Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade PS5: everything you need to know including gameplay enhancements
Final Fantasy VII Remake was one of 2020’s finest games when it was released on PS4 back in April.
It’s now over a year later, but that remains absolutely true. The game is now available on PlayStation 5 (PS5) in an updated edition, named Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade and its essential for fans and newcomers alike.
That includes Intermission, a story expansion that features fan-favourite ninja Yuffie.
As a remake of the original PS1 game, Remake tells its own version of a band of eco-warriors defending the planet’s energy (mako) from the evil Shinra corporation. The first part in a series of releases, it expands upon the initial Midgar section of the original: the sleazy, neon lit and polluted city of slums.
It also features a new real-time battle system that merges the ATB system of the original with strategic action, as well as character customisation through equippable material. As with the release last year, it remains one of the best battle systems in a JRPG.
But now the game is on PlayStation 5, what’s new? And what exactly is Intermission? Here’s everything you need to know about Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade.
The Intermission expansion
Taking place part way through the main game (and available separately from the game’s main menu), Intermission sees Yuffie, the ninja from Wutai, on a quest to steal Shinra’s “Ultimate Materia”. She teams up with partner Sonon to recover intel from Avalanche before infiltrating the Shinra building itself.
Over two chapters and a handful of hours, we discover more about Shinra’s plans as well as meeting some brand new and intriguing villains.
Yuffie brings youthful, chirpy energy to the game, all jokey naivety and slapstick comedy. It’s a welcome change to the sometimes dour tone of the original, though the narrative doesn’t shy away from darker themes too.
And as a combatant, Yuffie is a force to be reckoned with. Her iconic shuriken weapon allows for both close and long-range attacks, as well as flashy ninjutsu magic attacks. She’s joined by the stoic Sonon who sadly is unplayable, but provides welcome support in battle.
Essentially Intermission is more of the same gameplay, alongside the new Fort Condor tower defence minigame, but as another chance to delve into Midgar – not to mention some potentially critical story details to experience – the expansion is unmissable.
Back on the main Final Fantasy VII Remake game, there are enhancements to the graphics on PlayStation 5. Most notable are new lighting effects that add plenty of depth and shine to the already stunning visuals, be it during the blinding heat of the daytime or the neon lit shadows of night. Textures have improved detail too, though there’s still a clear distinction between the graphical quality of main characters and sub-characters.
Two visual modes are available: Graphics mode that targets 30fps and a higher resolution, and Performance mode that targets a silky smooth 60fps. Whichever you choose, Final Fantasy VII Remake looks wonderful.
Loading times reduced
As is becoming standard for games on the new console, loading times are significantly reduced playing Intergrade on PlayStation 5. It means not only jumping in much more quickly from the main menu, but the experience as a whole feels more swift and smooth. What’s more, it’s great to finally play the game on a console that doesn’t sound like a jet engine taking off.
Another addition to the PlayStation 5 version is a Photo Mode, though it’s a little disappointing. At any point you can pause the game and move the camera around to take screenshots, which is a great way to admire the new sharper graphics and play around with some filters. It’s lacking in options, however, in particular the ability to pose characters. In an anime inspired game with so much personality, that’s a real missed opportunity.
How can I play it?
Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade on PlayStation 5 is available as a free upgrade for anyone who owns a copy of the game on PS4. That excludes anyone who downloaded the game for free on PS4 as part of their PS Plus subscription.
For existing owners, Intermission will need to be downloaded separately, priced at £15.99.
Alternatively, the complete package can be purchased directly on PlayStation 5 (including Intermission) for newcomers.
For more information, check out the official website.
How to transfer saves
You can transfer your save across from PS4 to PlayStation 5 in order to continue exactly where you left off. To do this, you’ll need to upload your save file from the main menu of the game on PS4 and then download that save file from the main menu on PS5. It’s possible to do this just on the PS5 console if you have both versions of the game installed at once.