Final Fantasy 7 Remake gameplay impressions: Chaotic action-RPG hybrid

It's awkward at first, but Final Fantasy 7 Remake has tons of potential to sweep up GOTY 2020.

@DeekeTweak
Published Mon, Mar 9 2020 12:05 PM CDT   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

Final Fantasy 7 Remake is an interesting blend of Devil May Cry hack-and-slash chaos with the fine-tuned strategy of an RPG.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake is kind of a weird game that breaks normal gaming sensibilities. One one hand, it's a pure action game with thrilling combat; As Cloud, you want to slice-and-dice enemies and just spam combos the whole time. But you can't. The game requires finesse and strategy, and for you to pay attention to your surroundings. The battles are dynamic like Dark Souls, so you have to block, dodge-roll, and use items in tactical ways.

That's where the RPG aspects come in. You can slow down time and buy yourself a few seconds to regroup and plan the next salvo. It's a quick-pause that lets you gain your wits when things go awry. But at the same time there's that impending pressure of having to move forward, too. You can't just spend all your time in the menus--you have to adapt on-the-fly to the situations as they unfold.

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Perhaps the best thing about the FF7 Remake demo was how truly big the boss battles feel. There's an electricity to every fight, and the Red Scorpion battle really tested my mettle. The bosses have multiple transitions to keep things fresh and keep you on your toes. Everything shifts and changes, and once you have things figured out, the boss does something different.

It's flashy and fun combat is complemented by immaculate environments and visuals that completely conquer the original 1997 RPG (and even Advent Children). But it doesn't have the same kind of charm, that wholesomeness that's exemplified in gameplay as well as cinematic sequences. It's an upgraded, tricked-out, suped-out version of your childhood to sell to a new modern audience, and yes, it's awesome in its own right.

The game has tons of layered potential and will only get better as more characters join your party.

All in all we think FF7 Remake is truly innovative and will push the bar for Square Enix's RPGs in the years to come.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake will release April 10, 2020 on PlayStation 4.

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Final Fantasy VII: Remake - PlayStation 4

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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