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Opinions 15 June 2021, 12:00

author: Giancarlo Saldana

Giancarlo Saldana has been covering video games and tech for over a decade for publications like 1UP, GamesRadar, TechRadar, MacLife, Blast Magazine, and more. Twitter: @giansaldana

Square Enix at E3 Offers a Mix Bag of Emotions

Some questionable choices took away from the hype Square Enix games ought to bring to an E3 presentation.

Square Enixís E3 presentation left us with a weird taste in our mouth showing off existing titles while revealing two new games that didnít do a good job of showing us why we should get excited for them. At least, not right now anyway.

Kicking off the show was the reveal of Guardians of the Galaxy, a game that looks amazing but a bit too much like Marvelís Avengers Ėand we all know that one was okay at best. Now while we couldnít get over how realistic Rocketís fur looked or how much dialogue there was among the characters Ė all good things, mind you Ė we were distracted by what Eidos Montreal chose to show off as gameplay footage.

Keep in mind that these E3 presentations are a way to kickstart the hype for a game before it launches, but this was more of a soft nudge than a kick. The problem was that the gameplay presentation was too long and featured mostly just walking around until something happened.

It was great to hear all the fun lines and get a sneak peak of its choice-making system as it gave it a modern RPG feel, but there wasnít much going on besides that. Even the battle they showed off was a big question mark since it looked like you were always locked onto one enemy while your allies focus on others. You can select commands on the fly for them to follow, but besides that it didnít seem that impressive. The music was great, but we wonder if Bonnie Tylerís ďHolding Out For a HeroĒ was an E3 exclusive and not part of the actual game.

We have high hopes for this game considering its developerís resume so we hopefully get to see more of its good sides. Coming out this fall, the game should be near the end of development by now so letís hope this reveal set the bar low on purpose.

Shifting gears a bit was a more intriguing surprise in the form of Stranger of Paradise Final Fantasy Origin. The long title itself piqued our curiosity as did the collaboration of Team Ninja and Square Enix. Seeing how much the gameís combat resembled Nioh, we only wonder how much storytelling will happen amid all the hack and slash.

Plus, it also left us with a slew of questions such as whose origin this was game about, will it retcon the timeline of the original game, or if this apparent spin-off will tie in with the already established main series.

Those were the highlights of the entire presentation, and everything else that was shown was already revealed somewhere before or didnít give us much to be excited about. Even the world premiere of gameplay footage from Babylonís Fall was in the form of a dubious-looking trailer which was drowned out by opera music and bad voice acting.

For a game that had so much build up, Babylonís Fall may be getting true to its name and falling a little in our list of games we want to play. We arenít sure if the trailer was the problem or if the actual gameplay was the problem, or maybe it was a mixture of both.

As it stands now, it didnít look like the kind of game we were expecting. And thatís a shame because PlatinumGames makes some amazing titles. With no release date in sight, Babylonís Fall can only grow and hopefully wow us better from here.

Footage from Life is Strange: True Colors was great, but totally not needed seeing as how soon the game will come out in a few months. A few new gameplay elements were shown such as how players will be able to interact with other characters and examine their emotions, but not much was shown that wasnít already known. Life is Strange Remastered Collection was another unnecessary announcement, but is sure to make fans of the series happy.

And thatís how many presentations felt like this year. Either they went on for too long, showed off content that is already public, or featured simplistic teasers that didnít give us much to go by. Itís a shame that this yearís coverage didnít give us more of what we come to expect from Square Enix.

Not surprisingly, there was no Kingdom Hearts as they are probably saving most of their announcements for next yearsí 20th anniversary celebrations. But not even a hint of a new Deus Ex when Eidos Montreal had the stage made us sad.

A few mobile games here and there and some upcoming DLC filled the gaps in between announcements, but Square Enix really needs to focus on what they want fans to be excited about but deliver it in a way that attracts promoters and not detractors. A hyped-up game like Babylonís Fall should be met with praise and not jeers.

Giancarlo Saldana | Gamepressure.com

E3 2021
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Life is Strange: True Colors

Life is Strange: True Colors

Babylon's Fall

Babylon's Fall

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