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What Square Enix got right and wrong at E3 2018

Square Enix had a very uneven press conference

Square Enix/Nintendo

I didn’t know what to expect from Square Enix’s E3 2018 press conference, which is good, because I’m not exactly sure what we got. There was some really exciting stuff in there, and a few baffling choices.

Let’s take a look at what Square Enix did right, and where it dropped the ball. Fair warning: Balls were definitely dropped.

Right: Just Cause 4

The Just Cause series has been giving us ridiculous action for years, and the ability to play with so many toys while you’re inside such a violent sandbox is always a joy. Everything Square Enix showed us from Just Cause 4 looks like it continues that tradition, and that’s all I want from this kind of reveal: a lot of good information and a sense of what you’re going to be able to do, while the audience still has some conception of how goofy things can get. This is not a serious series, and that’s one of my favorite things about it.

Why not attach balloons to a vehicle and float it above the city? You’re halfway to a Battle Royale mode!

Right: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

This trailer was a lot like what we saw for Just Cause 4: It did a good job of selling what makes the game unique while also selling new players on what the series does well. This is a very Tomb Raider-feeling Tomb Raider trailer, and that’s fine.

Lara Croft is basically a Terminator now, or maybe the Predator, and that’s also fine. Let’s lean into the fact that the character is basically Rambo. She’s killed a ton of people; she has to be really good at it by this point.

Right: Kingdom Hearts 3

I’m completely baffled by Kingdom Hearts as a series, but the reaction in the room when this trailer played convinced me that Square Enix is doing something right with it. I’m putting it in the positive column because I trust that my coworkers wouldn’t scream with delight if they didn’t mean it. It’s a bummer that so much of this was a retread from yeserday’s trailer, but, hey ... Remy’s here! Everyone is happy to see Remy.

So what did the company mess up?

Wrong: The Quiet Man

What is going on with this reveal? Why were we given no information about the game? Why is so much of this in live action? Maybe those folks were just trying to check on our hero and they got beat up for nothing? This is weird. This whole thing is weird. I don’t like it.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake art
Don’t get excited, this art is from 2017
Image: Square Enix

Wrong: Those missing games

Dear Square Enix: How is that Avengers game coming? Any update on that Final Fantasy 7 remake? Can you at least give us a look at either of them soon? If you were comfortable showing The Quiet Man in that vague of a form, why not at least give us a teaser for either of those games?

Image of Xbox One X console and controller Image: Microsoft

Wrong: What’s going on with Xbox One?

Babylon’s Fall was announced for the PC and PlayStation 4, as was The Quiet Man. What gives on the Xbox One snub there? Kingdom Hearts 3 is getting an Xbox One release, sure. Yet Nier Automata was a PlayStation 4 and PC game, and is now coming to the Xbox One. That’s ... nice?

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