Square Enix haven’t been on the greatest of terms with gamers in recent years. Many people believe the magic of yesteryear is gone. It seems the good folks at Square Enix took the criticism to heart, and I feel like their showing at E3 this year won them a whole lot of brownie points. Besides the announcement heard around the world, they had other stuff to show that went a long way to getting the tarnish off of their name.
The conference kicked off with Just Cause 3, and boy was it explosive. Literally. Explosion, after explosion, after explosion. Explosions via parachute. Via vehicle. Via grappling hook. Via wing suit. Via horseback. Via skateboard. Via surfboard. I’ll let you figure out which of those are lies. The game looks really fun, and the formula seems to be Just Cause 2 + bigger + better. Seems like a winning formula. We’ll find out on December 1 of this year.
Next up, we were treated to a trailer for an action game from fan favorite Platinum Games. The game turned out to be Nier 2. I haven’t played the first one, but anything Platinum is involved in gets my attention. There wasn’t much to show, and we were told to expect more details in the fall. But the trailer was pretty! Apparently the team didn’t think it would ever be possible to make the game. So expect some off the wall mechanics.
Next up was badass Lara Croft with Rise of the Tomb Raider. This game is getting a ton of attention, yet somehow I feel like its not getting enough. The more I see, the more I want to see. Crystal Dynamics just shared a cinematic trailer since the game was demoed during Microsoft’s conference. It still wet my appetite. Maybe I should get the XBox One sooner than later. They also showed some behind the scenes footage detailing how they were able to make Lara feel more real. Impressive stuff. Also, we were promised that “the tombs are back.” Great! Finally, a moblie game called Lara Croft Go! was announced. It’s looks high quality.
Next up was the trailer that rocked the gaming world. Otherwise known as the Final Fantasy 7 remake. Seeing it again was just as special somehow. I guess because it assured me I didn’t imagine it. I still can’t believe it’s happening.
Now it was time for some Kingdom Hearts news. First up was the announcement of…..a mobile game. Kingdom Hearts: Unchained was announced for iOS and Android, but I would be lying if I said I cared. However, Kingdom Hearts 3 I DO CARE ABOUT. After a video revealing that the world of Tangled would be in Kingdom Hearts 3, we got to see a trailer featuring some gameplay and summons. The summons looked fantastic! Also, I noticed there was a definite sense of scale that the first 2 games didn’t quite have. It seemed massive in comparison. I can’t wait to see more.
More Final Fantasy! This time around its the World of Final Fantasy game that was revealed at Sony’s conference. The aim here seems to be to make Final Fantasy accessible to anyone, which isn’t a bad goal. Its really cutesy and casual friendly appearance wise, so one has to wonder what the gameplay will be like. I do want to know more though. I mean, its Final Fantasy.
Agent 47 was up next with a new Hitman title. Community created targets. More variation in your approach to assassinations.Targets that only appear once FOREVER. I was never a huge Hitman fan but this sounds freaking cool. Going for clean stealth kills seems like a good time, but its good to have the option to go Rambo. I’m also a fan of skills evolving over time.
After a trailer that featured Triad Wars, Hitman: Sniper, and Final Fantasy XV, Star Ocean was up next. The full name is Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. The former Japanese title was announced for the US and Europe in 2016, and then we saw some game play. The team is working on deading the notion that JRPGs are all about the cutscenes. Transition to battle is pretty much instant, and the battle system looks combo heavy which I always like.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was up next to the crowd’s delight. The team from the prior DE: Human Revolution has returned, and this title takes place 2 years later. The augmented humans have been cast aside to live in “Aug Only ghettos” now, in what was described as “mechanical apartheid.” Jensen now works for Interpol’s Task Force 29 in an attempt to destroy from within. The game is slated for early 2016.
After the announcement of a Final Fantasy Portal app (coming this summer), there was one more game to announce. It’s billed for now as Project Setsuna, and a brand new studio by the name of Tokyo RPG Factory is behind it. Square is apparently dedicated to pushing the RPG genre forward, and Project Setsuna is a step towards that in their words. Check tokyorpgfactory.com for more info.
Square had a nice conference. Some of the luster was gone due to FF7 and World of Final Fantasy being shown the night before, as well as Rise of the Tomb Raider the morning before. But there was a nice variety of titles on display, and new IP’s are always good to see. Kingdom Hearts 3 looked great, as did Deus Ex, and Project Setsuna looks promising. I think Square took some very positive steps towards gaining the gamers trust back. Let’s see if they can build off of this momentum in the months to come.