LOS ANGELES—Square-Enix kept its E3 2018 presentation short and sweet, with a focus on trailers for games in the company’s popular franchises, like Kingdom Hearts and Tomb Raider. Here’s what the company showed and announced.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Square-Enix opened with Tomb Raider. The third game in a reboot that began with 2013’s Tomb Raider is slated for release on September 14. The game is titled Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and we got some hands-on time with it already earlier this year. In it, Lara must grapple with the consequences of accidentally inciting the Mayan apocalypse while battling a paramilitary organization.
During its livestream today, Square-Enix emphasized that the combat in the game is more brutal than in any previous game and showed an extended stealth and combat sequence in a dark jungle.
The game will be released on Xbox One, PS4, and Steam.
Just Cause 4
Over the years, the open-world sandbox action franchise Just Cause has only gotten more popular. Just Cause 3 amped up the antics with new, more robust grappling-hook interactions that allowed for some zany tricks.
Square-Enix showed a detailed trailer during its E3 stream today. Set in a fictional South American country with Mayan ruins, wildlife, and large towns, the game promises an overhauled grappling hook that’s easier for newcomers to pick up but that allows for more advanced strategies for experienced players.
Players will also be able to use attachable jets and parachutes to transport vehicles, and there are more types of vehicles—the trailer showed protagonist Rico smashing a hostile base with a crane, for example.
The game will arrive on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 4, 2018.
Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts III is actually happening, says Square-Enix. It features a plethora of Disney characters from movies like Frozen, Hercules, and Tangled, and it has your usual overwrought dialogue, fun traversal sequences, and frantic cartoon combat. The trailer said it’s coming to Xbox One and PS4 on January 29, 2019.
The Quiet Man and Babylon’s Fall
We got glimpses of two new games. The Quiet Man appears to be a beat-em-up action game set in Manhattan, and it stars what seems to be a deaf-mute protagonist. The trailer seamlessly moved from a live-action cutscene to in-game combat. Square-Enix promised that there’s “more to come” in August for this PS4 and PC game.
There was also Babylon’s Fall, a new action game from PlatinumGames, the studio behind Bayonetta and Nier: Automata. It features gothic knights, and that’s about all we know about it at this point. It’s coming to PS4 and PC in 2019.
Sorry, no Final Fantasy VII (for the moment)
Many game enthusiasts were tuning into Square-Enix’s presentation in the hope that the publisher would announce new details about its already-confirmed remake of classic RPG Final Fantasy VII. Unfortunately, Square-Enix did not show that game during the event.
So far, we know that Final Fantasy VII‘s remake will be released as multiple games and that it appears to have a wholly new combat system.
The game was originally announced at Sony’s E3 presser a few years ago. It’s possible that it will make an appearance in the 2018 Sony press conference later today, so we might learn more then.
There were several other announcements, too. We got glimpses at the following:
- We saw Dragon Quest XI but didn’t learn much new about it. It’s coming on September 4.
- Final Fantasy XIV is getting a major new content patch titled Under the Moonlight. It appears to take players to Ivalice, the setting from Final Fantasy Tactics and Final Fantasy XII. Square-Enix also presented a Monster Hunter World tie-in with the MMO but didn’t get into specifics.
- The developers of acclaimed adventure game Life Is Strange showed their new title, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. It stars a young boy with an active imagination. The game appears to tie in with Life Is Strange‘s second season, and Square-Enix said it will be available for free on June 26 on all supported platforms.
- Nier: Automata‘s DLC-equipped Become as Gods Edition is headed to Xbox One on June 26.
- Throwback Switch RPG Octopath Traveler got some airtime, and it’s coming July 13.
- Some kind of Final Fantasy Brave Exvius and Dragon Quest tie-in content is lurking on the horizon, but again, the company didn’t get into specifics.
Listing image by Ron Amadeo
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