Square Enix E3 2019 Recap: FFVII Remake, Marvel's Avengers Just the Beginning
E3 2019's running joke is that this presentation is really and truly for the gamers/players/consumers. But Square Enix's E3 2019 presentation might just have fulfilled that promise.
SE packed a ton of content into 90 minutes, from a much-needed update on Final Fantasy VII Remake to new games like Outriders, updates on smaller titles, and finally, Marvel's Avengers. Let's get started.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Much to no one's surprise, the Square Enix E3 presentation began with Final Fantasy VII Remake, showing off a brief clip of the game's opening. Yoshinori Kitase, the game's producer, took the stage and thanked fans for their patience before describing how the title will delve much, much deeper into the characters and worlds — two Blu-Ray discs' worth of deep, in fact.
The first disc is all about Midgar, which has been expanded enough to be a standalone game on its own.
The game is also meant as a starting point for the world of FFVII, welcoming newcomers as well.
The game features a hybrid system with real-time action and strategic time-based attacks. Cloud can swing, attack, and block at the same time, but it isn't a hack n' slash game. The ATB bar makes its return and fills up over time; the fill-up speed quickens when Cloud lands standard attacks. When it's full, Cloud enters tactical mode which lets him take advantage of powerful, special attacks like Cloud's breaker attack, in a way not dissimilar to Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Cloud can also use ATB to cast spells depending on equipment and Materia he has on hand.
Barret's abilities are completely different, making more use of his gun-arm, but still relying on the core mechanic of the ATB system. Switching between party members is done with the press of a button, and while other party members continue to act on their own, the player can issue commands to other characters if their ATB bar is full.
As for Tifa? Kitase said players will be able to see her debut sometime soon, then proceeded to show off an extended version of the new FFVII Remake trailer with Tifa's debut.
Players have the option to choose abilities from shortcuts if they want a more action-based experience, or from a menu that lets players pause and take their time like they would in a traditional turn-based game.
Viewers got a chance to see combat in action with an extended look at the Scorpion Sentinel fight, which fulfilled SE's promise that the game isn't a straight button-masher; Cloud and Barret had to make use of coordinated attacks, find cover, and alternate between basic and special attacks on the fly in what looked like a cross between a fantastic RPG set piece fight and something out of an action movie.
Pre-orders are open now and, of course, there's a special edition with a lovely Sephiroth steelbook players can nab should they so desire.
Life is Strange 2
Next up was Life is Strange 2. The much-anticipated sequel follows the story of Daniel and his special powers, plus how he handles those powers once he must face his father's death. It's colorful. It's intense. It's available now, with a launch trailer focused on people's reactions to the rollercoaster of a story so far.
The game released in fall of last year.
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition
After a long wait, we also got to see more of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition, coming this winter for PS4, Switch, Android, and iOS. It's looking lovely.
The Last Remnant Remastered
The Last Remnant Remastered got a (very) short new trailer showing off its combat — and a surprise immediate launch for the Switch.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
As promised, Dragon Quest Builders 2 was shown off as well in a lengthy story trailer highlighting some snazzy cinematics and gameplay basics. It gave viewers a look at some of the many things they could look forward to creating, including massive temples, new resources, enslaved...er, recruited NPCs, and a ton of new environments. Oh, and the Builder can swim without dying this time, too.
Farming plays a significant role in DQ Builders 2, with players having the ability to grow a variety of crops they can use for ingredients. Vast farmlands are brought to you by the huge locations made available in the game as well.
Combat looks to be roughly the same this time around, though Malroth accompanies the player on his or her journey, lending a hand in tough fights. Should players desire to team up with others, that's possible in a seemingly expansive multiplayer mode that lets players work together to explore and build whatever they set their hearts on.
Those who want a taste of the action soon can sample a demo on the PlayStation Store and Nintendo eShop starting June 27.
Square Enix Collective and Circuit Superstars
Square Enix Collective, SE's indie publishing platform, took the stage next, with a sizzle reel of some of the group's more notable hits in recent years before giving a glimpse of what's coming in 2020 — Circuit Superstars, a motorsport game mixing classic arcade style with modern looks and features.
