Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade does some extremely technical things to look better than the already beautiful PS4 version, but sometimes there's also a direct correlation between "more lights" and "more pretty."
A new developer interview on the official Unreal Engine blog (opens in new tab) goes in-depth with many of these improvements, bringing in three members of the Square Enix team who created Intergrade. Their answers to questions about loading in textures faster, improving reflections, and reworking fog are open and intricate, and it's worth reading the whole thing just to better appreciate the art and technique - even if you, like me, aren't entirely sure what it means for something to be "injected into the calculation voxel inside the viewing frustum of the camera in runtime."
Some explanations for the eternal enigma of "how come that game looks so good, though" are refreshingly simple.
"Upon commencing production for Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade, we reevaluated all of the lights placed in towns and, as a result, decided to increase the number of placements," lead rendering programmer Shuichi Ikeda says before plunging back into talk of luminance correction and light probes.
"Since we were able to leverage more wiggle room with our resources, it did allow us to add more light assets in various locations," he notes a little later on. "The purpose here was to add more information to some of the flat areas, which helps emphasize the hustle and bustle of Midgar."
The developers also note that making Intergrade helped them prepare for making Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 (which still has few official details, but will likely be exclusive to new-gen systems), and that's worth celebrating just as much as brighter streets and better fog.
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