The Square Enix E3 press conference began this year with an in-depth look at the newly remade Final Fantasy VII. True to Square’s word, the gameplay revealed a soup-to-nuts overhaul of everything from graphics to a new hybrid combat system that drew the oohs and ahs of everybody in attendance (and those of us watching online). What was once a turn-based combat system has been replaced with a seemingly fluid switching between playable characters in an almost cinematic style. The footage then went on to reveal characters and locations that fans of the franchise should be very excited to see. Needless to say, Enix came out firing in the first twenty minutes with Final Fantasy VII. The only thing that was a complete failure for this reveal was Tetsuya Nomura’s choice in footwear. Go back and look if you didn’t catch those.
From there the viewers were met with a slew of remakes along with some sprinkled-in new titles. The trailer for the remaining episodes of Life is Strange 2 had people feeling all of their feels. Dragon Quest Builders 2 seemed fine for people who might decide that Minecraft just wasn’t cute enough for them. Dying Light 2 looked like it is going to offer some sweet parkour action with some zombies mixed in.
From there, trailer after trailer of rehashed and remade RPGs flooded the screen. Most notably the trailer for The Last Remnant revealed that the game would be available immediately after the press conference. Various titles from the Dragon Quest and seemingly endless offshoots of the Final Fantasy franchise provided viewers with a reminder of just how much the company had to offer. Square Enix has well-established itself as the leader in genre, but showing off so many remakes and remasters seemed to take a bit of the momentum away from the entire conference.
Towards the back end of the press conference, Square Enix unveiled a joint project with Polish developer People Can Fly called Outriders. While this extended look at this new IP didn’t show the audience any gameplay, it was clear that this third-person shooter had certain Gears of War elements to it. The cinematics were incredibly impressive, but until gameplay footage is revealed in depth speculation is all this title has to go on. The behind-the-scenes look at the game in development gave the audience with glimpses of what is to come (including guns made of bones), but not enough for anybody to know anything of significance.
Ending the night for Square Enix was the reveal of the much-anticipated Avengers title. Along with Crystal Dynamics and Marvel games, Square Enix debuted the trailer for what could be an incredible experience for fans of these well-established characters. Boasting a completely unique experience for Marvel fans, the trailer opens with another cataclysmic events for our heroes to quell. Quick glimpses of gameplay for all characters along with stunning cinematics caught the eye of the audience. It will be interesting to see what Square Enix, Crystal Dynamics, and Marvel do in terms of storytelling, but from the sound of it there seems to be a bit of world building happening that could lead to an incredible experience for gamers. While this would have been impressive enough, members from each of the teams provided more information about Marvel’s Avengers.
Some of the highlights include an ever-expanding cast of characters, the ability to customize your hero suit your needs, and planned downloadable content. Oh, and it seems that the gamer gods have been listening to prayers as it was announced that any piece of additional content would be free of charge. No loot boxes. No pay-to-win. It was clear from the audiences reaction that there are many questions to be answered. Which characters would be added next (the audience seemed to be clamoring for Hawkeye for some reason)? Who is the main antagonist of this adventure? Is Cap really dead? I suppose all of those questions will be answered in May of 2020. Marvel’s Avengers will be available for all viable platforms, with early beta access and preference being given to Playstation users. Probably an “attah boy” for buying so many copies of Spider-Man last year. Oh, and Hank Pym showed up at the end just to give all of us true believers something else to cheer about.
So while Marvel’s Avengers was what everybody came for, Square Enix did provide enough of a show to keep the audience engaged for most of the press conference. While the event itself was a bit too trailer heavy, it was good to see some intriguing titles coming to gaming systems in the coming months. If old-school RPGs with awesome soundtracks are your thing, you might as well hand your wallet over to the good people of Square Enix.