The FF7 Remake Demo is now live! I didn’t think I would ever get excited for this game, because I’m pretty mad/dissapointed in equal measure that the game is being broken into multiple parts to fist us for cash (and I’ve never recovered from FF13). But, when I fired up my PS4 earlier and saw that the FF7 Remake Demo was available now on the Playstation Store, I immediately could not contain my excitement.
All my childhood memories of playing FF7 both by myself, and with my family, came flooding back, and for some reason all of my skepticism over the game to this point vanished in a mad dash to install the demo as fast as possible.
Now as I sit starting at my PS4 dashboard, with the FF7 remake glinting back at me enticingly from my PS4 dashboard, I’m torn between two things. Working for the rest of the day, or closing all the blinds and turning my flat into a blast shelter filled with the sounds of Cloud loudly not caring about anything, Barret’s gun arm going off, and the gorgeous sound of Bolt being chain cast on anything that moves.
One thing I am dissapointed about, which I just found earlier, is that Red XIII is not going to be a main playable character in the game. I hope this doesn’t mean that he’s removed from the game as a whole, and just this episode, or I will be not be happy. Not only are they expecting me to shell out hundreds of pounds for this remake, but they’re now also removing content in the form of playable characters?
Anyway, annoyance aside, the demo is live now on the Playstation Store and you can download it to play now (link included at top of the article). I will be posting a review of the demo tomorrow once I’ve worked through the 3 hours available.
My first thought as the demo booted up was, wow! I spent a good 5 minutes repeatedly exclaiming “holy sh*t” over and over at the sheer awesomeness, feels and nostalgia as the opening music played and the camera panned down to the train at the beginning of the Mako Reactor mission.
It looks and feels gorgeous. My only annoyance with the opening sequence, was how they’ve slightly modernised the music and I wasn’t able to hear the opening sequence music booming at me while Cloud jumps off the train.
Midgar, from what I saw, looks incredible and is exactly how you would picture it, if the original was released with today’s graphics and effects.
The characters are brought to life perfectly, from Cloud’s moody nonchalant attitude, to Barret’s crazy over the top machismo. Watching the way Cloud and Barret interact and bicker back and forth, was awesome!
Jessie and Biggs were also perfect as far as I’m concerned, and remind me completely of the original characters. For an added bonus, they even had Badger from Breaking Bad voice Biggs, which literally made my day.
Any big fans of Breaking Bad will pick up Badger’s distinct throaty tones a mile off, and I thought it was a touch of genius how they have him playing a character who shares similar character traits with the role he’s famous for in Breaking Bad (naive but with mostly good intentions).
Combat is something I have been worried about for a long time, but the combat is awesome. You have the option of using the old school turn based system, but I haven’t actually tested this yet as I wanted to experience the new combat, or the new mixed combat system.
One of the things that you either loved, or hated, about Final Fantasy games were the random encounters and grinding required to level up to beat the harder bosses. I feel like this new combat system will make any grinding and progression a lot more fun, and is actually a welcome addition to the game – this is coming from someone who has been incredibly skeptical about anything that’s not a turn based system for years.
The new combat makes you feel super powerful, and is intelligently done. Clouds moves look beautiful, and you really get a sense for how strong Cloud is supposed to be, compared to his companions. You get to slash and bash the enemies whilst building up your ATB gauge, when you can then briefly pause to fire off a limit break or a spell. This makes the combat way more dynamic and removes any boredom/waiting around for ATB gauges to fill up.
The FF7 Remake Demo only provides us with the first bombing mission, up until you defeat the mechanical scorpion boss and bug out of the reactor, so it’s quite a short demo, at only around an hour.
From what I did see, I have gone from being skeptical to excited and looking forward to the game. It’s beautiful, has great game play and we already know the story is out of this world.
However, the one thing I am still not satisfied on, is value for money and game length. I still feel like breaking this game into 3 separate installments is an absolutely unforgiveable cash grab, and having watched others playing through the first 3 hours of the game on top of the demo, I predict the actual story gameplay (outside of grinding side quests) will be short and underwhelming probably only coming in at 8-10 hours.
I might be wrong, I hope I’m wrong, but as someone who’s played the original more times than I can count, the only way they can flesh out Midgar is to add in a load of side quests and run here do this style grind quests, which I wouldn’t be against in principle to flesh the game out more, but that isn’t what Final Fantasy is about, and it should not justify breaking the game up into 3 installments.
The fact that Red XIII has been removed as a playable character further makes me think the cash grab is strong with this game.
Overall though, it looks and plays great and I am very excited having played the demo and would recommend anyone that’s on the fence get the demo downloaded and become a believer!