Earlier this month, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade made its way to PCs as an Epic Games Store exclusive. After having spent some time with it, I will be sharing my impressions of the PC port here. However, it will not be a full review as we already have one of the PS4 version. I’d recommend checking it out for more in-depth details about the game since they are the same game; at least the base game is.
The main difference is that the PC version comes with the Intergrade bundle. The latter includes the base Final Fantasy VII Remake (FF7R) game and the FF7R INTERmission expansion. This features new story content with Yuffie as she teams up with Avalanche to steal Shinra’s most powerful materia.
While it’s a welcome addition, other features you’d expect out of a PC port are surprisingly missing. You won’t find options for motion blur, anti-aliasing, VSync and such that should be the bare minimum for AAA games like FF7R to include in a PC version. It almost feels like Square Enix half-heartedly did this port.
Hammering in this feeling are the multiple reports of performance issues on PC, even with high-end rigs. While some could have been addressed by tweaking the graphics settings, they are alas mostly absent in FF7R on PC.
That said, I played the game on a handheld PC equipped with an AMD 4800U chip and did not encounter major stuttering. For the most part, it plays smoothly (for a handheld) with the graphical options set to low. In more crowded areas like Sector 7 Slums performance dips a bit, with around 25 fps but in less busy segments, the framerate bumps to 30. But most players might not want to limit themselves to 30fps on a handheld and I totally understand the frustration of not being able to play the game fluidly (as it should) on higher-end desktops.
But while playing FF7R on a handheld, I was mostly satisfied, especially considering it was a PS4 game. Having played the original FF7, I am positively impressed by what Square Enix delivered with a remake that feels more of an interpretation than an exact replica with enhanced visuals. Midgar feels more immersive and lively; while members of Avalanche are more fleshed out. Even if FF7R covers a fraction of the original plot and is set to be episodic, I had a blast strolling across the Slums and taking on side quests and re-encounter iconic characters and scenes from a fresh angle and a new lens.
However, for the “next-gen” price of $70/£70 despite its reported performance issues, it’s hard to recommend immersing oneself in the FF7R’s Midgar on PC straight away. Moreover, given that it is an Epic Games Store exclusive that somehow requires an online connection to play might not be a welcome choice by all those who have been patiently waiting for this PC port. And unfortunately, they might need to wait a bit more to prevent further disappointment with its current state. You might want to jump in after new patches have gone live and with more PC-worthy settings are unlocked. But if you don’t mind taking the risk, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade will deliver on an engaging and original take on a remake of a classic game.
Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4) Official GBAtemp Review