Final Fantasy VII Remake on PC just about gets the job done

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There was a time when PC versions of Japanese games tended to be terrible, if they existed at all. But in recent years, Japanese publishers have put more effort into their ports. They’re not always the most full-featured conversions, but games like Monster Hunter World and Final Fantasy XV are great examples of titles that run much better on PC than their console equivalents. The days of games like Dark Souls locking PC users to low resolutions and frame rates are mostly over.

The long-anticipated PC version of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, which launches today, isn’t exactly an example of the latter. But it doesn’t feel well-tailored to the PC either. If you’ve been waiting to play this game because you don’t have a PS4 or a PS5, it’ll probably give you a reasonable version of the console experience. It just won’t go any further than that.

First, the good news. Unlike some recent PlayStation-to-PC ports, Final Fantasy VII Remake feels well-optimized for the PC from a performance standpoint. I tested the game on my own PC that I built more than five years ago, which has an Intel Core i5-6600K processor, an Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU, and 16GB of RAM, and had no problem running it at 1440p and 60 frames per second on “high” settings even though it was installed to a spinning hard drive.

This isn’t necessarily surprising. Final Fantasy VII Remake is often an amazingly beautiful game, but its linear, enclosed levels feel designed with 2013 console hardware in mind, so it would have been disappointing not to get better performance even out of an aging PC.

What is disappointing is that you won’t get much better performance out of a much better PC. This version of Remake has very few graphical options, and you’re forced to pick between fixed frame rate caps — it can run at 30fps, 60fps, 90fps, or 120fps. I tried running it at 90fps to see how things would hold up and the image quality was much blurrier, so it looks like dynamic resolution scaling is being applied.

Better PCs should be able to run the game at 120fps with higher resolution, then, but the actual assets aren’t going to look any better. Other than basic output resolution and some HDR settings, the only other options you have are low and high texture resolution, low and high shadow resolution, and the ability to limit the number of characters on-screen to between one and 10. There is also no ultrawide support at all; which, again, I’m not really surprised at given how frequently the game bounces between pre-rendered cutscenes and real-time action, but it’s unfortunate nonetheless.

Texture resolution was a major flaw with the original PS4 release, though it was improved with the Intergrade update for the PS5. You’ll still see the odd blurry texture here and there on PC, but it’s a much better situation than when I played for the first time on the PS4 Pro. Most importantly, I can confirm that Cloud’s bedroom door no longer looks like it came from an N64 game — though his sink is still conspicuously blocky.

All of this adds up to a port that does the bare minimum to run well on PC hardware. It’s not a showcase for the platform in any way — it’s a showcase for how great a console game Final Fantasy VII Remake was. And, well, I have to admit that that’s been my takeaway from playing through the PC version this week. It could have been a more thoughtful port, sure, but this game is still incredibly good and runs better than it did on the PS4, which is something. It’s worth checking out if you haven’t played it on the PS4, but I wouldn’t recommend double-dipping if you have a PS5.

Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade will be released today on the Epic Games Store.

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