Battallion 1944 finally got some attention, too, with a new trailer showing off a plethora of modes, including a capture the flag mode, one-on-one, and plenty of competitive options.
Ranking up and dominating the leaderboards awards players with accomplishments and cosmetic rewards, along with the pleasure of outranking friends on the boards. After a long journey, the game is available now on Steam.
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Kingdom Hearts III: ReMind
Kingdom Hearts III's new DLC, ReMind, also got a bit more time after its announcement a few days ago, showing off some of the basic plot, more Xehanort, and the fact that Organization XIII is still very much alive — er, however alive someone who never existed could be.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Square Enix also took some time to give players a look at Final Fantasy XIV's third expansion, Shadowbringers, set for a July 2 launch. Shadowbringers is being presented as a brand-new game, with enough content and material to let it act as a standalone title, not just a simple expansion, offering many new mechanics, jobs, and races.
More importantly, Shadowbringers got its first launch trailer, detailing some of the overarching plot elements, teasing combat and locations players can expect to encounter, and showing off some of that sweet, sweet soundtrack.
Dying Light 2
Of course, no modern video game expo presentation is complete without zombies, which Square Enix provided in the form of a trailer for the first-person action-survival game Dying Light 2. It's not tremendously different from yesterday's Xbox presentation trailer, but for those who missed it, here it is.
Romancing SaGa 3 and SaGa: Scarlet Grace Ambitions
In a big surprise for classic RPG fans, SE also announced Romancing SaGa 3 will be coming West for the first time, with its branching storyline based on player choice that promises a new story every time.
On top of that, SaGa: Scarlet Grace Ambitions is also coming West, this one a 3D RPG emphasizing tactical combat and, of course, player choice. RS3 will be available on all modern platforms, even the Vita, while Scarlet Grace is coming to PS4, Switch, iOS, Android, and Steam.
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius wasn't left out in the cold either. It's getting a sequel, War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. As was shown in its initial trailer, the sequel involves a multitude of countries, the warlike Leonis, Hourne the peaceful country, Fennes the Barbarian nation, Wezette with its icy tyrant, and the religious center Crystal Sanctum, all of which are at war with one another. It's only in development as of now, with no word on when fans can expect to see it.
Outriders, from the minds behind Gears of War, got a brief cinematic trailer giving an overview of some basic tenets. It's a gritty combat game with plenty of guns, robots, and orange.
For now, Outriders has a tentative summer 2020 release date for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The People Can Fly studio director promised more to come this winter, though.
That's a lot to show off, but there was yet more to reveal.
Fans finally got a good look at Tokyo RPG Factory's upcoming Oninaki, first announced in February. The trailer Boasted updated visuals and a substantial bit of world-building. Oninaki is all about reincarnation and how one's emotions and choices in life affect their rebirth and the spirits who watch over the world. Oh, and hitting things with swords a lot — it's about that too.
Oninaki launches August 22 in the West.
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered
Poor Final Fantasy VIII, lost and forgotten in all the remakes and remasters of recent years, at last got the attention it deserves, and just in time for its 20th anniversary to boot.
Granted, we only got a cinematic trailer and that lovely, dramatic soundtrack, but it's coming. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is coming later this year, in fact, to Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.
Another long-awaited and hitherto under-wraps project got its time in the sun as well: Marvel's Avengers. It's a gorgeous homage to the franchise and everything Marvel, with intense fights playing out over San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge before transitioning to a dystopian world where the Avengers are cast as the villains.
Now they must fight back against their unknown foes and restore both their reputations and the world.
The dev team is planning regular content updates and an expansive online multiplayer component as well. All new regions and superheroes added to the game will be free for those who already own the game — no random loot boxes, no pay-to-win. It will launch on Stadia, Xbox One, PS4, and Steam, with PS4 players getting early access and some special benefits.
Marvel's Avengers will launch May 15, 2020.
Be sure to check out our other E3 2019 coverage below, and keep an ey eout for more hands-on previews and news in the coming days.