Why 'FFVII Remake Intergrade' Is the One for You

A remaster of a remake? Sure, why not!

Key Takeaways

  • Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade will be a significant graphical improvement over Final Fantasy VII Remake.
  • Existing PS4 owners of the game can upgrade for free.
  • Extra DLC is available featuring the popular FFVII character, Yuffie, but those who upgrade will need to pay.
The Logo from Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade

Sony

There's a British phrase about how you wait ages for a bus then two come along at the same time. For those who spent years waiting for a Final Fantasy VII Remake, this phrase couldn't feel more appropriate. 

Originally announced back in 2015 after a LOT of speculation, Final Fantasy VII Remake finally made its way to the PlayStation 4 in April 2020 and now we have the PlayStation 5 enhanced version, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, out in just a couple of days. It's a form of remaster of a remake, almost, which explains why it's out so soon, but that doesn't stop any Final Fantasy-loving fan from getting just a teensy bit excited. 

I'm one of those fans. Sort of. While I bounced off Final Fantasy VII Remake a couple of times (I suspect pandemic fatigue didn't help), I think Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is going to be the time that I finally "get" the game. Even better, everyone who already owns Final Fantasy VII Remake on the PlayStation 4 can upgrade to the PS5 version for free (with one notable exception we'll dive into later). 

A Remaster of a Remake

It feels a little cheeky to refer to Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade as a remaster of a remake but, well, it kind of is. While Final Fantasy VII Remake was a partial remake of the opening of the original Final Fantasy VII, Intergrade is a spruced-up version for the PlayStation 5.

Screenshot from 'FFVII Remake Intergrade'

Gamepress.com

Arguably, the latest generation of consoles—the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5—have had somewhat underwhelming starts. The potential is clear to see, but we haven't really yet seen a must-have game on either platform. 

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade won't be that title because you can still enjoy much of it through the PlayStation 4 edition, but that doesn't stop it from being tantalizing for Final Fantasy fans looking for more. Nor will that limitation stop it from reminding you why you love your PlayStation 5, even if it’s a comfortable love rather than a "desperately want to be with it at all times" love. 

There are graphical improvements, of course. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade will feature higher quality textures, lighting, and background details, as well as a choice of two display modes allowing you to decide if you want higher image quality or 60 frames per second at all times. 

More importantly, though, there's a new difficulty mode. One that means you can bump the difficulty for Classic Mode up to Normal, effectively stopping Classic Mode from feeling far too easy.

Previously, the mode automated too much, meaning fans looking to enjoy a more traditional turn-based combat-type battle simply felt unbeatable. It's a small yet potentially game-changing tweak. I know I was certainly disappointed that I could never find a combat mode that worked for me. In the end, it discouraged me from sticking with the original Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Changing Up the Order of Events

Of course, I haven't mentioned the key addition to Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. That comes in the form of adding a bonus episode of content and one that changes the order of events from the original Final Fantasy VII. The bonus episode focuses on Yuffie Kisaragi—Materia thief extraordinaire—and a character you'd normally meet after leaving Midgar. 

Screenshot from 'FFVII Remake Intergrade'

Gamepress.com

It's a smart addition. Yuffie pops up as she's infiltrating Midgar to steal a special Materia from the Shinra—the shadowy evil corporation that dominates Midgar and the rest of the game.

While there's no indication yet as to how much fun the bonus episode will be, it certainly doesn't sound tacked on for the sake of it. Yuffie is always stealing Materia right down to how she steals the party's Materia when you decide to visit her hometown of Wutai in the original game. It's perfectly in character that she'd be hanging around Midgar at some point, especially as she's not actually that far from it anyhow, lurking in the forest. 

The catch to all this? If you're playing Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade via the PlayStation 4 edition, then you'll need to purchase this additional DLC. It's a small catch given you're getting completely brand new content here but, hey, it's one to be aware of. 

Is It Time to Be Excited?

I was a big old cynic when Final Fantasy VII Remake launched in April 2020. Granted, it arrived on my doorstep during an exceptionally tricky time in the COVID-19 pandemic. Games weren't at the front of my mind in any way. This time around though? This time, there's a considerably shallow side to contend with here. 

Screenshot from 'FFVII Remake Intergrade'

Gamepress.com

My PlayStation 5 has mostly sat there under my TV since I finished up Spider-Man: Miles Morales. With no interest in Returnal, there hasn't really been an exclusive to lure me in, despite regularly thinking how I should give Astro's Playroom another shot. 

This feels like the turning point. The realization that there's something about the PlayStation 5 that feels a little more next-generation than the Xbox Series X. It just needs that potential to be nurtured. With the launch of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade during the same weekend, I've got a feeling this is that time.

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