Square Enix’s E3 2019: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Before E3 happened, I stated that I thought that Square Enix, not Microsoft, had the best chance to win E3. Not only were they going to be showing of Final Fantasy 7 Remake, one of the most anticipated games in the entire industry, but they would also be revealing their upcoming Avengers game. I’m not sure if your’e aware, but The Avengers are arguably the biggest pop culture figures in the world right now so having a Triple-A game made by one of the best studios in your announcement lineup is pretty good sign that your’e E3 is going to be amazing. The big question is, did Square manage to waste this golden opportunity or did they absolutely crush their E3 competition?

The Good

Final Fantasy 7 is Everything

For my entire adult life people have been clamoring for the Final Fantasy 7 remake. Seriously, I think people were asking for this even before the original game came out, that’s how high the demand is for this game. Well, I’m happy to say that Square came out on stage and nailed their presentation. This game looks incredible! Who cares if “part one” only deals with the going-ons in Midgar, because I only ever played the demo of this game, Midgar is all I know. 9 year old me can’t wait to go back and experience and entire game’s worth of content fleshing out such a memorable setting. On top of the setting, we also got to see the gameplay and it’s amazing. From what I can tell, it’s just a more, well-refined version of the Final Fantasy 15 combat system which I personally thought was the best part of a game that I liked a lot.

An RPG Lover’s Dream

Not only did we get Final Fantasy 7, but we also got every RPG ever. Seriously, I felt like I was 15 again flipping through a gaming magazine looking at every RPG that was scheduled to release. If this is your favorite genre, then as the British say, you must be swimming in jelly. I mean, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, The Last Remnant Remastered, Kingdom Hearts 3 DLC, Oninaki, and something called Final Fantasy 8… I guess after Square fixed Final Fantasy 14, they’re just convinced they can turn any turd into gold.

That’s How You Show Off an MMO

Speaking of Final Fantasy 14, it has been a long time since I’ve played this game and while I have no intention of jumping back into this game, at least at this time, I will say that they did a great job selling me and others on what this game has become. One of my frustrations with Bethesda’s conference was that they didn’t show me Elder Scrolls Online looks like whereas with FF14, I have a really good understanding of what to expect from this game if I was a new player jumping in for the first time. Even if you’re not interested in playing this game, I would recommend watching the trailer just to enjoy how much fun it is.

Something For Everyone

If 100 hour RPGs aren’t your thing, don’t worry Square has you covered. One of my favorite parts about this conference was that just as I felt like they were going a little too heavy on RPGs and Final Fantasy ,in particular, they finally switched over and showed us something different. Dying Light 2 is one of my most anticipated games of… 2020 (literally everything is coming out in 2020) and the other big reveal, Outriders, from the developers behind Bulletstorm also looked really interesting. For Outriders, while we mostly got a cinematic trailer for the game, Square did show off some behind the scenes developer footage that did show off a little bit of the game and I’m on board.

Besides Zombies and soldiers killing forest monsters, Square also showed off Dragon Quest Builders 2 which just looks like so much fun. If you had a chance to play the first Dragon Quest Builders then I’m happy to say that everything shown off in this new trailer just looks like they’ve taken everything about the first game and made it 10 times better. I can’t wait to jump into the sequel and lose about 100 hours from building,farming, and hunting monsters.

The Bad

That’s A Lot of Final Fantasy

Perhaps I’m picking nits here, but the conference did reach a certain point where it felt like Square wasn’t confident in anything they owned except for Final Fantasy. I understand it’s a popular brand but after going from Final Fantasy 7 to Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles to Final Fantasy 8 to Final Fantasy 14 and then to Final Fantasy… phone games, it just felt like a bit much. I know they didn’t have some of their heavy hitters from years past like Hitman (still not sure why they let that go) and Tomb Raider, but it still felt weird to see such a legendary studio milking such a popular brand.

The Ugly

Avengers… Assemble?

Other than Final Fantasy 7, the people were most excited for Avengers and we didn’t get it. Yes, we got trailers that revealed the characters and that showed off some of the story of the game and while all of that looked great, where was the gameplay. Every time the game would start to be described I would think I’d have a handle on what the game was but then I would either think of a question that needed to be answered or someone would say something else about the game that would lead to even more confusion. Quite possibly my most anticipated game of the entire show and I left that conference confused about what the game even is. That’s not good!

Overall Score: A-

Despite the fact that I thought Square botched the ending of their press conference, it would be an overreaction to pretend like it badly hurt their overall presentation. Was it a let down, yes, but everything else shown more than made up for it. I think we all went into E3 most concerned about Final Fantasy 7 and so far, everything seems to have been executed perfectly. That alone has to mean they had not only a good conference, but a great one.

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