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Square Enix E3 2018: The Good, Bad And Ugly

The best and worst of what Square Enix unveiled during its E3 2018 press conference.

by Jelani James


Square Enix’s E3 2018 press conference has come and gone, giving fans around the world a taste of what’s to come in the future. Unfortunately, it didn’t really do a good job of showing that future off this year.

Sure, Kingdom Hearts IIIDragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Exclusive Age and Shadow of the Tomb Raider were great to see, but we’ve also seen them before. Overall, Square Enix just didn’t do a great job this year, but there were some good parts, so let’s take a look at the good, bad and ugly of Square Enix’s E3 2018 event

The Good

No Final Fantasy VII Remake

I’ll be honest here: I’m not big on Final Fantasy VII. From a historical standpoint it stands near-unparalleled among its peers, but it is lacking from a gameplay point of view (the minigames are top-notch though).

That said, I’am interested in seeing what Square Enix does with Final Fantasy VII Remake.

However, the reason why I’m happy it didn’t make an appearance this year is because we already know about it, and there’s a good chance that with Dragon Quest XI and Kingdom Hearts III just around the corner, it was only until recently that SE was able to focus all of its attention on FFVIIR.

Square Enix already made the mistake of drumming up hype for a Final Fantasy game that took years to come out in the past (hell, it did the same with KH 3) and it made the same mistake again with FFVIIR. Keeping silent about it and waiting until you actually have something concrete to show is the absolute best move SE could make right now.

Just bide your time and wait for the right opportunity to show it off, please.

Just Cause 4

We already saw Just Cause 4 at Microsoft’s Xbox E3 conference yesterday, but Square Enix was wise to offer up more info to at least make this presentation different than the one before it.

Namely, we learned that it will feature a dynamic weather system, vehicles have been overhauled and there will be new types of them like Wrecking Balls and Construction Equipment, grappling will feature more tethers than ever before and the Black Hand Militia will have different archetypes and improved AI for more robust combat.

Just Cause 4 is due out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Dec. 4.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Much like Just Cause 4, Square Enix was wise enough to provide a gameplay presentation for Shadow of the Tomb Raider to expand upon the trailer that was revealed during Microsoft’s event yesterday.

During this presentation, we get to see protagonist Lara Croft being quite sneaky, executing a variety of stealth takedowns and jumping knife attacks, making her look like a low-tech, more brutal version of Batman.

In addition, Eidos Montreal senior game director Daniel Chayer-Bisson also revealed that Lara will have a variety of new moves, including grappling, wall running and 360 degree swimming, which will see ample use in the game’s many locales. He also said the hub world in this game will be the biggest in any Tomb Raider game to date.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is due out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Sept. 14.

The Bad

The Whole Event In General

Out of everything Square Enix had to show us this year, only two of them were new. Everything else we already knew about thanks to Microsoft blowing the lid yesterday.

Normally, a publisher/developer would rectify this by offering expanded trailers or a gameplay presentation for the audience, but Square Enix only did this with Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Just Cause 4. As for Kingdom Hearts IIIThe Awesome Adventures of Captain SpiritDragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Exclusive Age and Octopath Traveler? The trailers were new (to varying degrees), but there were no dedicated gameplay trailers for any of them.

I can begrudgingly accept the first three, but Octopath Traveler needed one desperately. It just baffles me that a game developed by a company hailed as the best-of-the-best when it comes to JRPGs can make a game that looks like it was ripped from the late 80’s/early 90’s and actually be praised for it. Nostalgia is one thing, but this is time machine stuff right here. Sell me on this game, please.

Final Fantasy XIV Online x Monster Hunter: World Collab

It would probably be more accurate to say I’m more apprehensive towards this, than actually thinking it’s bad.

Why? Because history has proven that whenever Monster Hunter does collaboration events with other companies, it’s Monster Hunter that gets the short end of the stick. Remember when there was a collaboration with Metal Gear Solid in 2010? Peace Walker got new monsters and an entirely new zone to fight them in, while Portable 3rd only got costumes; and Judging by what we’ve got so far, the same is likely to happen in World.

Hopefully we get more details at Sony’s event later tonight, and if this worst comes to pass, at least let me dress up as a Miqo’te.

The Two New Trailers Told Me Squat

Like mentioned before, there were only two new games revealed during Square Enix’s event: The Quiet Man and Babylon’s Fall.

Normally, that would make these two the spotlights of the whole event, but they weren’t. Why? Because the trailers did an awful job of selling these games to us.

From what I can tell from The Quiet Man’s trailer, you play as deaf guy who beats up on people in the back alley, while the Babylon’s Fall trailer tells us about several hundred years of history and two apocalypses.

At least Babylon’s Fall has PlatinumGames behind the wheel, so we can expect the final product to be good. The Quiet Man on the other hand? The description on its YouTube page suggests it can beaten in one sitting. Yikes.

The Ugly

I could probably put Octopath Traveler here if I really wanted to, but my thoughts about it were already detailed in the above section.

I really do want to like it (and the visuals are perfectly fine), but the game just felt like a cop-out when last I played it.


That’s it for the good, bad and ugly of Square Enix’s E3 event. What were your favorite (and least favorite) parts of the event? Do you think Square Enix did a good job overall? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

- This article was updated on:June 12th, 2018

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