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E3 2018 reflection and recap: Square-Enix

Square-Enix, despite being a long time publisher and developer with dozens of franchises under their wing, has spent very little time with E3 press conferences. Their last E3 showing was three years ago, where they showed trailers that were already shown at Sony’s conference that year. With two long-awaited titles in Kingdom Hearts 3 and Final Fantasy VII Remake finally happening (eventually), Square has a lot to show, with room for plenty of surprise announcements. If fans are expecting something on the level of Microsoft yesterday or Sony later tonight, they’re going to be disappointed.

After watching the event, even fans with tempered expectations were most definitely disappointed.

The summary

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider had another trailer that was different from the one shown at Microsoft's conference, complete with more gameplay. The game will be available on September 14th on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
    • The player will have to fight a Mayan apocalypse
    • Lara Croft will "become one with the jungle" which means that the game has a heavy stealth focus.
    • New traversal techniques, including 360 degree underwater swimming
    • A greater number of deadlier tombs
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood had a short gameplay trailer that shows the new content added in the most recent patch. This includes the new raid, Ridorana Lighthouse. The patch has already been released.
    • A new crossover event between Monster Hunter World and FFXIV was announced for Summer 2018, probably with an upcoming patch.
  • The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit received another new trailer. The game is not Life is Strange 2 but will lead into that game's world. The game will be available for free on June 26th for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
  • Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age was given a trailer and a release date, which was previously known. The trailer showed some story elements and brief gameplay segments. The game is set to release September 4th, 2018 on PS4 and PC.
    • It will also have a crossover with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius.
  • A new game by Platinum Studios, titled Babylon's Fall, was given a trailer. The game will release in 2019 for PC and PS4.
  • Nier: Automata for Xbox One had a trailer that was repeated from Microsoft's event. The game will be available June 26th on the Xbox Store.
  • Octopath Traveler had a trailer shown. The game is available on July 13th, 2018 on Nintendo Switch.
  • Just Cause 4 had another trailer shown, this time with more depth.
    • Just Cause 4 has the largest and most breathtaking world in the series.
    • The game will have more variety than previous games.
    • Extreme weather will be introduced to make the game more destructive.
    • Vehicles were overhauled from previous titles.
    • The grappling hook can be upgraded and modified.
    • Enemy AI is more intelligent than previous titles.
    • The game is running on a new open world Apex Engine.
    • The game will release December 4th, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
  • A partially live-action teaser trailer for a game titled "The Quiet Man" (presumably the sequel to The Bye-Bye Man) was shown. More to come in August.
  • Kingdom Hearts III was shown again, in a trailer very similar to the one shown in Microsoft's conference. A Ratatouille summon was shown, along with some more new story content. The game is still set to release on January 29th 2019 for PS4 and Xbox One.

The good

Seeing more in-depth gameplay for titles like Just Cause 4 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider was nice, especially since those games are releasing later in the year. A few new moments were included in the Kingdom Hearts III trailer, with the cast from Twilight Town and more Organization XIII members. Kingdom Hearts fans will, at the very least, have more new trailer footage to over-analyze in two-hour long YouTube videos.

The bad

The Quiet Man, despite having no gameplay shown, wins an award for worst titles in video games. Any title that evokes memories of The Bye-Bye Man shouldn’t make it off the cutting room floor. The trailer was also terrible as well, featuring live-action “seamlessly” transitioning into video game footage, except it doesn’t look good or seamless at all. There wasn’t anything else shown about the game to make it at all interesting.

The fact that their major announcements included a number of titles previously announced, some even previously released (like the recent Final Fantasy XIV patch), makes the show just lazy. It would have been better for that time to be spent with other titles, even if it was just some guy talking about Final Fantasy VII Remake for a few minutes.

The pointlessness of it all

This entire conference was pointless. Aside from the 15 second teaser for the new Platinum Studios game and the terrible trailer for The Quiet Man, there was nothing new that was shown. Nothing that any fans were expecting from a Square-Enix press conference was shown. Even the Dragon Quest title was one that has been released in Japan for almost a year now. Considering there are a number of titles Square could have talked about, like Final Fantasy VII Remake, it’s a wonder they even held had an E3 showcase at all.

Overall, this showcase is already being forgotten live. The disappointment from fans is immeasurable, and their days are ruined, at least until the next press conference. There might be more shown at Sony’s press conference for Square-Enix titles, but for now, it’s just sad and disappointing. The best hope we have is that at some point between now and the next showing of The Quiet Man, they change the title.

Source: YouTube

Image: Nintendo Everything

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