Let’s Be Honest, The PS5 Can’t Fix FF7 Remake’s Horrendous Load Times
Final Fantasy 7 (VII) Remake is finally receiving a PlayStation 5 upgrade. The upgrade will improve and include FF7 features such as higher framerates, higher resolution, faster load times, and improved lighting. Additionally, those purchasing it on PS5 for $70 will receive “Intergrade”. Intergrade includes an exclusive DLC chapter featuring Wutai officers Yuffie and Sonon as playable characters.
A full list of improvements for the game include:
- Improved textures
- Fog effects
- Improved lighting
- 4K Graphics mode
- Performance 60 FPS mode
- Quality of Life – New Normal (Classic) difficulty
- Improved loading times
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FF7 Load Times Aren’t Just in the Menus
The trailer showcases impressive load times in the FF7 menus, quickly transitioning from loading a save file to dropping in game. Despite so, the concern regarding load times isn’t really directed towards the menu loading screens, but the hidden in-game ones. Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s design is based off of outdated mechanical HDD hardware. In order to load the sheer volume of assets in the game without segregating the play area with loading screens, FF7 introduces a lot of disguised loading screens or as we call it, “ladder segments”.
For example, when we meet Aerith in Sector 5, there is a secluded playground area where the children of Sector 5 play. It’s an important area as there is a unique shop that Cloud will need to revisit frequently to get upgrades. To access it, Cloud and Aerith need to squeeze behind a narrow space between a building and a wall. The entire sequence takes around an agonizing 10 seconds to maneuver each time.
That Isn’t the Only Occurrence
This isn’t the only section in the game that has disgusting load transitions within a play area. When we visit Jessie’s house, there are so many segments where Cloud is forced to walk. It isn’t the worse thing, as bits of backstory are littered throughout the walk, but it can ruin the momentum. At one point, your companion Wedge also stops halfway to pet a cat! The collective effect of momentum-breaking segments necessary to allow your PS4 hard drive to boot up areas is definitely noticeable, and undoubtedly tampers with the game’s replayability value.
DLC? More like Console Paywall
That said, PS4 owners won’t be receiving any improvements from the original experience. They will have to migrate to the PlayStation 5, where they will receive a version upgrade but without the Yuffie/Sonon DLC chapter. That will need to be purchased separately. Saddening still is that owners of the Digital Deluxe edition of the PlayStation 4 version of the game will still need to purchase the standalone DLC when crossing platforms.
The Intergrade Yuffie DLC chapter won’t be available on PS4. It is likely a move to usher in the Remake’s PS4 audience to PS5 before Part 2 comes out. Considering that Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 will likely focus on the open-world segment of the original FF7, we can assume that it will require the fast load time capabilities of the PlayStation 5 SSD, and that it will skip the PS4 release entirely.