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Square Enix’s 2015 E3 press conference wasn’t the best or the worst of the bunch, but it was the most frustrating when you consider it’s potential. The lineup of games they had on show was impressive yet the way in which they showed them (or in a lot of cases didn’t) was mind-boggling.
Just Cause 3 began the conference with a bang. Multiple incredibly entertaining bangs in fact. Square Enix made the foolish mistake of starting the show with the showstopper as this was a brilliant trailer. Showing off the multiple ways returning hero Rico Rodriuez can wreak explosive havoc across this beautiful open world. It’s out on December 1st across Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
A new Nier game developed by Platinum was up next. That’s right, a new Nier game. Insane! Nier would’ve been on most people’s ‘games you least expect a sequel for’ list prior to this show but wonders never cease.
After that madness they quickly touched on Rise of The Tomb Raider again, showing much of the same footage they showed at the Microsoft press conference. Also debuted was one of those ’this is our vision’ behind the scenes videos from Crystal Dynamics. Not much meat on this one frankly. No long gameplay demo or anything like that. Disappointing.
Seemingly ‘Go’ is the new catchall name for Square Enix’s mobile versions of it’s classic series’ as they announced Lara Croft Go, which of course appears to take the Hitman Go setup and apply it to the Tomb Raider series. Very lovely art style too. No specific date for that one unfortunately.
The insane bombshell from the Sony conference that was Final Fantasy VII Remake got mentioned although, much like Rise of the Tomb Raider, they just showed the same trailer again with no new information other than “check back in winter.” They are however bringing the upgraded PC version of Final Fantasy VII to iOS, which is due before the end of this summer.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained Key is for all you Kingdom Hearts fans who are begging to get your fix of Square Enix/Disney crossover action on mobile. It appears to be a side-story much in the same vein as Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the Game Boy Advance. Android and iOS devices will be receiving it at some point in the future. Presumably a bit before Kingdom Hearts III comes out.
Speaking of which, we finally got to see some proper Kingdom Heats III. Well, before that happened it was revealed in a video that characters from Disney’s Tangled would be in the game, although bizarrely the people in that video were talking like it was filmed before Tangled came out in 2010. Anyway, gameplay was finally shown and it looked about what you’d expect: Next-gen Kingdom Hearts. I’m sure the fans that have been anticipating this one for years will be more than happy with that.
In yet another case of Square revisiting something that was announced at another conference World of Final Fantasy was presented, again, with the exact same trailer that was shown before. Noticing a pattern? A developer came up onstage and said some well-meaning but ultimately inconsequential stuff about his goals for the game.
Next up, IO Interactive and some more of that new Hitman game! Reiterating that it’ll be released first digitally, and adding that it’ll feature a “live and ever expanding world of digital assassinations,”. Think Spelunky’s daily challenges but for the Hitman series. And, get this, they actually showed some of it off in a new in-engine trailer! Very novel. No release date here either but it’ll be out on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One, presumably at some point next year.
JRPG fans earned a bit more service with a new Star Ocean! This time having the rather intense subtitle Integrity and Faithlessness. Co-developed with series regulars Tri-Ace. There was all sorts of chatter about this one, talking about the seamlessness with which it moves through it’s various phases of gameplay. One would’ve thought that the following gameplay trailer would’ve delved into what that all meant but we were left none the wiser.
Big finale time! Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Adam Jensen and his fellow augmented humans are under what is being called a ‘Mechanical Apartheid’, being discriminated against by un-augmented humans. You can make your own mind up about the phrase ‘Mechanical Apartheid’. Plenty of your gold and black Blade Runner future, as well as all sorts of neat techno-powers. Early 2016 release date on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Get hyped!
Well, that’s all from Square Enix this yea- BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! They revealed a brand new RPG called Project Setsuna developed by a new studio called The Tokyo RPG Factory. No that’s not a pithy joke name, the studio is actually called that. They shared close to nothing of it besides some concept art and the news that it’s planned for 2016 release date, which seems rather soon for a game they could only show artwork for.