Square Enix E3 2018: Short, Vague, and Somewhat Lacking

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room… there is no update on the Final Fantasy VII remake. I wasn’t expecting much… And I understand that it’s having a rocky development cycle at the moment… but any news would have been appreciated. Unfortunately, not a single mention of it.. and strangely enough, the same goes for their upcoming shooter, Left Alive.

The presentation started ok enough. We get more information on Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Laura Croft is no longer the young woman she was in the first game. She is slowly transforming into the Tomb Raider of legend that we all know of. The game focuses on stealth with the tagline “Becoming One with the Jungle”. The trailer is full of stealth kills and environmental kills. The devs tell us that there will be tombs to explore and underwater areas to explore. (maybe water levels will finally be a thing now… probably not.) The only problem I have is that the AI is shown is not the sharpest knife in the set. They feel like last generation bots. I can’t help but feel like if you throw a bottle, every single bot on the map is going to react.

A new Final Fantasy XIV expansion was announced. It’s called Under the Moonlight. Not surprising since new content equals more players coming back to the fold. The big surprise was the announcement Final Fantasy XIV online X Monster Hunter World. I don’t know why I find it surprising since MHW and crossover events are not anything new. I suppose, after the lackluster showing at that point, anything seems like a surprise.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is a Life is Strange spin-off that acts as a prequel to Life is Strange 2. The creative directors gave out hints suggesting that the game hides many secrets and “even some links to the brand new story and characters” of Life is Strange 2. Consequently, I can imagine all the fans trying to investigate every single detail of the game. I can’t wait to see what the community uncovers.

Dragon Quest fans outside of Japan will be happy to know that the English release is on the way out later this year. And Octopath Traveler is coming on the Switch later this July. Apart from that, there’s really nothing much to talk about either game.

We have a better idea of what to expect from Just Cause 4. So far, the team seems to be developing a new weather system that affects everything in the environment. Expect tornadoes, lightning storms, and snow storms to show up in the map. I’m sure the sandbox nature of the game will truly bring out the best of this new system. Furthermore, the grapple shot is getting more functionality. Why? Just cause. Ha. Anyways, it can now chain objects together and even attach balloons to make heavy objects float. The possibilities are endless. Good trailer.

The 2 stand out title announcements in the presentation are Babylon’s Fall and the Quiet Man. Babylon’s Fall is a new IP from Platinum Games. There wasn’t much to grasp from the reveal, to be honest. It starts with a sort of timeline and ends with a knight that shoots light from his arm and takes the weapon of his enemies? I don’t know. I shall reserve judgment until more details come up. The other game is equally vague. The Quiet Man starts with a long shot of New York as a hooded man walks into an alley and proceeds to beat up a couple of guys. The game’s tagline “silence rings loudest”. Implying some mechanic with “silence”?

When your press conference turns out to be a 30-minute presentation of vague trailers and games first seen from other press conferences, disappointing doesn’t begin to cover it. I think Square Enix is relying too much on the goodwill of its fans. But the lack of anything new is what I can’t get over. In the end, even the Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer with the Twilight Town gang did not save the presentation. I’m sure that there will more announcements in the near future, but right now all I’m thinking about is, “why did they even bother?”

Senior Editor