The Square Enix Presents portion of E3 started strong, showcasing an extended look at the new Edios-Montreal Guardians of the Galaxy game, set for release October 26th 2021. Following this was an expansions for existing Marvel’s Avengers, mobile games, a pixel package for Final Fantasy’s 1-6, the new Life Is Strange Game – True Colours, along with a remaster of the original 2 games and a new action-based Final Fantasy Game; Final Fantasy Origin: Stranger of Paradise.
Kicking off the Square Enix presents, we were shown approximately a 30 minute deep dive look at the all new IP being worked on by Edios-Montreal, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. A new action RPG that has been developed alongside Dan Abnett at Marvel Studios, one of the staff who has worked on a variety of Guardians comic books since the 80s. The presentation showed us a lot of information about the new game, including the fast-paced combat, dialogue choices (and the fact that the choice seem to mimic what your character actually says!), a diverging narrative based on these decisions and, what we hope, is the amazing 80s anthem soundtrack.
Following this, we got a brief peak at a new set of remasters titled 'Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster' focusing on a large package that takes the original 6 Final Fantasy games, all done in pixel art, and puts all of them into a single bundle. Allowing fans of the long running series to replay all of the originals games in one easy to access package. This followed up with a very brief look at a remaster of Legends on Mana, which seems to have been redone in the style of Ocotopath Traveller, available from June 24th 2021.
Square then spent some time walking us through some of the free updates coming out for Marvel’s Avengers. Showing off that boss encounters against some of Marvel’s iconic villains, stating that these encounters will now be repeatable, along with some other smaller updates. Topped off with an exciting look at the War for Wakanda expansion which seems to bring a more story focussed aspect to Avengers, along with Black Panther as a playable character.
After the superhero show, viewers were treated to a few updates and announcement of the different mobile games currently in development through Square and it’s subsidiary studios, including some extended footage of Nier Resurrection and a new Hitman Sniper game.
Babylon’s Fall was next up. The new IP from Platinum Games (the studio behind the Nier Series), and fans were given some gameplay footage along with some cinematics. Square also informed us that this was planned as a live service game, which will be interesting consider Marvel’s Avengers is supposed to be similar, and we all know how the launch of that went! The major piece of news for this however, was the fact that the Babylon’s Fall open beta is live now!
Following this is probably one of Square’s most anticipated games being released this year, Life Is Strange: True Colours – being released in its entirety on September 10th 2021. Fans were given more details about the upcoming narratively driven game with more information about the supernatural empathic powers of protagonist Alex Chen and the choices she will make while investing her old home town and the mysterious death of her brother. Fans of the Life Is Strange games can also enjoy the original games in 4K with an upcoming remaster of both Life Is Strange 1 & 2 being released later this year.
The final reveal from Square Enix Presents was an interesting one, because we finally got confirmation of Strangers in Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Although much of what we saw was what we assume to be the main party determined to stop the main antagonists of Final Fantasy I, Garland and Chaos, we were also shown some brief snippets of the action-heavy gameplay that seemed to take a leaf from the books of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, FFXV and some of the games that Team Ninja are famous for (Ninja Gaiden and Nioh).
If you’re curious about Final Fantasy Origin, there is currently a demo for the game available on the PlayStation Store until 23rd June (however at time of writing 'Chaos' has meant the demo doesn't work!), which asks players to provide feedback on their experience of the demo to help the development team further improve the game.
And that was Square Enix presents! An interesting showcase. However, you may have read this with the same mindset I had when the show was over. One of mild underwhelm. Historically I have looked forward to Square Enix showcases at E3 for updates on some of their most iconic franchise; Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, Tomb Raider and Just Cause.
With the exception of FFO (which is being developed by a third party studio), this years E3 presentation seemed to be devoid of the JRPG’s that big fans of Square Enix enjoy. Here’s hoping there is another Square Enix Presents in the near future where we will get updates on the likes of Forespoken, Final Fantasy XVI, Dragon Quest 12 and Final Fantasy Remake Part 2, and some information on the future of the Tomb Raider, Just Cause and Kingdom Hearts franchise.
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