This game is gorgeous. If there is any one thing that makes this game stand apart, it is the visuals. The gameplay looks great and the quality of the video is unparalleled. That said, there are a few problems.
Imagine God of War, that action-packed fast combat system with waves of enemies. Now slow that down. Slow it down to only a handful of enemies fought at a time and each enemy is highlighted with a target when attacking. Now add a materia system, use of magic, to the mix and you are close to the gameplay of Crisis Core but still missing one thing. The final ingredient is the touch of a random lottery system that will always help but will not always provide the correct help.
There is the main story and then there are the Missions. While the game will take some time to complete, the time spent playing can be extended by taking on missions which are short sections of play with a small area and a boss at the end. There are a large number of these with the difficulty being displayed according to the current player stats and previous levels completed. Most contain useful materia or equipment that can be gained no other way.
Have you played Final Fantasy VII? No? Well, then you might not understand every connection, every detail and will most likely not understand all the cameos. The story does stand alone though. With such a beloved story as background and a cast of interesting characters it will suck in even new players and hold them to the end. Recommended to those familiar with the Final Fantasy VII series but be warned that it plays more like an action game than a traditional role playing game.