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ℹ️ - Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Photo Mode

Developer: Square Enix 

Publisher: Square Enix

Platform: PS5

Initial Release: 29th Feb 2024

 

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, the second part of Square Enix's remake trilogy, has arrived with a continuation of Cloud's story, more breathtaking environments, and some really great visuals to enjoy. Before you rush in thinking that this will be fantastic for original and creative in-game photography though, you should be aware that the photo mode is a bit of a nasty one.

- FF VII // REBIRTH -


We first saw this photo mode with the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade nearly 3 years ago; it was not good then, and it's not good now, so if you were hoping for any sort of "rebirth" of the photography features here, then you will be left disappointed. The photo mode remains unchanged and is certainly not anything capable of the "perfect shots" that the game hints at when you first open it.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

- FF VII // REBIRTH -


That means there is the same orbital camera that is fixed on the lead character with a tiny amount of horizontal and vertical adjustment. You can move it closer to or further from the character, but every composition is compromised by the lack of freedom. This is never more apparent than when in combat when the camera even seems reluctant to stay at the level of the character and instead sails overhead.


In the settings, you do get to tweak the field of view angle, but only by a meagre ±10°, while the camera roll manages just 30° in either direction. It is simply not enough to be actually useful, let alone creative, but worse still is the complete omission of any focus or depth of field features at all. These are some of the fundamentals that are essential to any kind of photography, so to see no sign of them is always a worry.

- FF VII REBIRTH // PHOTO MODE -


The list of features that the Final Fantasy photo mode doesn't include is admittedly a long one, but there are some things that it does ok on. I particularly like that you can not only reset individual settings, but also re-apply them by clicking L3 for a handy before & after comparison. It's also excellent to be able to adjust settings while the UI is hidden, although the UI is commendably very minimalist and unobtrusive to begin with.


A reasonable exposure slider lets you easily adjust the brightness, while there are a few graphical overlays and a good number of colour filters to choose from, plus more to unlock as you play through the game. The problem though, is that is seems like Square Enix perhaps think that this is enough to constitute originality when it really is not.

FF VII Rebirth Cinematic

- FF VII REBIRTH // CINEMATIC -


With camera movement and optical effects already so limited, it is inevitable that people's own creativity will be stifled as the photo mode doesn't let you realise a vision. With fans of the series being as keen as they are though, this sadly leads to a lot of shots simply being taken during cinematic cutscene sequences, where the photo mode offers nothing apart from those overlays and filters.


Doing this is absolutely NOT virtual photography. It is a copy of the existing presentation of the game art and may as well be a screen grab of a trailer video! Let me show you what I mean. Without being able to move the camera around, this...is not your shot!

FF VII Rebirth Cinematic

- FF VII REBIRTH // CINEMATIC -


This...is also not your shot!

FF VII Rebirth Cinematic

- FF VII REBIRTH // CINEMATIC -


This...is not, ok you get the picture.

FF VII Rebirth Cinematic

- FF VII REBIRTH // CINEMATIC -


I get it of course, people want to get great looking pictures from Final Fantasy, but the fans deserve a proper way to do that with original creativity. If you can manage to do that with the tools on offer here then fair play to you, but for me, Rebirth's photo mode completely fails to deliver and does a disservice to its creative fans and the wider art form.

- FF VII REBIRTH // PHOTO MODE -

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Full Feature Set:

Access & Control

Photo Mode Access: Pause Menu +

Camera Movement: Orbit camera with small lateral adjustment Horizontal Pan: n/a Vertical Tilt: n/a Roll: ± 30°

Menu UI


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