The presentation is phenomenal. I could not stop taking in the scenery wherever I was, and it felt really pleasing to the eyes the whole way through.
The sound design is incredible as well. The music re-syncs according to the situation and kicks in at the exact moment it needs to.
Here's a great example:
That is how you relive an iconic moment.
According to Maximillian, the developers told him behind the scenes at E3 that they spent a lot of time on cinematic music. "We want the music to go from highs to lows, and to carry moments throughout the whole game. We want the whole game to feel like it's choreographed musically."
Max: "And I'm watching these moments as the music is queing up and crescendoing at the right times and I'm just thinking.... no one's gonna fucking believe me. No one's gonna believe me that this is..."
I honestly can't believe how good the music was, just in this portion of the game. Can the rest of the game really keep up with this level all the way through?
After the Demo was done I just stayed on the screen for a while and listened to the music. It was so good. Ear porn.
I really liked the character's banter. I was always interested in what they would say, and how they would say it.
I actually looked forward to every new cutscene, as if I was a kid again. And although I will play this with Japanese voice overs, I thought the English cast did a really good job. Barret was grumpy and and tropey, as he should be. Jesse was playful and bubbly. (I also noticed that her voice actor got her Japanese anime-esque grunts down pretty well, which often sounds off to me when done by a western actor) And she did her thing with the rock.
Now for the combat, I have mainly positive but also a few negative things to say. The concept seems good. Action based but with significantly more strategic elements than were available at this point in the original game. Different stances, managing the ATB gauge and the various ways to increase it, staggering, dodging, countering, switching characters for long/close range enemies, taking cover behind intractable objects during battle. And of course, we're finally allowed to use normal attacks while saving our Limit Break for the right moment. But this is just a Demo, and the full game will have more combat systems in place. Aside from summons, there's supposedly going to be ways to link up characters special attacks, which sounds similar to the Dual and Triple Techs from Chrono Trigger.
Attacks look and feel good, while the framerate seems stable on a base PS4. But at least in the demo, combat could feel chaotic at times with lots of things going on. But once I'm more familiar with combat, I may feel more comfortable. For the boss battle it was hard to see which attacks it would use at certain times due to the camera angle when locked on. But I just now realized that you can adjust the camera settings, so I'll try having it more zoomed out next time.
The A.I. for the second character behaved questionably in some situations. Like when I was using Cloud and there were both long and close ranged enemies. I focused on fighting the close ranged enemies, assuming Barret would naturally target the snipers up on the ledge that I can't reach., But nope, he didn't. And they kept sniping me while the grounded enemies were attacking me at the same time. But maybe that's also improved in the final game, or we'll be able to give our partners strategic settings.
I see some people being surprised that the partner didn't auto-heal them, but I didn't expect them to, because Potions are consumable item. I didn't find it to be a problem at all either, because doing it myself while using the partners ATB gauge without switching characters was quick and simple. Press X (or R2) to bring up the menu which (almost) pauses the gameplay. Scroll over to Barret, and chose Potion.
It's possible there may be some kind of strategies you can set your partners to follow in the full game though, so that Aerith will automatically use magic/abilities to heal you under the conditions you specify, etc. But I wouldn't expect it.
One thing I don't understand is why we weren't able to use potions from the main menu though. That was odd.
I enjoyed the combat. Not in love with it yet, but it was fun so far.
Last edited by Hiku - on 03 March 2020
Overall, it was a fun Demo, and I'm very much looking forward to the full game now.