E3 2019 Square Enix roundup: Avengers and Final Fantasy VII Remake punch in

Filling in the late afternoon slot of the first official day of E3, Square Enix took to the stage to reveal its cards. Often using the yearly conference to announce games far too early, the publishing giant spent time diving deeper into two titles it certainly announced too early – Final Fantasy VII Remake, and its lucrative Avengers game. But you can’t have an E3 showcase with just two games, can you? They had a lot more to show, and we’ve detailed all the titles down below.

The Games

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Square Enix has been taking its sweet time. With a release date of March 2020 now officially on the table for Final Fantasy VII Remake, the publishing giant probably won’t stop throwing footage at us until it’s out of the door. The focus this time was on the shift to real-time combat lovingly demonstrated against the game’s iconic first boss.

While not too different from your standard action game, the ATB gauge and materia will keep things feeling very Final Fantasy. Characters charge their ATB gauges with regular attacks and spend it on spells, items, and can even freeze time for a strategic burst of blows and magic.

Marvel’s Avengers

After barely a peep since that early teaser, Square Enix finally revealed a game that may arguably mean more to the world than the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

Responding to an attack on the Golden Gate Bridge, tragedy quickly strikes our heroes. Outlawed and grieving for a friend, we fast-forward 5 years to when a new threat drags them out of retirement.

Sound familiar? It isn’t. It’s a wholly original story that will evolve over time and includes new takes on the iconic characters. The look and feel is similar to the movies, but our familiar heroes don’t look like their silver screen counterparts, and their personalities seem to differ as well.

Slivers of third-person action gameplay were shown during the lengthy real-time cutscenes, but there should be more coming out of the E3 show floor real soon. With a May 15 release date, we’re still a year away from playing it ourselves. There was no sign of Hawk Eye (again), but a young Hank Pym did show up to demonstrate his fancy particles.

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

With older Final Fantasy ports flying onto everything but your fancy two-door fridge, one question that always appeared online was “where’s Final Fantasy VIII?!” What we were beginning to think was lost to the ages was, in fact, just around the corner.

Twenty years after the original release, Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is a thing. And it’s a thing we’re excited for. It might not be the glossy, gritty remake its predecessor is getting, but it’s nice to see people’s wish for a port become something a bit more substantial. It’s coming this year on PC and all major consoles.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition

Once locked behind the Gamecube’s convoluted GBA link system, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition opens up the beloved adventure game to the masses.

While Nintendo Switch would make for the easiest transition period given its focus on local co-op, online multiplayer means it’s landing on not only the PS4, but Android and iOS, too. But not Xbox. Just when we thought times had changed. There’s still no specific release date, but we’re told to expect it this Winter. Fight the miasma!

The Last Remnant Remastered

After being stripped from online marketplaces last year, Square Enix’s 2009 pseudo-tactical JRPG has been remastered for a new audience – and it’s available on Nintendo Switch right now. The Last Remnant divided players for its unorthodox combat and leveling system, but it certainly has its fans. Telling the tale of Rush as he stumbles into a far bigger role after losing his sister, it’s the first time the game has been made available on a Nintendo platform.

Dragon Quest Builders 2

Presented with the most enthusiastic voiceover you could ask for in your reveal trailer, Square Enix wants you to know that Dragon Quest Builders 2 is out next month. Seen as the company’s take on Minecraft by some, it charmed people the first time around with its signature look and sound, and it’ll probably do it again on July 12.

Circuit Superstars

Part of the Square Enix Collective, the publishing arm’s indie label, Circuit Superstars got a brief reveal in the middle of the conference. It’s a charming top-down racer built around motorsport that promises to travel “through many eras of racing.” You’ll start your engines next year on PS4, Steam, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Kingdom Hearts 3 – Re:Mind

Keeping up with the confusing naming conventions, Kingdom Hearts 3: Re:Mind is the game’s newest DLC offering. Fans got a glimpse of this a day ahead of the showcase at the Square Enix concert, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting to see a second time around. It’s a brief trailer given the amount of talking at the start, but we can look forward to a new Keyblade transformation at the very least. For the sake of spoilers, we’ll leave the rest up to the trailer to explain.

Dying Light 2

Those waiting on Techland to deliver the sequel to its run n’ gun zombie survival RPG Dying Light 2 will need to wait a little longer. While still only scheduled for a Spring 2020 release, the Square Enix press conference did at least have another parkour-heavy trailer to share in the meantime. If you want to be cool like Aiden, just say things like “getting attached is deadly” as you dropkick a zombie through a window. Easy.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

Looking jollier than usual, producer Naoki Yoshida took to the stage to show off the Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers launch trailer. The game is due out early next month, after all. Tasked with restoring darkness to a world known as The First, there’s a lot to unpack here for those who haven’t been keeping up with the game’s story thus far.

Romancing Saga 3 & SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS

Saga never ends! Though it did take a while to carry on. Coming to the west for the first time, Romancing SaGa 3 and SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS made a surprise appearance during the show. Priding itself on choice-driven gameplay, fans of 2D and 3D JRPGs have something to chew on here. There’s no release date just yet, but both games are due on everything from console to mobile, with Romancing SaGa 3 even getting the Vita treatment.

War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

If you’ve been wanting a new Final Fantasy Tactics, this is as close as you’re going to get for now. Celebrating the monumental success of Brave Exvius (of which has its own fanfest), War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius builds upon the mobile game in some interesting ways. Royalty, numerous kingdoms, and a guy who claims to be god can never end well, so expect plenty of reasons to take to the battlefield in this tactical RPG. Like Brave Exvius, it’s a smartphone game. Just don’t expect it in the near future.

Outriders

Billed as a 3-player co-op “dark modern shooter,” People Can Fly’s creative director said Outriders is the game they’ve always wanted to make. Something they couldn’t do while under Epic Games. Now that they’re flying solo, they’re using their experiences to piece it together. They’re aiming for a strong story, accessible multiplayer, fancy weapons, and a hostile world you’ll want to spend time in – which sounds a little sadistic. If all goes well, except it in Summer 2020.

ONINAKI

Unabashedly attributed to Tokyo RPG Factory, ONINAKI is the group’s third outing following I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphere. Unlike their usual games, there’s a larger focus on real-time action combat as opposed to their retro-inspired turn-based battle systems. It launches on August 22 on PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. Sorry, Xbox players.

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