E3 2019: Square Enix Showcase

It’s no exaggeration to say that Final Fantasy in all its various guises, remakes and remasterings for Square Enix took up most of its E3 showcase this year.

The leftover time was given to a whole host of jrpg’s, Battalion 1944 and, of course, that Marvel Avengers trailer. But more on that later. The crowd was pumped, looked like the drinks were flowing, so let’s take a look at what Square Enix has in store for players coming up this year and next.

Rocking the Ear Bling

Final Fantasy VII Remake Launches On 3rd March 2020

Square Enix kicked off their 2019 Showcase with a trailer for Final Fantasy VII remake, with the creative director thanking fans for their patience over the years.  

“Is my hair, ok?” “Yeah, how’s my Blue Steel?” “Perfection.”

The world and characters are now apparently deeper, with huge amounts of new content coming.

The first new content release will focus on the world of Midgar, with details of the others games to be released not yet known.

The presentation focused on combat in the game, which has been beefed up to offer players a new hybrid gameplay system with real time action and tactical combat decisions.  

In the impressive looking slow motion Tactical mode you can pick and choose abilities at your leisure based on the situation.  As they emphasised in the presentation, you can choose how to play.  

Final Fantasy VII is available for preorder now and will launch on 3rd March 2020 on PS4.

Final Fantasy XIV MMORPG Shadowbringers Expansion Pack

Continuing the Final Fantasy theme (and fans would say you can never have too much FF) Square Enix also announced the release of a 3rd Expansion Pack for their MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn for the 2nd July this year.

FF XIV Shadowbringers
You have something just there on your chin, let me get it!

The sheer amount of new content in Shadowbringers makes this expansion feel like a standalone title, with new jobs – including Gunbreaker and Dancer – and two brand new races, the Viera and Hrothgar.

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered & Final Fantasy War Of The Visions

Rounding off the Final Fantasy goodness, Square Enix also snuck in a trailer for Final Fantasy VIII Remastered, with a vague release date of ‘this year’, as well as the announcement of a new title, born from the FF universe and called War Of The Visions.

final fantasy viii remastered gunsword
That’s an impressive gun-sword-thingy

While not many other details were shared, the game will be coming in the US Summer in 2020 on PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Trailers, Trailers Everywhere

So this will be the section where we give you a round up of some of the trailers showed by Square Enix, with any details they may have let slip. These included:

  • Life Is Strange 2 – looks like another emotion-packed story and the game is available now.
  • A remastered version of online multiplayer Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is coming for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Android, and iOS in US Winter 2019 (yes this should have been in the sections on Final Fantasy but rules are meant to be broken).
  • Octopath Traveller, an award-winning JRPG, has arrived on PC and is available now on Steam.
  • Dying Light 2 will be released in US Spring 2020, complete with grappling hook, but with very few other details such as whether there will be coop play.
  • We got to see a trailer for the fast-paced action RPG Oninaki and a release date of 22nd August this year was announced.
  • Square Enix showed off Battalion 1944 Eastern Front gameplay, which is an FPS with multiple game modes such as team deathmatch.  The game is available now on Steam.
  • The DLC for Kingdom Hearts III ReMind will be released in US Winter this year.
  • Square Enix showed off their block building game, Dragon Quest Builders 2 with a trailer and gameplay footage, focusing on exploration, crafting and, of course, building huge monuments. The game will feature a bigger world to explore, more options and variety for players to enjoy, and a playable demo will be available from 12th July in the PlayStation Store.
  • Finally, Polish video game developer People Can Fly (the team behind Bulletstorm and Gears of War: Judgment) revealed their new shooter called Outriders. This will be a coop 1 to 3 player third person shooter, set in a brutal and challenging environment on an alien planet. It will feature unique weaponry and fast-paced thrilling gameplay and will be released US Summer 2020.

Let’s Talk About Marvel’s Avengers Game

The first thing to say is that there was obviously a great deal of thought put into the way Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics wanted to reveal their Avengers game to the world.

Pretend Avengers… Assemble!

They knew that this might be a hard sell, especially considering the inbuilt challenges of bringing a hugely popular franchise to the gaming masses (who can be a cynical lot), but with the additional problem of not using the original actors for voice and character modelling.

This is why they started their presentation by stressing the fact that this is their interpretation of the iconic characters – so not intended to be a direct and accurate copy. This was further emphasised by a lengthy video introducing the actors from the game discussing their characters.

This game footage doesn’t look terrible… Seriously.

All this aside, the issue will be whether the draw of the franchise and the gameplay will be enough for players to ignore the fact that their heroes – Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow and Iron Man – only look and sound remotely like the ones they know and love. Only time will tell.

In terms of the game itself, you will get to play as any of the five characters listed above at launch (scheduled for the 15th May 2020), with other characters and content delivered on a regular basis and for free. Yes, no loot boxes or P2W elements.

Gameplay can be single player mode or coop in 4 man teams, and it’ll be released for PS4, Xbox One, Stadia and PC, with special early access coming for PS4.

What Do You Think?

There really is no way to look past the Avengers game launch in the Square Enix briefing.

You either think that not using the movie characters is a show stopper, or you think the gameplay looks pretty interesting and you’re not invested in Robert Downey Jr and Chris Evans enough to let that bother you.

Then there was the cavalcade of Final Fantasy stuff which, if you’re a fan, is probably “Final Fantastic” (yikes, sorry about that).

What did you think about the games Square Enix showed and do you have any comments about the Avengers game, the Final Fantasy remakes and remasters?

Or maybe you just want to leave positive feedback about that atrocious pun – if so, hit the comments below!

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