A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The core story tackles timely themes including abuse of privilege and activism, with the heroes focused on taking on an evil corporation. The new chapters do likewise, with an added emphasis on teen girl empowerment.
Positive Role Models
The main characters are a motley bunch and slow to gel, but each has their own noble motivations and personal issues that they need to overcome with the help of their friends. The new hero, a teenager named Yuffie, is a bit naïve and overeager, but she's strong, clever, and earns the admiration and trust of her friends through her actions.
Ease of Play
Combat's unusual and not necessarily intuitive, but multiple difficulty settings and modes of play allow players to customize the level of challenge. Rookies should be able to make progress without too much trouble.
Violence & Scariness
The heroes fight robots, monsters, and humans using swords, guns, and magic. Enemies collapse, explode, and disappear without blood or gore, though dramatic non-interactive scenes occasionally show small blood spatters when key characters are injured. Some environments have wounded and dead bodies strewn across the ground.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female characters are dressed provocatively and show deep cleavage. Yuffie, a teenager, wears shorts with the top button undone and zipper partially unzipped.
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Spoken dialogue includes plenty of mild profanity, including "ass," "damn," "hell," and the occasional "s--t" or "s--thead."
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Products & Purchases
This game is part of the immensely popular Final Fantasy franchise, which includes more than a dozen games, books, films, toys, clothing, and other items for fans to collect and consume.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The core game features scenes set in bars where people drink to intoxication. One character smokes a cigar. The new chapters include plenty of talk about drinking and getting drunk, but don't show it.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is a special edition of Final Fantasy Remake for PlayStation 5. It includes the core game with enhanced graphics, plus a new story arc. Players control a group of heroes who rebel against an evil corporation imposing its will on the citizens of Midgar. They're a motley but good bunch, each with their own noble motivations and personal issues that they work on with the help of their friends. They're sometimes a little quick to enter combat, but typically with good reasons that generally fall under the banners of activism and justified rebellion against tyranny, though some of their actions are labeled terrorism by the authorities. Social themes running through both the core story and the new chapters include friendship, diversity, and the inequity of classism, with the new chapters adding an emphasis on teen girl empowerment. The new hero, a teenage ninja named Yuffie, is confident if a little naïve, and earns the trust and respect of her friends. But like some other female characters, she's mildly sexualized -- mostly due to her shorts, which are oddly unbuttoned and partially unzipped throughout the game. Players will fight against human, monster, and robotic enemies with a variety of weapons, though little blood's shown as a result of combat. Parents should also be aware that spoken dialogue contains a good deal of profanity, and that characters talk about and consume alcohol to the point of intoxication.
Is It Any Good?
If Final Fantasy VII Remake was pretty, this enhanced edition is downright jaw-dropping. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is about as easy on the eyes as games get, with subtle upgrades to textures and effects that breathe life into the world and crank up the level of spectacle in combat to eleven. This is especially true when exploring Shinra headquarters, with its intricately detailed factory environments and mind-bending boss battles. And with virtually no load times, you're never jarringly removed from the world as the next area is cued up. If you've never played the game before you're in for a treat, and if you played on PlayStation 4 it's absolutely worth downloading the free upgrade just to see how the developers have turned up the graphical goodness.
The real draw for returning players, though, will be Yuffie's story. She has an upbeat attitude and loads of self-confidence with the combat skills to back it up. Tossing her boomerang or shuriken and tapping the square button to keep hammering enemies from a distance feels both unique and satisfying. Her occasional clumsiness only makes her that much more likeable. And while she only gets a handful of side quests -- such as collecting posters for a local pub owner -- they help provide a bit of backstory about who she is and where she comes from. Her chapters don't really change or affect anything in the original story, but it's a safe bet that she'll return as a key playable character in the sequel, making this quick story something close to essential for serious fans of the series. With its stunning visual enhancements and exciting new story add-on, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is the definitive way to experience the first part of Square Enix's epic retelling of its most famous game.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.