Square Enix is quietly having an absolutely amazing E3
Earlier this week, I made the argument that Bethesda was possibly the best third-party publisher in the world right now. That is obviously a subjective opinion, but the publisher continues to put out quality games that push the industry. To confirm that, this E3 it has what is probably going to be the overall consensus choice as the best game of the show with Fallout 4, and possibly the best reboot with the new Doom.
Now that we’ve seen more from E3 though, I may have to reconsider my opinion, at least to a degree.
Bethesda is still head and shoulders above most others, but quietly, without the fanfare of its own pre-E3 show, Square Enix may have the most impressive lineup of any third-party publisher around right now.
You won’t find any original IPs on the list, but this E3 was the perfect storm for Square Enix. Every game on this list would have eventually spawned a new game at some point, but to have them all at once makes for an impressive lineup.
In fact, it might be the best lineup of E3 2015 from any publisher. Check out the titles that have us so excited below.
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
At one point, the Deus Ex franchise was one of the biggest in the gaming world. Everyone knew about it, and everyone wanted to play it. The franchise went into the wilderness for several years though, largely forgotten by all but the biggest of fans until Square Enis’ subsidiary Eidos reinvented it as a prequel, with a new protagonist and a new world. It worked too. Human Revolution was a hit, both commercially and critically. There is even a film on the way based on the rebooted series.
The news of a sequel was announced in April, so its presence at E3 was expected. That said, it is still very welcome. The new hardware should make the open mission structure even more open, and the cyberpunk look will be even more… cyberpunky when it arrives on PC, PS4, and Xbox One Q1/Q2 2016.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Part of why Square Enix hasn’t had as much attention as some other publisher is that most of its biggest announcements were made at other events. This game, for example, was a huge hit for Sony during its press event.
Although it probably won’t be one of the top sellers of the year, and it won’t impress a lot of fans that didn’t play the original, the Final Fantasy VII remake was one of the biggest surprises of E3. Most of that is just how long people have asked for a remastered version with no response, so actually getting it is like a wish being granted. No word on when the game will be out.
Final Fantasy XV
Although the remastered Final Fantasy VII stole the Final Fantasy headlines, the next game in the series will be a major release for Square Enix. In fact, it will be one of the biggest releases for any publisher.
A date hasn’t been issued yet, but a Final Fantasy release is always a big deal internationally. When it does hit on PS4 and Xbox One, it will make a major splash.
It’s no surprise that a new Hitman game is on the way. It’s a massive franchise for Square Enix, and there’s also a movie on the way this August. Plus, it hasn’t exactly been a well kept secret that there was a new Hitman title being developed. There have been plenty of leaks.
Like most of Square Enix’s other major reveals though, this one was a big hit at someone else’s press event, namely Sony. There will be plenty of time to show it off though, prior to its December release for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Just Cause 3
This game was announced last year in November, so its presence at E3 was very much expected. With a release date of December 1, Just Cause 3 will play a huge part in Square Enix’s 2015 plans.
This E3 will serve to give a lot of details and drum up some attention for the games holiday release. Expect the marketing blitz to begin soon.
Kingdom Hearts III
This game has been in the works for quite a while now, but this is the best look we’ve had at it yet. There’s still no release date, but it will be available on PS4 and Xbox One. It will be the first game of the series on a Microsoft system.
The only real problem facing this title is that it will be a continuation of the previous games. That’s no big deal for the people that played them, but the series has jumped around on multiple platforms, making it kind of tough to keep up. That won’t stop it from being an awesome game though.
NieR New Project (Temporary Name)
This game was something of a surprise when it was announced, but the original 2010 game generated a small, but loyal fanbase. The sequel – which is still in the early stages – will also feature an impressive development team inclusing Platinum Games.
If you don’t know the original game, you have a cool title on the way. If you were a fan of the original, so far this sequel is shaping up to be all you could ask for.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Microsoft stole a lot of the thunder from Square Enix when it showed off this game at its E3 event. That won’t make any difference in the long run, but the presentation may have made this game feel more like a Microsoft title than a Square Enix one thanks to that exclusivity deal.
In truth, the game is just a timed exclusive. Developer Crystal Dynamics (a subsidiary of Square Enix) will release the Xbox One edition on November 10. There’s no word on when it may hit other platforms, but expect it soon after. Following the successful reboot of the series in 2013, this game is easily one of the biggest of E3 2015.
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness
Although this PlayStation exclusive was already announced for a Japanese release, it has now been announced for an American release at some point in 2016 as well.
Like a few of Square Enix’s other titles at this E3, the Star Ocean series borders on being a cult favorite. The PS4 release could help to bring a little attention back to the long running franchise.
World of Final Fantasy
This is another title that was somewhat hijacked by the Sony event, but it still goes in the win column for Square Enix. The RPG is a PS4 and PS Vita exclusive, and it seems to be geared towards a younger audience. With the Final Fantasy VII remake, Final Fantasy XV, and now this game, Square Enix and the Final Fantasy property are set to have a big year or two.
World of Final Fantasy will be released at some point in 2016. It will probably be somewhat overshadowed by the other FF games, but the fact that it’s one of just a handful of games coming to Vita makes it noteworthy.