Game Reviews

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review

Finally, the promised land!

₹ 4,799

Fans of Final Fantasy 7, rejoice! Rebirth is finally here, whisking you away from the familiar (and slightly depressing) confines of Midgar and into a stunning open world.

This isn't just a graphical upgrade, though. Rebirth boasts a significantly improved combat system that adds a layer of strategic depth. Mastering these new mechanics will have you chaining combos that clear entire battlefields while messing up might land you back at the loading screen. It's a thrilling dance that captures the essence of FF7 Remake's combat and elevates it to new heights.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Story

But what about the story? Just like its predecessor, Rebirth throws you headfirst into a whirlwind adventure. One moment you're chilling in a town playing a new card game called Queen's Blood (more on that later), and the next you're facing off against a formidable boss. The narrative takes some sharp turns, keeping you guessing and occasionally scratching your head with its zany characters and over-the-top moments. Think Like A Dragon levels of absurdity, but with the signature Final Fantasy flair. Don't worry, though, there's a serious plot simmering beneath the surface, and the pacing is much tighter this time around.

Shinra is hot on the heels of Cloud, Tifa, Barret, Aerith and Red XIII after the Midgard incident and Sephiroth has enough screen time for you to appreciate his L'Oreal ad-looking luscious locks. We won't spoil the story for you but expect cinematic set pieces in this funny yet emotional journey infused into the open world videogame hygiene.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Combat

The combat has heavily improved and there's enough depth to make a veteran gamer's head spin. Apart from the lovely action-based combat that slows down time for picking strategic combat actions for your party members and leader, it now also allows you to immediately react to enemy attacks with synergy combos in defence and offence. For instance, holding down the R1 will not only defend but if you time it right with the face buttons on the PS5 controller, your party members will execute a punishing counter on the block. These synergy attacks improve depending on your relationship with party members and also are locked behind the skill tree. Albeit, you can unlock most of them within the first few hours of the game.

It's simple but you have to be mindful when using it and it can often overload your senses during combat. For almost six hours into the game, we forgot to use it because we didn't bother learning the basics with Chadley (the kid with the monocle who lets you fight Summons, remember?).

Materia and gear management is back as well and you will spend some time switching Materia between characters in the first half of the game. Later on, you can slot multiple copies of Materia depending on your play style for the character. Red XIII and Yufie are now playable as well and offer an interesting dynamic away from the tried and tested swordsman, brawler, range and healer.

There’s a smorgasbord of mini-games and quick-time events. These activities keep the game from becoming repetitive even after hours of playing. Military drills, dolphin shows, Chocobo races, a 3D fighting game, a shooting gallery and Queen's Blood are among the few you can expect in the first 15 hours of the game.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Queen’s Blood

Queen’s Blood is as good as The Witcher 3’s Gwent card game but Queen’s Blood is a bit more fast-paced. It’s by far my favourite thing about Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth and I only hope it comes to mobile devices soon as a standalone game (might never happen though). That said, it’s a turn-based card game that consists of three lanes and a deck of 15 cards. Your objective is to score a higher total point at the end from the lanes you win. Cards have power and cost, and each card also adds levels to the grid where you can place similar cost cards. We can write a separate review on Queen’s Blood alone, but the elevator pitch is winning by having more total power in one of the three lanes. For example, if you score 3 and 5 in the top and bottom lane and your opponent only scored 2 and 1 in those two lanes, but they had 10 points in the middle lane and you had 5, that means in the end, your opponent had 10 total points from the middle lane they won and you had 8 total points from the top and bottom lanes you won. So even though you won two lanes, you still lost because your opponent had more points in the single lane they won. This added to the variety of cards and combinations you can execute is thoroughly addictive and brilliant.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Graphics and music

The soundtrack is equally impressive, seamlessly transitioning from heart-pounding orchestral battle themes to calming symphonies and even some electronic dance music. It perfectly complements the game's diverse environments and moods. Beachside moments feel intimate and personal, dungeon battles feel haunting and exhilarating, while the wide grasslands make you want to seek whatever is around the hilltop. This game is the pinnacle of synergising music with its heartfelt moments and toe-tapping boss fights. 

Even when you take a break from the game’s combat and gear management, the slow relaxed background score lets you unwind as you stroll around the many cities and towns. And if you hop into Queen’s Blood to massage your brain cells, the energetic jazz music will make you focus your thoughts on the next best strategy. The music and background score are worthy of every praise!

Graphically, it pushes the limits of what the PlayStation 5 is capable of and is as beautiful as Horizon Forbidden West and Ghost of Tsushima. Beautiful landscapes add to the appeal and you’ll naturally find it more intriguing to explore because it’s nothing like the Remake’s drab metal structures.

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth review: Verdict

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is the second game in the trilogy that is a reimagined version of the original. It holds its own as a proper extension of the story which starts from the stellar Final Fantasy 7 Remake. However, it keeps you guessing its plot and makes you scratch your head with overly indulgent character developments. It’s not as impactful as the first in that sense but you’ll never actually get bored here. Even though the story is drip-fed to you while you scraper across the map on a carrot chase, we don’t mind it because of how breathtaking it looks, sounds and feels. Even after dozens of hours in, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth throws a fresh mechanic to engage your brain cells. Be it a mini-game or a quick time event you didn’t expect. It’s one of the best games you’ll play this year.

Stuff Says

Come for the character developments and story but stay for the reimagined combat and sprawling open-world areas, FF7 Rebirth gets our approval as one of the best action RPG games
Good stuff
Bad stuff
  1. Beautiful graphics

  1. Best sound design this year!

  1. Combat has been improved

  1. Fleshed out characters

  1. Good side quests

  1. Mini-games are so good!

  1. Convoluted main story