“The world has fallen under the control of the Shinra Electric Power Company, a shadowy corporation controlling the planet’s very life force as mako energy. In the sprawling city of Midgar, an anti-Shinra organization calling themselves Avalanche have stepped up their resistance. Cloud Strife, a former member of Shinra’s elite SOLDIER unit now turned mercenary, lends his aid to the group, unaware of the epic consequences that await him. The story of this first, standalone game in the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE project covers up to the party’s escape from Midgar, and goes deeper into the events occurring in Midgar than the original FINAL FANTASY VII.”
First off, a disclaimer: I never played the original Final Fantasy VII (FFVII), so my experience with this game is entirely new, as it is for many gamers. Nevertheless, I loved it. I thought it was fun, with beautiful graphics and memorable characters, and it didn’t feel long or drawn out, even though it is only one portion of the original game.
This is important to remember: this is only about a four hour section of the original game, expanded into a full length feature. Which means there will be future parts, at least two from what I’ve heard. And unfortunately for someone like me who just bought a Playstation 4, all future installments will be released on the Playstation 5. *sigh*
But more about the game: you can read the summary above, which does a pretty good job at explaining what happens. You play as Cloud, who, despite his name, is one of the most lethal swordsmen in the world. Following his journey as he finds himself part of Avanlanche, a supposed “eco-terrorist” group who fights against the massive planet-killing corporation, the Shinra Electric Power Company. Though this game came out originally in 1997, the “save the planet” storyline feels very timely.
Cloud’s not alone, though, and is joined by a cast of wacky yet touching characters. There are tons of sidequests and minigames to complete, and several points where the player’s decisions can alter the gameplay. The battle system is similar to other action RPGs (like Final Fantsy XV), but also includes battle menus to activate special abilities of Cloud and his companions. I played on normal mode, and it was bit much to handle at first, but eventually it becomes more comfortable and less tedious to use.
All in all, FFVIIR is a fantastic game, and my biggest wish is that I wouldn’t have to wait who knows how many years to play the rest of it. Eventually I’ll get to know what happens to these fascinating characters and figure out this confusing storyline, but for now I’ll just go back and enjoy the ride all over again.
~~Lindsey, Library Aide