With plenty of games in the pipeline and some truly exciting titles set to be fully unveiled, Square Enix certainly had all the pieces in place to assemble a memorable E3 conference this year. Titles such as Marvel’s Avengers and the long-gestating Final Fantasy VII Remake were both confirmed for the show, and both indeed premiered this past Monday. But what else was shown, and how did those titles’ full reveals go over? Let’s take a look at the notable announcements from the show. You can find a full list of every game announcement at the end of the article.
Final Fantasy VII Remake Showcase
This was the big one. After being announced years ago, news regarding Square’s FFVII Remake has been pretty slow to appear until this show. Opening with the iconic continue screen before launching into a trailer showing off the new gorgeous look of the game, this is the game people were here to see. The subsequent gameplay demo showed off the new combat style for the game, a pretty smooth-looking combination of hack ‘n slash real-time fighting and the tactical combat that the series is known for. The fact that this game will be a more fleshed-out version of the original is exciting, with a focus on building the world and characters up even more. The first part of the game will be set entirely in Midgar and is apparently about the size of a standalone RPG. The demonstration ended with another trailer finally showing fans Tifa and Sephiroth in action. The first part of the FFVII Remake launches on March 3, 2020.
Square Enix Collective Showcase
While the show was dominated by RPGs and JRPGs, Square’s bread and butter, the brief showcase of titles from the Square Enix Collective was a nice change of pace for their presentation. Showing off smaller, diverse titles that Square produces gave the show some dimension, and made it a bit more well-rounded. The showcase ended focusing on Circuit Superstars, a new arcade racing title, and showing off Battalion 1944, which is being catered to the old school shooter crowd. Most companies do an indie showcase during their presentations, but this one felt more well-placed and purposeful than most.
Square Enix Music Streaming Announcement
Through a brief commercial/trailer, it was revealed that all of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy soundtracks were now available across all streaming platforms. While not the most major announcement, these are great soundtracks. Having the ability to listen to them all online now is a cool announcement, and one that many fans seem very happy with.
People Can Fly, the studio behind Gears of War: Judgement and Bulletstorm, took the stage to briefly announce their brand new IP, Outriders. Not many details were revealed, but from the trailer and vi-doc shown we know that Outriders is an apocalyptic shooter, which features seamless drop-in, drop-out co-op throughout the story-driven action. We also know that the game is releasing sometime in Summer 2020.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered Announced
Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the show was the announcement of a remaster for Final Fantasy VIII, one of the series’ most divisive games. The trailer showed enhanced graphics and the game’s original combat system, while also letting fans see HD rendering of the beloved protagonist, Squall. The remaster is due out sometime this year, most likely in Winter 2019.
Marvel’s Avengers Showcase
At E3 a few years ago, a brief teaser was shown for an Avengers game from Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind the recent Tomb Raider reboot series. This year, we finally got to see the game in full, with a cinematic trailer and much more. The game features Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, and Bruce Banner/Hulk in an original story about redemption for the team after a set-up and ensuing disaster leaves them outlawed. Players will be able to control any of the heroes, who each have their own skills, abilities, and upgrades. Co-op with up to 4 players is also confirmed. The game will also take place in a persistent world, akin to Destiny and Anthem, with more content being added constantly. Developers were quick to point out that all heroes and areas in the future would be free, and that there would be no loot boxes or pay-to-win items. Featuring an all-star voice cast, Marvel’s Avengers launches on May 15, 2020.
Thoughts & Impressions
This conference was jam-packed with announcements, reminders, and trailers, so much so that I had to rewind multiple times to see what I had missed. The obvious star of the show was the Final Fantasy VII Remake, and it’s clear the audience felt the same way. To call this game beloved would be a massive understatement, so to open the show giving people exactly what they want to see felt very smart on Square’s part. The game looks absolutely gorgeous, and immediately shot to the top of my most anticipated games list for 2020.
Likewise, ending the show with the full Avengers reveal was smart. This game has been shrouded in mystery for years, and with the MCU’s iteration of the team coming to an end(game), this was the perfect time to unveil a new iteration to fill the void. Personally, I was pretty unimpressed with the character design and blandness of the trailer shown. The game does not look like a 2020 release graphically, and the trailer itself feeling pretty aimless. I’m withholding full judgement until we see some gameplay, but this felt like a pretty sizable letdown for a game this highly anticipated. Hopefully, things only improve from here, May 2020 is still far off.
I was pleasantly surprised by the announcement of a FFVIII remaster, an installment that I have not had the chance to play yet. With the Kingdom Hearts series introducing me to Squall, though, I’m very eager to pick up the improved re-release.
And finally, I continue to be surprised by the lack of a real showing for Dying Light 2. The first title surprised me with how fun and inventive it was and became something of a sleeper hit, so to see this little of the sequel is confusing. There was some anticipation when it was announced that Techland partnered with Square for E3 to show off the game, and to only get a choppy gameplay trailer felt pretty baffling.
Overall, this was a good show from Square Enix. They kept everything moving right along, with a focus entirely on games old and new. There was barely a second wasted, and it got me excited for what’s to come from the studio, even through some of the more confusing choices. On the whole, I was very happy with everything we saw.
As promised, here is a list of everything shown at the show:
- Final Fantasy VII Trailers + Gameplay Demo
- Life Is Strange 2 Trailer
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Trailer
- Octopath Traveler Steam Trailer
- The Last Remnant Remastered Trailer
- Dragon Quest Builder 2 Announcement Trailer
- Dragon Quest XI Definitive Edition Switch Announcement Trailer
- Circuit Superstars Announcement Trailer
- Square Enix Music Catalogue Streaming Announcement Trailer
- Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Mind DLC Trailer
- Final Fantasy XIV Online: Shadowbringers Trailer
- Dying Light 2 Gameplay Trailer
- Romancing Saga 3 & Saga Scarlet Western Release Announcement Trailer
- Outriders Reveal Trailer + Vi-Doc
- Oninaki Announcement Trailer
- Final Fantasy VIII Remastered Announcement Trailer
- Marvel’s Avengers Reveal Trailer + Details