Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Demo (PS5, 2024) Impressions

There really isn't much more for me to say here. Playing the Nibelheim section felt every bit just like playing the first Final Fantasy VII: Remake back in 2021 (link to my review). These games are not remakes, they are fan-fictions that do a terrible job at recreating the atmosphere and feel of the original. Just like I wasn't happy with the way the first game portrayed the city of Midgar, I'm appalled by what the developers did with Nibelheim's mountain range and the iconic Shinra mansion. The skies above Nibelheim are covered by fog, but the region is brightly illuminated regardless of that. The background music could not be any more generic. What used to be an eerie and creepy place is now just another copy-paste mountain region that could have just as well been part of any other RPG. The Shinra villa's iconic hidden staircase has been replaced by an elevator that is a copy paste of various elevators also found in other Shinra facilities.

To be frank I only played this demo because a friend insisted on checking it out together. I had enough of the Remake franchise after finishing its first game and knew I wasn't going to come back for the sequel. It's also noteworthy how much Square-Enix cheaped out on the out-of-cutscene character models. The game really doesn't look all that good once you take a closer look at during actual gameplay. At putting graphics and atmosphere aside, the sequel still has all of the modern game problems I hated to experience in its first part. From those parts where you have to stroll along with NPCs, to those where you have to watch your characters awkwardly pass through tight spaces and pretend that's not a loading screen, to the clunky combat and the overly crowded town maps with their pointless filler NPCs, this game still has it all. No thanks, I won't be buying this.