TLDR at the bottom
If you had asked me when I first started playing it I would’ve said it is without a doubt, but the more I spent with it the more I began to realize that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are a lot of factors that I think separate it from its top tier action rpg peers, but I’ll narrow it down to a few I can think of.
Lack of emphasis on muscle memory or reflexes. One thing I’ve noticed is that FF7R doesn’t really demand much of you when it comes to reacting to enemies moves, even if it does you could easily trump it by using strategy instead of raw skill. The level of demand is even less when it comes to inputs being essentially limited to one button press for a very limited variety of combo potential.
Another core fundamental of action games is the intuitiveness of interacting with the environment. Take for example Monster hunter world as it’s the best example of this. You can shoot hanging boulders down to have them rain on your enemies, slide down slippery slopes to then jump and grab onto a monster. There’s a level of dynamic play in the one to one combat that isn’t scripted like many of the scenes in FF7R.
Things as simple as being able to jump/parkour or drop down on enemies to do a death from above kill represent this, some games go even farther by letting you use stats to manipulate the way you interact with the environment. FF7R doesn’t feature much or if any of this in It’s combat/gameplay. It’s combat Is more rigid and it’s flexibility comes more from what you can do under the hood in menus, which is fine if you’re making an rpg but an action rpg requires both of these systems equally.
Take the nioh series for example, which I think is the ideal scenario of gameplay for an action rpg. It’s game with an immense level of depth in its rpg systems where you can customize essentially every variable there is to the way you play, but it doesn’t just stop there and rely on that, it has skillful combat that requires memorizing a number of inputs, there’s techniques you can master in the form of ki pulse and stances. Nothing is limited to cutscenes and everything can be performed by a player with enough skill. A good action rpg IMO should be able to hold its own in depth without its rpg mechanics and vice versa.
This is where I think FF7R fails instead of a fully fleshed out action combat system it feels as if we were given just some sparkles and dazzles to flash people with the most rudimentary mechanics.
TLDR can we please not praise it as a good action rpg anymore, because when I sit and think about how it stacks up for too long, I begin to realize how much it’s lacking. It’s a good game with a good story and great rpg elements, but is it a good action rpg imo square has a long way to go.
- Does an MMO with good action combat actually exist? While still being more than just the combat?
- Good action combat mmorpg for consoles? PC?
- Should linear action-adventure games continue to implement RPG mechanics?
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