Square Enix's decision to split Final Fantasy VII Remake into multiple installments may harm the game for one big reason.
A New Beginning – Final Cut
Bent Svennson, workaholic Norwegian scientist, is trying to overcome his habits by retiring to a cabin in the woods and relaxing by a lake. Bent used to be involved in research to use algae for energy production, but now his most stressful moments are when his fogger doesn’t work or his therapist calls and demands he repeat “I am not responsible for the whole world” a whole bunch of times.
Turns out that his therapist might be wrong, because in the year 2500, the people still inhabiting an earth ruined by pollution and climate change decide to go back in time to stop the damage from being done. One of these people is radio operator Fay, and she asks Bent to join her in saving the world now so that there will be a better world for her later on. She tells him a long story about the ruins of San Francisco in 2050, and that’s where this game really starts to take off.
A New Beginning has cut scenes that are in a comic book style, the story unfolds in panels, with exciting things like explosions happening on the screen like they were in a movie. It makes the game very exciting to play, because the cut scenes happen quite a few times throughout each chapter. The only problem is that it takes you out of an active role in the game and sticks you with just being an observer, though mostly what happens in the cut scene is a direct consequence of what you’ve done in the game.
This is a point and click adventure game, so much of the time you’re looking for objects or trying to manipulate them in ways that will allow you to fix some issue preventing you from moving on. A New Beginning likes you to combine objects together and use the result to progress, such as when you break a metal comb in two and reassemble it to make a screwdriver. Sometimes the combinations are logical, other times it takes a little bit before you figure out how to combine the objects in the way the game wants you to. There were only a couple of times I got stuck, and that was mostly in the beginning. Once I realized that the game wanted you to combine things in certain ways, then it became a bit easier.
I found the story of A New Beginning to be more interesting than the puzzles it threw at me, though there were definitely puzzles that I found really challenging and still fun at the same time. There’s a skip feature built into this game that you can use if you get too frustrated by a particular puzzle or are just eager to see the story on the other side of said puzzle. I only used it once or twice, and the first time was because I didn’t know what the big red button on the edge of the puzzle did. For the most part, A New Beginning manages to make its puzzles difficult but still fun and non-aggravating if you end up getting stuck on one for a while. There was only one puzzle I didn’t understand, and that was with the binoculars very late in the game. But since I could skip it after a certain amount of time, it wasn’t a problem.
The characters in A New Beginning are very well drawn and you end up caring about them by the end of the story, though you care more about some than others, and there were some I just didn’t like at all. They do have a tendency to over-talk though, there were times when the dialogue just seemed to go on too long about things I didn’t really care about.
The end, which I won’t spoil here, was a bit confusing and it’s not completely happy. But I had a good time getting there.
A New Beginning Final Cut was reviewed on PC after finishing the game.