Critical Reception: Square Enix's Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII

This week's Critical Reception takes a look at online reaction to Square Enix's third-person shooter title set in the Final Fantasy VII universe, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII for the PS2.
This week's version of regular column Critical Reception takes a look at online reaction to Square Enix's third-person shooter title set in the Final Fantasy VII universe, Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII for the PS2. Since being released in Japan in January, Dirge of Cerberus has been mired in controversy due to its mediocre review scores and its surprisingly quick trip to the bargain bins following poor sales. The title's online multiplayer services are scheduled to be shut down in September due to lack of use, and the opinion shared by many Japanese gamers is generally one of disappointment. Dirge of Cerberus's current average score of 58% at online rating aggregate site similarly reflects disappointment for reviewers in the United States, though many reviews remain positive. Awarding Dirge of Cerberus a 7 out of 10, IGN's Jeremy Dunham cites a number of improvements the title has seen for its U.S. release. "Fixing the camera and targeting system aren't the only addendums," writes Dunham. "A plethora of various adjustments have also been addressed for the final American version. These updates include a hastening of Vincent's default running and firing speeds, a more challenging item management system (there are fewer to hold and they're worth less when resold), and the Chaos limit break (an alternate beast-form melee attack) is much more useful." Dunham admits that the title has its faults with level design and pacing, but overall remains a worthwhile experience. "Is Dirge of Cerberus the best use of the Final Fantasy VII universe? Definitely not," he concludes. "Is it a decent game with a strong story and occasionally-engaging rifle blasting? Absolutely." Gamespy's Justin Speer is a little less enthusiastic. "Other than the enjoyable upgrade system, there are a few other elements that help pull Dirge above the level of a completely generic shooter," Speer observes. The title could have particular worth to fans of Final Fantasy VII, however. "It's lacking in originality and refinement," says Speer, "but Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII ends up as a playable and occasionally interesting experiment with traditional action gameplay packed with cutscenes, story and fan-pleasing cameos." The fan-pleasing aspect of Dirge of Cerberus is a matter of dispute, though. "Dirge seems to treat the common FFVII fan with disdain instead of respect," writes's Andrew Pfister in his review, explaining that even FFVII enthusiasts would be hard-pressed to tolerate the title's lackluster gameplay. Pfister gives the game a rating of 4 out of 10, and summarizes his complaints by listing the numerous gaming cliches Dirge of Cerberus regurgitates throughout: "Gates. Keycards. Ammo crates. Exploding barrels. And oh yeah, an escort mission." Despite a lack of enthusiasm from reviewers, Dirge of Cerberus appears to be on its way to becoming a big seller regardless. The depth of the fanaticism that surrounds Final Fantasy VII is not to be underestimated, and though Dirge of Cerberus suffers from many gameplay issues, the title's continuation of FFVII's storyline could prove too alluring a prospect for series die-hards to resist.

Latest Jobs


Vancouver, BC, Canada

Bladework games

Remote (United States)
Senior Gameplay Engineer

University of Canterbury

Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Academic in Game Arts and Animation

Fred Rogers Productions

Hybrid (424 South 27th Street, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Producer - Games & Websites
More Jobs   


Explore the
Advertise with
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer


Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Advertise with

Game Developer

Engage game professionals and drive sales using an array of Game Developer media solutions to meet your objectives.

Learn More
Follow us


Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more