Riding off the high that was last year’s Final Fantasy VII Remake, Square Enix was set to give an E3 conference that would continue to meet expectations. And, depending on who you ask, they’ve done that…barely.
Here’s a brief recap of some of the event’s most exciting announcements just in case you missed it.
Guardians of the Galaxy
After the disaster that was the launch of Crystal Dynamic’s Marvel’s Avengers, it is more than appropriate for you to feel just a tad sceptical at the announcement of a new Marvel-based game, especially one that revolves around some of Marvel’s new favourite characters. Well, I’m here to put your mind at ease. Thankfully, this game looks really, really promising.
For a start, that mind-numbing, button-mashing combat that riddled Avengers is nowhere to be seen in this gameplay trailer. Instead, some sleek and responsive third-person shooter mechanics are at the forefront. Players take control of Star-Lord, and only Star-Lord. While a few outlets expressed their disappointment with this, I think that this narrowed focus is exactly what this type of grandiose game needs. One of the primary issues found in Avengers was that it felt as though each character played very similarly, so this focus on one playable character would seem to be a smart decision. On that note, Guardians of the Galaxy will be single-player only, and reportedly features no microtransactions, which should be music to your ears.
The gameplay trailer shows off some impressive looking visuals, squad command mechanics, and dialogue options that (allegedly) impact your experience in some way. Mix this in with some fluid animations, super moves that seem to use licenced 80s music, and some solid voice acting and you might have just made my most anticipated game of the year. But, then again, I am a Marvel shill.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is slated to release October 26th 2021 for PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
Final Fantasy 1-6 Are Coming To Mobile and Steam
For fans of the first six Final Fantasy games, this announcement is for you. Square Enix revealed that they are remastering Final Fantasy 1-6 for iOS and Android devices, as well as Steam. These remasters are being dubbed as “Pixel Remasters“, which implies that they are simply polishing the original pixelated graphics as opposed to giving them the 3D remaster treatment. Unfortunately, this announcement didn’t come with a release date so you’ll have to sit tight on this one for now.
Legend of Mana
The upcoming Legend of Mana remaster had its opening cinematic revealed. The game’s release is right around the corner on June 24th, so fans don’t have to wait too long to get their hands on this long-overdue release. Legend of Mana is releasing for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, with the PC Steam release coming a day later on June 25th.
Avengers- Black Panther: War For Wakanda
Uh-oh, it’s that Avengers game I talked shit about earlier… Don’t worry, I’m sure this Black Panther: War For Wakanda free DLC is sure to make the game enjoyable, finally. This cinematic trailer shows off some admittedly vibrant environments and gives us a look at this universe’s Ulysses Klaw (played by Andy Serkis in the MCU). With a release date of August, hopefully this DLC (along with the few updates and expansions they have already provided) will be enough to make players feel as though that initial price of admission is finally worth it.
Hitman Sniper: The Shadows
A follow up to 2015’s surprisingly solid Hitman: Sniper on Android and iOS, Hitman Sniper: The Shadows leaves series staple Agent 47 behind, trading him in for four new contract killers. This free-to-play shooter gallery game is slated for release on iOS and Android later this year.
NieR is a franchise that has really gained traction in the last five or so years thanks to stellar console releases like NieR: Automata and NieR: Replicant. It’s been confirmed for a while now that a mobile NieR game should hit app stores sometime this year. Well, Square Enix gracefully gave us a trailer and opened up pre-orders for the mobile game via the Google Play Store. The current speculated date for this release is November 6th 2021.
Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier
When you think of Final Fantasy VII, your first thought is probably going to revolve around the in-depth story, larger-than-life characters, and charmingly grim setting. Your first thought is probably not, “Oh I bet this would make a solid battle royale”. Following on from a surprisingly successful closed beta, Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier is set to release on iOS and Android later this year.
A hack and slash fantasy game from the devs that brought you Bayonetta, Babylon’s Fall offers 3D action that places an emphasis on build customisation. This brief trailer gives a quick glimpse at some of the frantic action you’d come to expect from a game made by PlatinumGames. It was also announced that Babylon’s Fall is going to be a live-service game, much like…oh God no, not Avengers again. Hopefully, there’ll be plenty of content at launch regardless of this. Babylon’s Fall still doesn’t have a release date but has now been confirmed for PS5 along with the previously announced PlayStation 4 and PC releases.
Life Is Strange- Remastered Collection and True Colors
The first two Life Is Strange games offered a diverse and engaging interactive narrative experience akin to the TellTale games. If you haven’t had a chance to pick these titles up yet then you’re in luck, a remastered collection of both Life Is Strange and Life Is Strange: Before The Storm is availble September 30th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, and Stadia.
A deeper look at the new Life Is Strange game, Life Is Strange: True Colors, also premiered during the showcase. This trailer primarily focused on the core new mechanic of this entry; the ability to see what people are feeling via a colour-coordinated aura that emanates from them. We’ll have to find out for ourselves on September 10th whether or not this mechanic is purely a gimmick, or whether it is implemented in a meaningful way. As a bonus, if you purchase the Ultimate Edition of True Colors, then you also receive a copy of the Remastered Collection, so that’s something to consider if you’re looking to dive head-first into the series.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
To round out the Square Enix showcase, a trailer was revealed for the newest game by acclaimed studio Team Ninja. Titled Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin (man, that rolls off the tongue), this spinoff seems to push the franchise in a new gameplay direction, giving it a more pure-action-oriented focus as opposed to the modern Final Fantasy‘s RPG-based action. The gameplay trailer below shows some interesting, albeit rather clunky mechanics, mechanics reminiscent of Team Ninja’s famed Ninja Gaiden series (stay tuned for our Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection review).
As mentioned up top, the Square Enix E3 showcase did show a decent quantity of games, but the conference’s overall quality very much relies on what you took away from it. Personally, I thought it was all worth it just for that Guardians reveal but, again, I’m a Marvel shill…but seriously though did you see those elemental guns? That was mad.
Words by Cameron Swan
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