Square Enix hasn't done a conference for the last couple of years, but their roster is looking much healthier in 2018. Who wants more Final Fantasy VII remake action? You? Then join me, as we mainline some coffee and deal with the second most brutal conference of E3 this year.
I say second most brutal, because at least a 0300 AEST / 0230 ACST / 0100 AWST / 0500 NZST isn't as savage as the 0200 AEST start for Nintendo on Wednesday. (To be fair, I'll have to be up slightly before 0200 anyway for Square: it's good policy to start just before.)
As before, if you want to watch the action via a second screen, the stream is below:
Now, let's kick on.
Monday 1845: Before touching on the obvious candidates, let's tackle the project that Crystal Dynamics has been working on while assisting with Shadow of the Tomb Raider: the Avengers game.
Eidos Montreal has been helping work on this as well, and the collaboration was first announced in January last year. It will feature a "completely original story" in the Marvel universe, rather than piggybacking off a movie, and the original release mentioned that players would be able to play for years to come (read: a service-type game).
Now seems the right time to announce progress on the project, and maybe even some gameplay. What will be interesting is whether Spiderman shows up: given that Insonmiac are working with the new Spidey, is there a deal or a contract somewhere that grants them exclusivity on working with Spiderman video games?
Outside of that, I'd like more clarity on the FF7 remake - not necessarily the gameplay, but how it's structured. There was talk that it was being split into an episodic series, but with Square letting Io Interactive (Hitman) go, that might not be on the cards anymore. If it is still an episodic game, some hard details about what we could expect would be good. It's been in development for long enough.
1850: Recapping quickly earlier in the day: the Xbox conference. At the end, I ran a quick poll asking everyone for their game of the show.
Unsurprisingly, Cyberpunk 2077 stormed home with 40% of the vote. Second place - also unsurprisingly - was Fallout 76 with 12%, while Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice came in third with 9%.
I think if it had been a straight Fallout solo RPG, it would have been neck and neck with CP2077. There's still a lot of reluctance around the idea of multiplayer in a Bethesda game, even though it's something people have also been agonising over - and trying to make themselves with mods - for aeons.
1900: Now, a quick procedural note. (But not before a quick peanut butter cup to recharge. It's been a long day.)
I'll be returning to the Square Enix blog around 0200 AEST tomorrow morning. Tonight I'll also be kicking off the liveblogs for Ubisoft, PC and Sony, although obviously I'll be restarting each at different times. I'm particularly keen to make sure the PC one is ready to go, because Ubisoft loves running over time.
The largest surprise will be how many unannounced games Square opts to unveil. There's no expectations on how long Square's conference will run for, although I'm guessing it'll probably be an hour.
So I'll see you all later this evening for the next liveblog, which will be Ubisoft's. As for Square, I'll see you all nice and early tomorrow morning.
Tuesday 0200: And we're back. Nothing much appears to have come out beyond Dead or Alive 6, so not too bad there.
But otherwise, situation continues as-is. Just under an hour to go.
0230: So: Just Cause, Final Fantasy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Octopath Traveller, Kingdom Hearts 3, and that Avengers game (that's possibly Guardians of the Galaxy).
Not a bad mix.
As a random aside, SEGA ended up officially announcing Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise after it leaked briefly via Amazon yesterday. Comes out October 2 this year:
0245: 15 minutes to go.
Something from Casual Prolix, regular ScribbleTaku winner, in the livestream thread:
I imagine there will probably be reminders of them having just released Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth on mobile devices and the upcoming Western release of Star Ocean: Anamanamanamananesis. Now that Squeenix has said they're focusing on Switch I imagine well get some Octopath pre-release hype and announcements of a few upcoming titles. It wouldn't surprise me if their GO titles were being ported either now they've stopped making them for the mobile market.
The GO titles would be a good fit for Switch, come to think of it.
0258: Right, got some orange juice and a nice warm blanket. Grab a drink quickly, and settle in.
0300: That was a quick start.
This is gonna be a Nintendo-style Direct presentation, it seems.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider first, I'm guessing:
Lara and Jonah are stuck in a plane. Lara wants to jump; reminds me of the opening scene from Uncharted 2.
As it turns out, that is the opening scene, an Eidos Montreal dev confirms.
Changes to a gameplay sequence in the jungle, showing Lara stealthing around and distracting enemies by firing arrows around the place. Lara automatically hides in large bits of tall grass, like we've seen in Uncharted 4 and plenty of other games lately.
0310: Quick montage for Final Fantasy XIV: Moonlight.
Then it looks like a Monster Hunter crossover with FFXIV Online, which drops later this winter.
Dontnod appears them, which means it's time for that cute Captain Spirit game that showed up yesterday. Remember: this is a game within the Life is Strange universe.
Again: it's not Life is Strange 2, but it has some links to the Life is Strange sequel.
Also, it's completely free to download - not just the first episode - and will be available from June 26.
0314: Back to a more anime-esque world.
It's Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age.
Drops September 4, if my brain's reading this correctly.
0318: Some nice montages here, and a game called Babylon's Fall. It's the new project from PlatinumGames, and it's coming out next year. PC and PS4.
Then a recap that Nier drops on the Microsoft Store on June 26.
0320: Ooh, these look familiar.
July 13 for Octopath Traveller. Nothing flashy, just a straight trailer. Demo's still out on the eShop if you want a taster.
But now it's Just Cause 4 time.
0321: Extreme weather is the big thing in JC4.
Video then talks about enemies posing a more intelligent threat, with some enemies going invisible (ugh) and better NPC AI.
"Unparalleled draw distance" also gets mentioned, which I imagine you'd need to spot extreme weather effects a far way off. Just Cause 4 drops December 4 this year.
Now, time for some broken glass on screen.
0325: The Quiet Man is shown, another PS4/PC game, with more to be announced in August.
There's third-person combat with a deaf protagonist. Maybe. Not much to go on.
Kingdom Hearts 3 time - and we're back in the Frozen world.
Here's that trailer:
I do like seeing pissed off Daffy Duck in a video game.
0329: So we're back to montage time - are we at the end of the conference already? The music has got that feel to it. Yup, that's the end of the show.
0330: Only a half-hour affair, then, and pretty much just a bunch of trailers and gameplay footage back to back.
Nice and snappy, which was nice. But it was also a conference that was super focused on what's coming out in 2018, with few announcements for the years to come. No Avengers game, for instance, or Batallion 1944, or any discussion of the future of Deus Ex. No talk about mobile projects, either.
And we still don't know what People Can Fly are working on - and not a word about the Final Fantasy 7 remake. I suspect, however, the Sony conference might be the place for that.
So a bit of a letdown in terms of new stuff, but also not a huge time commitment. Which isn't too bad! Time for a quick nap before Ubisoft kicks off in a couple of hours. So I'll do that, and see you all around 0500 AEST for round 2.