The ideal crossover draws fans from opposite ends of a two-game aisle toward a single experience that honors each individual title whilst serving as a free sample for the one folks aren’t familiar with. I’ve got a friend, she knows who she is, who is obsessed with PowerWash Simulator. Lives and breathes it. Not so much Final Fantasy. Meanwhile, I’m the opposite. Naturally, this makes the free Midgar Special Pack DLC perfect for us both; my friend gets her first taste of FF7 Remake, and I get to clean a bar.
When I put it that way, I can’t help but feel like my friend has the better part of this deal.
Honestly, though? I get it. There’s a certain zen-like experience to be found in PowerWash Simulator. I can’t speak to the core game, as I’m only giving this all a shake via the DLC, but I can see through this Midgar-centric perspective why millions of people enjoy cleaning up filthy environments at their leisure with a washing apparatus that can blast watery payloads into grime-caked surfaces with ample might. The gameplay loop is rhythmic. It’s nice to see a pretty thing slowly emerge from its cocoon of filth. It’s nifty to know you’re the one who did that.
In Final Fantasy VII Remake, the Midgar Special is a kind of pizza that Avalanche member Jessie’s doting mother loves to bake for her daughter’s plucky group of eco-terrorist friends. The Midgar Special Pack contains no pizza, which is a bummer, if an understandable one. Instead, players are taken on a tour through five stages in need of deep cleaning, all lovingly rendered depictions of iconic spots in the titular city.
The first stage is breezy enough that I didn’t feel like I had missed anything major by beginning my PowerWash Simulator journey via this content. I cleaned the Hardy Daytona and Shinra Hauler for Reeve Tuesti, who kept texting me fast facts about the vehicles. It was a little charming.
After that, it was on to the Scorpion Sentinel, and you’ve got to get in good with every little groove there is, and by the way, the machine’s eye-like camera is moving around the whole time, which is scary until it isn’t – and then it’s scary all over again when you realize how accustomed to it you have become. Heidegger kept brag-texting me. It was a little much.
The remaining three stages grow increasingly complex, starting with Tifa’s Seventh Heaven. Let me tell you, this place is a mess. She says Don Corneo’s lackeys are responsible, but frankly, I’m not convinced this isn’t just what’s left of the place after… well, if you’re reading this review, you probably know what event I’m referring to. Also, Tifa is, like, trying to recruit me into Avalanche the whole time? She must have a lot of faith in my moral integrity. Is she aware I just polished a powerful Shinra weapon to a mirror sheen?
I guess what I’m trying to get through to you is that the DLC cutely attempts to convey something of a story, though of course it’s just a bunch of words that’ll periodically pop up. You can’t reply or anything, but it’s neat that it exists all the same. The texts seem timed to one’s progress per stage; I’m bad at this game, you see, and I noticed Heidegger went silent on me for over half an hour at one point before going on about poking bears or something when I finished cleaning the Guard Scorpion’s legs. Weird dude.
The Midgar Special Pack is just about all I could hope for, which is to say a fun handful of hours in some very familiar places that’s trained me to enjoy swapping nozzles and provided a string of dopamine boosts because I kept making stuff shiny. I wish the game played some Final Fantasy VII tunes, or at least tossed in a few nostalgic sound effects, but no dice.
If you own PowerWash Simulator – either through willful purchase or a Game Pass subscription – this recommendation’s a no-brainer. I’m going out on a limb and guessing you like Final Fantasy, seeing as you’re here, reading this review, on this particular website.
If you have zero interest in the premise behind this strangely successful sim, but desperately need more Remake in your life, there are far worse ways to kill an afternoon. This might not be Jessie’s mom’s famous pizza, but it still hits a spot I didn’t know I had in me.
Disclaimer: Review code for PowerWash Simulator: Midgar Special Pack was provided by the publisher Square Enix.