Just over a year after its release, Final Fantasy 7 Remake for PlayStation 4 gets one of the most satisfying PS5 updates yet with its Intergrade upgrade, completely free for existing owners (at the except for the PS + version). All you need is your original PS4 copy – or digital license – running on PS5 hardware to get a frankly magnificent suite of extras and enhancements. As a huge fan of the Remake on PS4, Intergrade just ticks just about all the boxes for what I wanted: load times are drastically improved, textures are reworked in key places, effects are added, and there’s also an optional 60fps performance mode to accompany its 4K30 graphics option.
And that’s not all: while Intergrade is a free update for buyers of the PS4 version, there is also a new “Intermission” DLC expansion that can be purchased alongside. Or, you can just get the PS5 version and it’s included with it. The intermission allows you to take charge of the ninja secondary character Yuffie on his adventures through Midgar, shuriken in hand, with a distinct set of moves than Cloud’s. Accessible through a new front-end menu, you essentially get two new chapters for the game. It’s a true stand-alone adventure, beautifully presented and easy to recommend to fans of the main game. The only downside is that it’s a PS5 exclusive for at least six months – so it remains to be seen if we’ll see it on PS4, PC, or even Xbox at some point.
But to come to the point, Intergrade offers both a 30 fps quality and a 60 fps performance mode and the good news is that frame rate and resolution aside, there’s nothing wrong with it. otherwise divide them into visual features. If you’re happy with 30 frames per second, Quality Mode also manages to render a native 3840×2160 most of the time – the typical resolution, if you like. I say typical because fleeting stress points can see a drop to 1872p minimum – still a substantial improvement over the PS4 Pro’s 2880×1620 maximum. The clarity offered by the PS5 is excellent, the presentation is beautiful on a 4K screen. In contrast, the PS5’s performance mode tends to settle in the 2688×1512 region, although I have spotted a minimum of 1152p in rare cases.
Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade – Digital Foundry’s technical review.
It’s a direct exchange of resolution for frames: image clarity is diminished in performance mode, but all other settings for textures, lighting, fog and more are the same, so you don’t lose anything. ‘other. The PS5’s frame rate is absolutely solid regardless of the mode, whether it’s 30 fps or 60 fps. There is hardly a lost image regardless of which option you use. Consistency is king, and the flawless performance of the Intergrade modes is the icing on the cake – the ultimate fulfillment of a beautiful game that’s now even better on PlayStation. That’s the key to remember here for me: it’s not just an improvement in image quality and performance: Intergrade is clearly a richer viewing experience.
Perhaps the biggest improvement of all is the quality of the texture. Yes, Remake has beautifully detailed environments, but there are glaring issues on PS4, especially around the Sector 7 slums. There are two separate issues here. First, roaming the slums at any speed triggered pop-in issues on PS4 systems. It’s a dense sprawl of scrap houses with narrow lanes, where the textures underfoot often appear like a hazy mess as Cloud walks by. Likewise, NPCs appear in the distance, and even shop signs appear in a poor state for several seconds. Simply put, PS4 and Pro on their original discs just can’t deliver texture data fast enough. Unsurprisingly, the PS5 solves all of these issues and delivers better quality textures in many scenarios – and yes, we can confirm that “the door” is fixed.
The breadth of texture improvements doesn’t end there. The slum floor texture is getting a massive overhaul on PS5, as are countless locations in the game. From the materials on the character’s armor to the smaller points of the landscape, anything that looked shoddy before. takes advantage of the higher memory allocation of the PS5. Clearly, these are all assets put aside by Square Enix for more powerful hardware. This is the Final Fantasy 7 remake we were meant to see, with no limit on the limited CPU and RAM of the last-gen consoles to give us a full, clear picture – with little pop-ins. We even get an improved skybox: the impending center pillar containing the Midgar plates is replaced with a new active, which stands up better to scrutiny as we roam the periphery.
Then there’s the newly added volumetric fog and lighting. These often go hand in hand, but the massing stands out most strikingly. Square Enix uses almost 2.5 times the GPU power of the PS5 compared to the PS4 Pro to achieve thicker layers of fog in several areas of the game. And of course the lighting is changed throughout the scene as well, with additional bloom effects and even improved shadow quality in-game to provide clearer outlines. Even the reflections of the screen space have been improved compared to the presentation of the PS4 Pro. Everything comes together to deliver a scene that is sometimes radically different. In others, it is subtly improved. All around, the PS5 pushes the visuals of Final Fantasy 7 Remake forward, from huge changes to big cities to little touches like the extra fine layer of mist added to the gardens outside of Aerith’s house.
The Intergrade version on PS5 then delivers big, at least, depending on where you look. Combined with Remake’s already gorgeous materials and lighting, there’s a near-CG movie quality in some parts of the game. To celebrate that in a way, Intergrade gives us access to a whole new mode. photo to frame moments with new filters, angles and exposure levels. I had fun with this: a tool for creating beautiful, pristine 4K shots of the Wall Market or Aerith Church – ideally used with the graphics mode. A little extra. Photo mode is a great addition for anyone who just wants to visit Midgar on a second run. But for those who are experiencing this for the first time, the question remains: which of the two visual modes of the PS5 is better for enjoying the game? It’s tough because the clarity offered at 4K30 looks sensational, but the 1512p at 60fps performance mode transforms the way the game is played. After spending 40 hours on the PS4 Pro, the PS5 at 60 fps definitely refreshes the experience. Having such fast-paced and frenzied battles that take place at double the frame rate is one of the most transformative additions to the PS5 edition.
A final major area to tackle then is loading times. With quick travel via Chocobo being a factor in enjoying the Endgame, a reduced load time on PS5 was pretty high on the wishlist – and it delivers in spades. First of all, by simply starting the game from the front-end of the console, the PS5 completes the task in six seconds compared to 28 seconds on Pro. Best of all, continuing a game is also much faster. Loading a save in Sector 7 slums takes a little over a second on the PS5. We’re well into the action on PS5 by the time the PS4 Pro comes to the same point, after 31 seconds. It’s a big improvement in quality of life and one of the surest signs of a faster solid-state solution built into a PS5 version to reduce loading screens.
All around there is a lot to love in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade. A year after the release of the PS4, Square Enix was clearly on a mission to repair, upgrade, and improve the original project in any way it could – and in almost every case, it pays huge dividends. Frame rates in both 4K and 60fps mode are flawless. Improved textures, lighting, and volumetric effects also give a satisfying update over the original PS4, while load times are significantly improved. Photo mode is an inspired extra, while you even get PS5 features like adaptive triggers used for motorcycle racing missions. All this combined, and especially with the new DLC Intermission, there is enough to justify a replay. Put simply, this upgrade is an absolute success – one of my favorite games from the last generation has made a successful upgrade to the PlayStation 5 and I highly recommend it to FF7R gamers old and new.
Article source https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2021-final-fantasy-7-remake-intergrade-ps5-tech-review