A look at some of the accessibility options and features in Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
Square Enix’s Final Fantasy 7 Remake is nearing its official release date of April 10, and you can find out what DualShockers thought about the game through our review. In addition to that, we wanted to highlight some of the accessibility features that seem to be present from day 1. A small post to give players a better understanding of if the game they’re most likely looking forward to is going to be accessible to them and their needs.
From the start, you’re shown the opening title screen which allows you to choose from starting a new game, continue a saved game, load a saved game, or rummage through the options menu. The options menu allows players to set some features before they jump into the game.
The gameplay options, as shown below, allow you to change the difficulty, even throughout the game. You’re given the choice of playing the game in Easy mode, Normal mode, or Classic mode. Classic mode allows you to experience Final Fantasy 7 Remake as it used to be, where action sequences are all automatic, with you simply controlling the menu abilities.
Our reviewer, Kris says that a Hard mode and a chapter select option is unlocked when you complete the game. Chapter select will allow you to go back and replay any chapter, keeping any levels and equipment you have. In addition, you’ll also be able to switch to Hard mode where items can’t be used, and you can’t recover MP at rest spots. However, Hard mode doesn’t allow you to start a new game in this mode, only replay chapters.
The gameplay area also lets you change the subtitles for both dialogue and the chat log. You have the choice to display the subtitles for just dialogue or to have the dialogue accompanied by a speaker’s name to better understand who’s speaking. You can see what they look like below.
The font sizing is fairly large, which is nice, and they have a slight, hard drop-shadow. However, the text still appears to blend into the brighter parts of the gameplay so it’s a shame we don’t have the option to add a background box to further make the subtitles stand out. The speaker’s name is also nicely displayed as it stands out by being above the dialogue text but also being divided by a line.
Camera and Controls
From this section, you’ll be able to set the default camera distance for when in battle and out of battle. You can allow the camera to be repositioned, have inverted camera controls, lock-on toggles, and lock-on switching, and more. There are also options to have the screen shake effect on or off, and an option to choose whether you want controller vibration to be on or off but nothing for the strength.
There’s not a lot of options here, but the options available are pretty much what you’d expect. You’re able to adjust the volume of music, sound effects, and dialogue all independently. There’s also the Language area which allows players to switch between English, Japanese, and French.
During gameplay, for a more cinematic experience, the HUD is usually hidden away, however, during combat, the HUD shows key text at a fairly decent size while remaining stylized to suit the layout. Although some informational text seems potentially small for some players but is rectified by the actual information being more prominent. For example, the “HP” text can blend into the HUDs blueish background, but the actual HP reading stands out and is clear what it represents.
There are also on-screen combat controls that the player can see in the top left (this can be switched off in the gameplay area). A minimap is also displayed but in trying to fit the style of the rest of the futuristic HUD, its transparency makes it somewhat awkward to see when over brighter background areas. You can find examples of these in the two images below.
As for controller bindings, Kris informs me that it’s not possible to rebind any individual controls and that you’ll be restricted to just using the controller preset. Although, while Final Fantasy 7 Remake is currently to be a PS4 exclusive for at least a year, I imagine if a PC version of the game arrives, you’ll be able to rebind keys. Alas, for now the control scheme is fairly locked in place.
During gameplay, when you open the combat menu, time becomes super slowed down allowing you to take some time to choose. The game can also be fully paused at any time, even during cutscenes. Additionally, the in-game main menu allows you to go through important information such as spells, enemy intel, your party, etc. But there are options to adjust the battle settings and a “System” option which allows you to jump back into the options menu, return to the title screen, and view your play log.