Final Fantasy VII Remake finally launched for the PS4 last year in April. It was visually gorgeous even on the PS4 Pro but the game did feel like it lacked a certain polish due to the hardware holding back from letting it achieve full potential. The release of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade has basically provided a picture-perfect version of one of the best JRPGs on the current-generation consoles. Additionally, the visual and technical improvements are not the only change as a whole new story chapter has been added in addition to new boss fights.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade provides a similar experience as the PS4 version, but with better gameplay, clearer visuals, and a few more sequences. It delivers the best qualities of Final Fantasy VII Remake to PS5 with significant improvements, but it also carries with it all of the original’s problems. The original game offered a solid narrative and strong main campaign but the side content was severely lacking. This is true for Intergrade as well, with uninteresting and monotonous quests, there are still certain portions that are apparent filler to artificially lengthen the playtime.
The PS5 version is offered as a free upgrade to the owners of the original game, which is a good gesture since it is a meaty upgrade. This doesn’t apply to the new INTERmission DLC which stars Yuffie. Not only the visuals are upgraded along with the resolution, one of the most annoying problems with the original game was its inconsistent quality textures. This is now completely resolved with the jump to the PS5 version. There are two gameplay modes to pick from, one focusing on the graphics while the other focusing on performance.
Graphics mode runs at native 4K resolution but locks the frame rate to 30 FPS just like the original game. Performance mode is what I would recommend for newcomers as well as returning fans. It keeps all of the visual improvements intact for a lower dynamic 4K resolution and sticks closer to 60 FPS. It is a world’s difference apart from the 30 FPS mode on the original PS4 and the Graphics mode on PS5.
Episode INTERmission is a Yuffie-centered DLC specific to this PS5 version of the game that examines a portion of Final Fantasy VII Remake’s plot from a totally different viewpoint. This is easily the highlight of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. This story is set during the events of the main game. It takes place when Avalanche successfully bombs Mako Reactor 4. Yuffie comes into Midgard to steal the Ultimate Materia from Shinra and she has the assistance of the Avalanche group that is different from the one joined by Cloud. Some familiar characters will make their return in the game especially if you have played the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII on earlier consoles.
While Episode INTERmission doesn’t offer a lot of gameplay, as it can be easily completed within 3-4 hours, it is really solid additional content to sink your teeth into before the sequel arrives. It adds a new playable character in the form of Yuffie and a newcomer Sonnon. There are new boss fights to experience in the DLC and it is a nice throwback to the main game since you are exploring the story from a different point of view. It also introduces us to the Deepground, a Shinra facility built within Mako Reactor 0 in the city’s heart.
Think of Episode INTERmission as a filler to the main story. It is more grounded with less flashy boss fights. You are not doing a grand adventure here but more of a minor sidequest. Playing through this episode, you will have a clearer idea of the origins of Yuffie’s country Wutai. Fans of Yuffie will be satisfied because she is one of the most entertaining characters in the game after all.
Yuffie also provides a unique fighting experience. Yuffie’s shuriken may be utilized as both a melee and a distant weapon, requiring players to change up their strategy for each opponent encounter if they wish to succeed. Whereas the original Final Fantasy 7 Remake game places a heavy emphasis on Materia and spells, Yuffie’s innate talents are the true star of the show in the DLC, and knowing how to use them efficiently is crucial to beating the tougher encounters.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is the perfect reincarnation of one of the greatest JRPGs to grace the PS4, and now PS5. The additional story content is a delight to play and the visual and performance improvements are impactful making it one of the best games released this year.
Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher