The monkey’s paw curled hard on this one. Players have been waiting for the fantastic Final Fantasy VII Remake to hit PC for nearly two years now, but not like this. The PC version has stuttering issues and barely any settings options, despite a premium price tag of $70.
Released last week exclusively (for now at least) on the Epic Games Store, the PC port is the FFVII Remake Intergrade version Square Enix released on PS5 that comes with a Yuffie story expansion, a photo mode, and performance graphics options. The port is supposed to run the game at a smooth 60 fps. On PC, however, players are reporting significant frame drops, especially in crowded areas like Midgar’s slums.
“This is just one brief moment in the first 5 minutes of the game,” Digital Foundry content creator Alexander Battaglia wrote on Twitter shortly after the game’s release on December 17. “Spinning the camera causes a sustained drop and then a big stutter.”
Battagilia’s footage was captured on an RTX3090 GPU and i9-10900K processor, according to Eurogamer’s John Linneman who reviewed it. “The PC port of FFVIIR is terrible,” he wrote on Twitter. “The smooth presentation was central to its storytelling and this version compromises it.”
It’s not exactly clear what the source of the problems is, but as PC Gamer notes the lack of settings options clearly isn’t helping. There’s no option to toggle VSync, turn off motion blur, change anti-aliasing, or even set a variable framerate. PCGamingWiki cites VRAM issues, which suggests FFVII Remake is poorly optimized on PC at the moment.
Square Enix didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the issues, but in the meantime PC Gamer suggests forcing the game to use DirectX 11 instead of DX12 to help with stuttering. Other players have already gotten a headstart on patching the game, with a new mod to disable dynamic resolution already in circulation.
While Square Enix’s track record when it comes to PC ports is spotty at best, FFVII Remake Intergrade’s current performance is especially shocking considering it’s the first modern game on the platform to break the $60 ceiling for a new launch. Accordingly, the pricetag has sparked tons of outrage in the process. Fortunately for Square Enix, the Epic Games Store still doesn’t have user reviews, or even discussion boards.
Correction: 12/22/21, 11:06 a.m. ET: A previous version of this article misstated that FFVII Remake had come to Xbox.