June 13, 2021

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade - a stunning upgrade for PS5

Just over a year on from release, Final Fantasy 7 Remake for PlayStation 4 gets one of the most satisfying PS5 updates yet with its Intergrade upgrade, entirely free to existing owners (bar the PS+ version). All you need is your original PS4 copy - or digital licence - running on PS5 hardware to qualify for a frankly beautiful suite of extras and enhancements. As a huge fan of the Remake on PS4, Intergrade ticks pretty much every box for what I wanted: loading times are drastically improved, textures are reworked in key spots, effects are added, and there's also an optional 60fps performance mode to go alongside its 4K30 graphics option.

And there's more: while Intergrade is a free update for buyers of the PS4 version, there is also a new "Intermission" DLC expansion that can be bought on the side. Or, you can just get the PS5 version outright and it's included there. Intermission has you take charge of ninja side-character Yuffie in her adventures across Midgar, shuriken in hand, with a move set that feels distinct from Cloud's. Accessed via a new front end menu, essentially you get two new chapters for the game. It's true standalone adventure, it's beautifully presented, and all round easy to recommend for fans of the main game. The only drawback is that it's a PS5 exclusive for at least six months - so whether we'll see it on PS4, PC or even Xbox at some point remains to be seen.

But to get to the point, Intergrade offers both a 30fps quality and 60fps performance mode and the good news is that frame-rate and resolution aside, there's nothing to otherwise split them in visual features. If you're happy with 30fps, the quality mode manages to render a native 3840x2160 for the majority of the time too - 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 PS4 Pro's 2880x1620 maximum. The clarity offered by PS5 is excellent, the presentation looking beautiful on a 4K screen. By contrast, PS5's performance mode tends to settle in the 2688x1512 region, though I did spot an 1152p minimum in a rare instance.

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