Okay, I get it; growing pains are hard. As publishers expand their reach and begin to release more and more games across different genres, the temptation to stop relying on Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo to show off upcoming titles must grow exponentially. There are plenty of cases where it seems to have worked out for the better: Ubisoft usually puts on a decent show and Bethesda’s offering last night was the high point of E3 so far.
Unfortunately, for Square Enix’s first time hosting their own briefing, they’ve failed to justify exactly why they needed one in the first place.
Square Enix’s showing was light on reveals, and heavy on previously-seen trailers and release dates. The world already knew about Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Kingdom Hearts 3, The Awesome Adventures of Capitan Spirit, and Just Cause 4. If you’re a fan of JRPG’s, then you’re most likely looking forward to Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Illusive Age, but again, we already knew it was coming. There were a couple of interesting teases, including new titles called Babylon’s Fall and The Quiet Man, but neither of their trailers offered much in the way of gameplay or story details.
Perhaps the most disappointing element of Square Enix’s conference was the complete absence of any news regarding the Final Fantasy VII remake. This is easily one of the most hotly anticipated games slated for release any time this decade, and to have another E3 slip by without even a tease or an affirmation that the project is progressing well is disheartening.
It’s possible that Enix is saving this news for Sony’s show later tonight, but that would yet again beg the question of why they would bother putting together their own briefing in the first place if they’re making all of their biggest announcements on another publisher’s stage. Xbox announced that Kingdom Hearts would be coming to the platform and revealed Just Cause 4. If Sony gets FFVII, then there was scarcely any point to this at all.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- Release Date: Sept 14, 2018.
- Developed by Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics, the story will see Lara Croft try to stave off a Mayan apocalypse.
- There will be an emphasis placed on stealth gameplay, with lots of sneaking and brutal takedowns.
- Climbing bits of the environment has never been faster.
- The game will feature grappling, wall running, and 360 degree underwater exploration.
- The developers also promised even more, deadlier tombs, presumably ripe for raiding.
Final Fantasy XIV Online
- The next major patch, number 4.3, is called Under the Moonlight, and it is live now.
- FFXIV will also host a crossover event with Monster Hunter World later this summer.
The Awesome Adventures of Capitan Spirit
- Release Date: June 26, 2018, for free.
- This is an original story set in the universe of Life is Strange.
- With Capitan Spirit, DONTNOD wanted to explore the Life Is Strange universe and said that the world is hiding many secrets, some of which hint at the next season of the hugely popular game.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Illusive Age
- Release Date: July 29, 2018.
- That’s… pretty much it.
- Release Window: TBA 2019.
- A new title from Platinum Games.
Nier Automata: Become as Gods Edition
- Release Date: June 26, 2018.
- The complete Nier Automata package, complete with all DLC, on Xbox One.
- Release Date: July 19, 2018.
- Appears to be a JRPG with eight characters and a branching narrative.
Just Cause 4
- Release Date: Dec 4, 2018.
- The game will feature the largest map yet seen in the Just Cause series.
- Destruction will be brought to a new level with the introduction of extreme weather, such as tornadoes, lightning, blizzards, and sandstorms.
- Vehicle handling has been totally overhauled.
- The grapple is now fully customizable, with modifications made to keep it intuitive for newcomers, but allow veterans to increase the level of difficulty.
- Enemy AI has been fine-tuned to offer a greater challenge and keep players on their toes.
- The whole game was built in the brand new Apex engine.
The Quiet Man
- Release Window: TBA, with more details to come in August.
- It looks to be a game of some kind. That’s about all I’ve got.
Kingdom Hearts 3
- Release Date: Jan 20, 2019.
- Few new details were shown, but the extended version of the Xbox showcase trailer did tease new characters, like Wreck-it-Ralph.
And that’s it for Square Enix’s first ever E3 showcase! Be sure to check back in a few hours for my thoughts and breakdown of Ubisoft’s briefing at 4:00pm ET.