I won’t bury the cliff here. Final Fantasy VII Remake on PC is a terrible PC port, and you shouldn’t spend money on it.
Square Enix is asking PC gamers $70 for Final Fantasy VII Remake. In other words, they ask PC gamers to pay console prices, an alien concept on an open platform with many different markets and competition. As we will discover, this fact makes an already unacceptable situation even worse.
It’s remarkable Final Fantasy VII Remake on PC could actually be a debug build. This may in some way explain the dire state of the port. However, I believe this is completely unrelated. The build of the game is currently a product that Square Enix is selling for real money. This is a game where PC customers are actually asked to spend $70. Its this the game, and not some potential future build, should be judged as such.
When launching the game, I received an error that I couldn’t get past. I quickly noticed my browser was open and showed me a page asking me to allow the game to share data. Of course, I declined, resulting in the following error message.
I really can’t get over this error until I allow data sharing. It’s ironic to be forced to move beyond this dystopian future just to play a deeply anti-myopia and anti-corporate game. But this is just the beginning, a sign of what is to come. I finally got to see the opening cinematic play at 1080p and 30fps. This looks Amazing on my native 4K monitor (please catch the quip there).
After this cinematic, I was finally pushed into the game. Immediately, I paused the game to try to access the settings, which I usually do in any game. However, I am very disappointed, accessing any of the settings is not possible. Pausing the game only allows me to unpause, access photo mode, or exit the main menu. There is no way to access any of the settings in any way. Well done, Square Enix.
As I see it, there are three big problems with Final Fantasy VII Remake on PC:
- Missing any meaningful graphics options
- Persistence of dynamic resolution scaling
- Major bugs during gameplay, in-game cutscenes and pre-rendered cinematics
Taken as a whole, these three issues arise Final Fantasy VII Remake It’s one of the worst PC transitions I’ve ever experienced. Let’s go over these issues in turn.
First, let’s talk about the graphical options menu, with “options” being used very loosely here. The options presented here are less than bare minimums. There’s no proper fullscreen option, never mind a proprietary fullscreen mode. There are no anti-aliasing options, no texture filtering options, nor any lighting options. Want to adjust motion blur or vsync? Forget. You’re asking too much from this $70 AAA title.
It seems almost absurd to lament the lack of PC technologies like ray tracing and AI image reconstruction options like DLSS when the bare minimum isn’t even achieved here. How can I expect ray tracing when this game doesn’t even include an ultra-wide display option?
And then we come to the frame rate option.
This setting is quite erroneous. Unlike most other games that allow you to set the maximum frame rate, the frame rate setting in Final Fantasy VII Remake really a Target frame rate. It’s easy to assume this option is setting your maximum frame rate similar to the vsync option in other games. But not. The game gives no indication that this option is for the target frame rate. This directly controls the dynamic resolution, which leads us to the second big problem.
Dynamic resolution is permanent on PC. While dynamic resolution scaling (DRS for short) is indeed a good thing – especially at higher output resolutions – it is almost always presented as an option to enable or Turn off. Not so in Final Fantasy VII Remake on PC. Just like in the console version, you cannot disable DRS on PC. It scales based on your target frame rate.
This means that, regardless of your chosen resolution, Final Fantasy VII Remake looks permanently soft and unstable. The image has intermittent stutter because the internal resolution is continuously adjusted as the game tries to reach your target frame rate.
With this knowledge, one might think that reducing the target frame rate would result in a more temporally stable image. Alas, this is not so. To test this, I selected a target frame rate of 120 fps and noticed a very obvious instability in the image. Then I switched my frame rate to 30fps and noticed the same instability. No matter what you do with the options menu, this instability persists.
this is a mod to disable dynamic resolution scaling. I applied the mod and retried the image. Suddenly, unexpectedly, the picture has stabilized. But to celebrate the existence of this mod, I feel, really flawed. Such a mod was not needed in the first place. The game simply gives PC gamers the options and level of control expected from a major publisher’s AAA game. Time and time again, PC gamers are forced to resort to community fixes for problems created by these publishers. To be frank, it is unacceptable.
As a result of this persistent DRS, there is hardly any point in looking at the performance impact of these graphics options. It is virtually impossible to determine the performance impact of the various effects because (1) there are so few choices and (2) the continued impact of DRS makes it difficult to find a baseline to measure the performance impact. increasingly difficult.
Finally, consider the third big problem: stuttering. This stuttering is persistent. It permeates almost every moment of Final Fantasy VII. You can witness this stuttering in the normal game when simply traversing the world.
However, the stuttering you experience on collisions in combat is not one of such examples. This temporary pause in combat when you strike a particularly powerful attack is gameplay driven and is a deliberate design choice. It is meant to emphasize the power of your attack and is used in some other games. We can demonstrate this by looking at the fight footage during such a sentence break and observing the frame time during the collision.
Additionally, in-game cutscenes, presented in real time, exhibit this behavior. I can’t pinpoint the cause of this as it seems to happen continuously, but at random points in the cutscenes.
This stuttering extends to pre-rendered videos as well. These movies look like they were rendered at a lower resolution, most likely 1080p, and presented as plain playback. You are effectively watching the video. But even here, stuttering persists. An obvious example is when Jessie asks you about Tifa. In that moment, you go from a game cutscene to a pre-rendered cinematic. And it’s here in the cinema rendered before the camera pans down to young Tifa, where you’ll see this stutterer.
Summary, Final Fantasy VII Remake on PC, it’s not out of the question that Square Enix shows a blatant disrespect – a truly astonishing disdain – for PC customers, the very customers Square deems appropriate to reach. and ask for 70 dollars.
PC gamers are eligible customers. They’ve invested in hardware, and just like console gamers, they want to see their investments respected by the games they play. It is inevitable to treat the entire user base with this disregard. In case it’s not clear, don’t buy Final Fantasy VII Remake on PC. Square Enix is not worth your money.
Disclosure: Game code provided by PR for the purpose of this analysis.
https://www.mmorpg.com/tech-analysis/final-fantasy-vii-remake-pc-tech-analysis-2000123944 Final Fantasy VII Remake’s PC Technology Analysis