple Triad" from FF8 and FF14. The goal is quite similar: to have cards of varying values ​​in order to win the most points and prevail over your opponent's game. An activity quite pleasant, but which is perhaps a little too omnipresent throughout Cloud's adventures (fortunately, the most imposing passages concerning "Queen's Blood can ' be ignored by the player).

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

The mini card game "Queen's Blood" is omnipresent in FF7 Rebirth. It consists of & Accumulate more points than your opponent via cards arranged on a board. © Square Enix

Those who participated &agrav; The first demo of the game has already been shown in detail. was able to take part in the Piano mini-game which allows you to replay several melodies following a rhythm and very precise notes. FF7 Rebirth doesn't stop there  since the player discovers many other mini-games during his adventure in order to take a few welcome breaks between two challenging chapters in action or emotions.

Sublime graphics for a level design that oscillates

If Final Fantasy 7 Remake had excellent graphics, the game felt a little too restricted to the environments of Midgar and its slums. From then on, it was complicated to move forward. for the Square Enix teams to really shine in terms of level design diversification.

Fortunately, the opening & multiple biomes and environments allows the studio to show all their talent for this Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. The levels covered are varied, ranging from vast green plains to dry mountains and caves illuminated only by the light of crystals. If we do not necessarily retain a particular landscape for our purposes, the "wow" effect, the environments explored in this FF7 Rebirth remain magnificent and pleasant & browse (special mention to the cinematics and exhibition plans).

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

The graphics of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth particularly shine during the cutscenes. © Square Enix

The only criticism unfortunately comes from the so-called "corridor" levels. où exploration disappears completely. Apart from two or three branches to collect a chest or hidden materials, these levels follow each other in an almost straight line when they don't block you on puzzle puzzles. ;#39;a simplicity childish.

An iconic and sublimated original soundtrack

It's difficult not to talk about Final Fantasy VII without mentioning its music. The original opus already had, in its time, several melodies that became cult over the years such as the "Victory Fanfare", & ;quot;Rufus Welcoming Ceremony" or the iconic "One Winged Angel". If Remake in 2020 had already happened? knew how to play with our nostalgic chord by offering several rearrangements of iconic titles, Rebirth continues on this momentum with a myriad of titles and sound themes which lend themselves perfectly to ; each situation in the game.

The compositions reorchestrated under the supervision of Keiji Kawamori (already at work on multiple games in the Final Fantasy franchise) are extremely pleasant à listen, whether in-game or even outside. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth even features a brand new composition by Nobue Uematsu himself (the flagship composer of the license) titled & ;quot;No Promises to Keep". Attached to the character of Aerith, the latter has already been used in many ways. could be listened to during the last Game Awards ceremony during the presentation of the game to the general public.

Our conclusion to the review of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

Four years of waiting to rediscover the adventures of Cloud and his companions will have been worth it! If Final Fantasy VII Rebirth does not intend to reinvent the wheel, the title takes everything that made its predecessor an excellent remake and refines them a little more .

The addition of social links and different mechanics linked to the understanding and progress of the team makes you want to invest much more in our different companions and to understand their motivations for working together. hear with the latter.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Square Enix refines an already winning formula

The game encourages a lot à spend time with the game's characters. © Square Enix

The scenario also turns out to be very pleasant. follow despite several downtimes (Costa del sol, the Gold Saucer…) designed to take more advantage of the characters and get away from the usual mechanics of the game.

We will, however, regret certain side quests which stand out for their lack of ingenuity. or the passages of the game which are full of little puzzles that are far too easy to be interesting, and only slow down the player's progress.

Passé These little hiccups, Final Fantasy VII Rebirth fits perfectly in the lineage of the previous opus by offering an adventure rich in twists and turns, with combat & spades and particularly endearing characters. Looking forward to the sequel!

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116