Square Enix held an online press conference today. It wasn’t an expensive stage show with Andrew WK or padded with a panel to talk about a game people would rather just see. Square Enix understood just what it had in its product offerings for E3 2018 and chose a path in tune with what fans want to see, games. While it was missing one key element, Square Enix’s updates today place the brand in a good position; in the week’s conversations with little room for scrutiny.
Square Enix opened their online press conference with an extended look on their biggest 2018 release, Shadow of The Tomb Raider. The demo focused on Lara Croft becoming one with the jungle by covering herself in mud to mask scents, blending into ivy to get the drop on mercenaries. A stealth focused look at the combat showed off how extensive the options will be for players who either see Lara as a skilled spy or a shoot em up action hero. Square Enix have a lot to say and show off for Shadow of The Tomb Raider, in fact, multiple demos are taking place on the E3 show floor this week and at the Microsoft Experience across the street at LA Live. We’ll go deeper into Shadow of The Tomb Raider later this week after we’ve seen the game’s new content.
Shadow of The Tomb Raider launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on September 14, 2018.
Part of new patch content this summer for Final Fantasy XIV, Capcom unveiled an upcoming collaboration between FINAL FANTASY XIV Online and Monster Hunter: World. A new trailer revealed during the digital press conference provided fans a first glimpse at exciting new crossover content coming to FINAL FANTASY XIV Online this summer, featuring the “King of the Skies,” Rathalos, from Monster Hunter: World. It looks to be a completely free update, although you will need to own the Stormblood expansion pack, have completed it, and reach level 70 in order access it. More information will be made available on Square and Capcom’s collaboration website here.
The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit showed off a quick developer video which confirmed the game’s setting and characters would be unique for the Life Is Strange universe but through exploring players could potentially unlock secrets for the upcoming Life Is Strange 2. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit will be 100% free to download on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC starting June 26, 2018.
Among the surprise announcements from Square Enix was a new game in partnership with Platinum Games Inc, the developer behind Nier Automata and Star Fox Zero. The teaser video for this new project named Babylon’s Fall points to a game that feels like a dungeon battle experience like Dark Souls but with deep real-time combat such as Platinum’s recent Nier Automata. Babylon’s Fall is set to release in 2019 for the PlayStation 4 and STEAM PC.
Soldier of fortune Rico Rodriguez returns in Just Cause 4; set in the fictional South American world of Solis, the game takes the series incredible destruction and unique physics to a whole new level with the introduction of tornadoes and other Extreme Weather events across four distinct biomes Rainforest, Grasslands, Alpine & Desert.
The game promises the largest world created for the series and sees our hero take on Gabriella, the leader of the oppressive shadow government Black Hand. Along with the new weather, players will get updated controls for vehicles and a fully customizable grapple that became a license to make highlight videos when Just Cause 3 came out. It’s never been a series particularly careful with story but we’re curious to see more when Just Cause 4 releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 4, 2018.
One of the more out of the box moments of the press stream started with what looked like a real-world video of a metropolitan city featuring a live action performance by an actor walking down an alley about to be mugged by a trio of thugs. The video then shifts into a CG game trailer that emphasized the mysterious character shown was deaf. This action sequence was the world’s introduction to a new game called The Quiet Man. Square Enix PR later released some literature on what we saw during the conference:
THE QUIET MAN takes players beyond sound and words to deliver an immersive story-driven cinematic action experience, which players can complete in one sitting, seamlessly blending high-production live action, realistic CG and pulse-pounding action gameplay.
The visual style struck me as if I was looking at Gareth Evans film The Raid in video game form. It’ll be interesting to see how audio design will play into a story that puts you in the kicking ass shoes of a deaf man. The Quiet Man will be available for the PlayStation 4 and STEAM PC but has no release date. The video does mention we’ll learn more about the game in August.
Square Enix wrapped their press conference with Kingdom Hearts III by showing much of what we’ve already seen from the Frozen inspired level.
The publisher also released a statement about their partnership with Disney on Kingdom Hearts III:
I have been so impressed working with the KINGDOM HEARTS’ team. Their artistic commitment and attention to detail creating the world of our films is truly extraordinary. It’s been a great partnership,” said Roy Conli, Academy Award®-winning producer, Walt Disney Animation Studios.
“In KINGDOM HEARTS III, we are excited that players will have a chance to explore an entirely new adventure set in the world of Frozen,” said Peter Del Vecho, Academy Award®-winning producer, Walt Disney Animation Studios. “It has been such a pleasure to work alongside their creative team to painstakingly recreate the look and feel of our world and watch them bring our beloved Frozen characters to life.”
Oh and of course we’re going to shell out some of our Disney budget to buy the Square Store exclusive Kingdom Hearts III special edition.
The KINGDOM HEARTS III Deluxe Edition and Bring Arts Sora, Donald, and Goofy Set bundled separately will be available in limited quantities for $229.99. Fans can now preorder the Xbox One and PlayStation®4 system versions exclusively from the SQUARE ENIX Online Store.
Conspicuous by its absence was any mention of Square Enix and Marvel’s upcoming Avengers game being developed by Tomb Raider reboot studio Crystal Dynamics. It could be Square wants the attention to be focused on games it has coming out in the next 12 months; Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Just Cause 4, and Kingdom Hearts III. However, even just a mention of a new would have been a way to add a bit of hype to the end of this video press conference without taking away focus from other soon to be released games.