Overall super impressed. It has brought to life a cherished game of mine. The original game to me is my favourite game of all time. The remake so far hasn't taken that spot, but it's certainly given me strong feels, shocking moments, kept me entertained, and intrigued. I've wanted to cry, jump for joy, have had huge nostalgia, and just love seeing the game in the best possible way it can be.
The game has deviated in some ways (especially the Whispers and some minor plot points removed), but overall it is highly faithful and I am genuinely impressed. I am very much looking forward to the next one. Given the changes made, I really hope the rest of the game is only 1 more part as they've made significant investment in building up hopes for the rest of the story, and I don't think 2 or more parts properly justifies the deviations made. If I could know it was a closer match story wise, then I'd be up for 3 parts, but imo it could break the immersion and continuity a lot.
The game is very, very stable. Some weird camera controls sometimes, but no bugs. Had 1 crash when loading from an autosave in the collapsed freeway, it froze during the loading screen so I killed it and loaded a full save instead. However I'm impressed how glitch free the game is.
Visual quality is absolutely stunning and the characters are brilliantly brought to life. They are absolutely nailed in terms of voices, behaviour, look, animation, everything. Cloud and Barrett especially are exactly as they should be on all fronts. I am in love with Cloud more than before and can't wait to see the rest of his story unfold.
Some textures are really low quality such as the doors in sector 7 slums, and the view of the other plates when climbing the tower in some shots towards the end of the game is very poor and reminds me too much of the old game with static low resolution backgrounds!
Some weird plot changes such as the Whispers. In my opinion, pointless, and are there only for dramatic effect, and are a bit meta as a representation of oh, let's kill Barret, but then actually the rest of the story needs him, so bring him back. That's destiny! Or more, that's the plot.
There are some good plot changes, such as the side story with Jessie and new character Roche, I thought that was excellent. The majority of the game is all excellent in its deviations until the end.
President Shinra was killed on view, I thought it was more more impactful in the original seeing blood everywhere and his corpse. It was more shocking in the original when you look inside the Jenova chamber as well and see the severed head. I remember that scene scared me before but all that has been lost in the Remake which is a real shame.
I'm surprised by the amount of shots of future scenes like Nibelheim and the reactor there, the end of the game, and hints at Aerith.
I like the extension of the use of the Sephiroth clones as puppets, from what I recall that only was used in the original once you'd left Midgar.
I'm not happy with the scenes removed at the Honey Bee Inn with Cloud and the creepy music plays, and when Cloud gets on the bike at Shinra rather than waltzing in already on it.
I'm hoping they bring back all the scary elements because so far it's completely missing the scary factor that out the game on another level of creepy.