‘Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’ Offers a Grand Adventure — Game Review

Five years after the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Rebirth is finally here!

Having replayed the Remake and its DLC, Intergrade right before Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth was possibly the best decision I have ever made when it comes to preparing for this highly anticipated release. Based on how I started this review, you can probably guess my feelings about Rebirth. Long story short, FF7 Rebirth is amazing. Personally, it is easily Game of the Year for me but I must admit, it is not a perfect game.

For those who are unsure what FF7 Rebirth is about, the game takes place right after Cloud and his friends left Midgar. If this explanation does not make sense to you, you should not play FF7 Rebirth. Final Fantasy 7 is a narrative driven game so it is important for you to play the games in order.

In this review, I will discuss what I enjoyed and not-so-enjoyed about FF7 Rebirth. While I do not plan on discussing plot details, this review may not be completely spoiler-free. Also, this article is written based on 66 hours of gameplay where I am 89% completed with Chapter 9. So, there is a possibility that some of my criticisms are irrelevant given further developments in the later chapters of the game.

With the disclaimers out of the way, let us begin with what I loved about FF7 Rebirth!

The Beauty Is In The Details

While Remake was all about exposition, playing Rebirth feels like a huge exhale. After leaving Midgar, the world opens for you to explore.  I still cannot get over how massive the world in Rebirth feels. I am an explorative player so having the space to just explore every single nook and cranny just to fill up the map is my idea of a good time. What lends to my immersion is the little details that Square Enix (SE) added in the game.

One detail that might seem minor to many but something I truly appreciate is seeing the whole party follow Cloud around in the open world. Just watching the whole crew traverse through various locations in their own unique manner is oddly satisfying. It makes me feel as if I am truly Cloud and I am on a mission to save the planet with my friends!

I also appreciate that we can see how the remaining party members just watch at the sides when Cloud and the primary party members fight battles. There is also an option where you can call them in for help if your primary party is close to KO.

Another design that is worth mentioning is how Rebirth uses certain environmental tells to inform players of important locations. For instance, the baby Chocobo asking you to follow it so that it can direct you to a nearby Chocobo rest stop, the glowing owl leading you to the nearest Lifespring, or when you smash the glowing rocks, an orb will guide you to a nearby Guardian Sanctuary. These details add a touch of interactivity to an otherwise gorgeous but rigid landscape. 

When stressed, pet a baby Chocobo!

When you are deep in the trenches of gameplay, it is easy to overlook these details but knowing that these little details are there only proves that Rebirth was made by a dedicated team that loves FF7.

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Rebirth never ceased to amaze me over how much content is included in the game. You want to jump into the sea and swim to that small island? Sure. Go on ahead. You want to take a break from the main story and race Chocobos? Be my guest.

If you feel the original FF7 has a lot of mini games, Rebirth takes it to a whole new level. From helping Johnny set up his Seaside Inn to battling Queen’s Blood players on a cruise ship to luring chickens back to its coop, the mini games in Rebirth are endearing and sometimes, outrageous. I believe that the mini games are the reason why Rebirth feels like a grand adventure.

This minigame was absurd but the ending cutscene was epic

While it was all good fun at first, some mini games can be grindy and overdrawn. For instance, I absolutely loathed Fort Condor and the Mooglets minigames. I generally do not enjoy time limited video games, and seeing that failing to beat mini games would mean being locked out from precious materials or weapons drove me mad.

Fort Condor was incredibly frustrating

Considering that there is so much to do in Rebirth, players will eventually experience mini game fatigue. Sometimes, I find myself getting more invested in main story events but is cut short because the game will force a series of mini games on me. I started feeling this fatigue once I arrived at the Corel region. Sure, these mini games will reward players with special cutscenes between Cloud and a party member, but at what cost?

Final Thoughts

Before I go back to continue my adventure with Cloud and friends, FF7 Rebirth is a solid 10/10 for me. Like I mentioned earlier, it is not a game without flaws but Square Enix has successfully executed a masterful remake of a beloved classic. My advice to new players? Play Rebirth like a marathon because rushing it is a great disservice to this masterpiece.

This article was contributed by Yang Safia. When not hoarding books and makeup, she enjoys reading books and playing video games. She has yet to write that fantasy novel that’s been living in her head. Follow her on Instagram or read more of her writing on her blog.

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