In 2022, you couldn’t be blamed for being a little weary of remakes and maybe even inclined to hold off on purchasing games that come from last-gen PlayStation consoles to PC, as Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone both had somewhat rocky starts for their PC launches before getting smoothed over. That said, I’m happy to report that the PC version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade should be an exception to both of these concerns – for the most part. Not only does this version of the remake retain all of the excellence of its console counterpart, but it also offers a healthy bevy of display and performance options that should help just about any type of PC player should be able to get the game running satisfactorily.
When we reviewed Final Fantasy 7 Remake back in April of 2020, we gave it a ten out of ten for its outstanding graphics, top-notch writing and voice acting, and applauded its ability to retain just about everything that made the original so special while still streamlining the minutiae of its combat and various management systems. All of that still holds true in 2022. Despite a couple of years going by, the Final Fantasy 7 Remake still stands among the best ways to spend the better part of 50 hours or so in a video game. The characters are given more depth than their 32-bit analogues, and the story – despite a small handful of inscrutable changes – ends up adding just the right amount of gravity in exactly the right places to make the narrative pop off the screen just like it did back in 1997.
"Not only does this version of the remake retain all of the excellence of its console counterpart, but it also offers a healthy bevy of display and performance options that should help just about any type of PC player should be able to get the game running satisfactorily."
If you’ve already played the game on PS4 or PS5, then you likely already know this, but for PC players who are currently on the fence about jumping in, I can assure you the water is fine. While Final Fantasy 7 is a rather dense story, this remake is actually only part of the entire saga. So, while they did add some things for the remake to make this portion of the story feel fuller, the approach Square Enix took to focus on the first quarter or so of the entire thing here also makes the more important story beats stand out more apparently and have more time to breathe. This adds up to a game that goes down pretty smoothly compared to the original, and feels adequately adapted to more modern sensibilities without losing more than a modicum of the original’s appeal.
The same can be said for the game’s combat and various management systems. Combat is streamlined into a rather addicting hybrid of real-time and turn-based elements that works perfectly for what this game is trying to do. Managing your party member’s stats and your materia is also nicely simplified with conservative tweaks around the edges of the original’s UI.
So, whether or not you’re sold on the game itself is going to depend on you at this point, but as a PC port, this version of Final Fantasy 7 is overall a great way to play it – especially considering that this also has all the additional content of the Intergrade version.
One of the main concerns I always have with a PC port of a console-focused game is whether or not I’ll be able to really tweak the settings with a fine-toothed comb, or if I’ll have to settle with a few presets. Oftentimes it can end up being the latter, but not with Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade. Here you have a commendable selection of options to tinker with and avenues to get the game running in a way that takes advantage of your rig’s specifications. Screen resolutions include just about every option you would want between 720p to 2160p. While 1080p or 1440p is probably best for most average rigs to get a nice frame-rate at or above 60, more powerful cards certainly have plenty of room to stretch their legs here with multiple resolutions above that. Plus, you can still mess with textures, shadows, and multiple HDR variables to really dial in exactly what fits your PC best.
"Whether or not you’re sold on the game itself is going to depend on you at this point, but as a PC port, this version of Final Fantasy 7 is overall a great way to play it – especially considering that this also has all the additional content of the Intergrade version."
I would have really liked to see some sliders specifically for anti-aliasing or depth of field, as these are pretty common options for most other PC games made on Unreal Engine 4, but what’s here should be enough for just about anybody to get the game running in a satisfactory way, and that’s ultimately what matters most. Fans of controllers also need not worry, as the game has support for PlayStation’s DualShock 4 and DualSense on top of the more common Xbox One and Series X controllers. The support is also brilliantly seamless, as the first push of a button on any of these or the mouse and keyboard will instantly change all on-screen button prompts to match the input device you’re using. This is becoming more standardized in the PC space, but it’s still nice to see it so elegantly taken advantage of here, too.
You can also tinker with other settings that are more about the gameplay itself, like the cursor position in and out of battle, the camera’s distance in and out of battle, the camera’s slope angle, responsiveness, lock on controls, screen shake, and others. This is about on-par with most games that wind up on PC secondarily, so rest assured PC Players; despite it not being as detailed as you might prefer, you do have plenty of ways to make this version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake play the way you want.
That’s not to say that performance is perfect here, though. While the game is often a showcase of gorgeous design and well-implemented visual effects that hold up fantastically, I did notice a few momentary chugs in moments where a busy combat encounter and a lot of environmental effects were happening at the same time. Usually involving fire and sparks. Even though these moments were few and far between and always seemed to resolve themselves quickly, I really see no excuse for them at sub-4k resolutions. Especially considering that the PS5 version seems to have less of this. That said, I did find that turning down shadow resolution had almost no impact on the visuals while giving certain moments with a lot of characters – like the train scene or the city streets – a noticeable boost of performance. So if you do run into trouble with performance, perhaps give that a shot before turning down the game’s overall sharpness. It seems that the settings, while a bit over-simplified, do bring good results nonetheless.
"That’s not to say that performance is perfect here, though. While the game is often a showcase of gorgeous design and well-implemented visual effects that hold up fantastically, I did notice a few momentary chugs in moments where a busy combat encounter and a lot of environmental effects were happening at the same time."
While the PC aficionados out there who really like to get waist-deep with different types of texture filtering and asset detail might find the assortment of graphics settings less than robust, especially when compared to games that were developed specifically for PC, I think what Square Enix was able to throw into this version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is suitable to get the experience you want out of it. Being limited to raising or lowering overall shadow resolution or overall texture resolution might feel like conducting surgery with a hammer rather than a scalpel, but the way these settings specifically function for this game do get the job done. Plus, there’s no denying that this is such a great, well-designed game that, if you’re really playing it to have fun, you won’t be spending too much time worrying about its simplified approach to performance anyway.
This game was reviewed on PC.
Still an excellent game that holds up nicely; Seamless controller support; Effective performance settings.
Graphics settings could be more robust; Performance should be more dependable than it is.