The pre-E3 festivities began with a newcomer on Sunday night and will end on Tuesday morning (afternoon away from the west coast) with another newcomer. This time, it’s Square Enix who are making their E3 debut. While they won’t have the Tomb Raider sequel, they have a few other sequels that should excite gamers and the assembled press alike.
First, let’s get SqEnix’s big franchise out of the way because it’s not at E3. Final Fantasy XV might have had a successful recently released demo but it still won’t be brought to E3. Instead, the next look at FF15 won’t be until Gamescom in August. At least that means we’ll have a headline for that coverage.
That leave three titles expected at E3 that will be big sellers. The biggest just might be Kingdom Hearts III. The crossover between Square Enix and Disney properties has been a surprise hit among gamers and critics. While a number of handheld and mobile games have been made since KH2 was released in 2005, it’s been on hold while Square Enix’s A-team of devs worked on Final Fantasy games.
The combination stealth shooter / RPG has long been a fan and critical favourite. In addition to the first gameplay footage and the announcement of a release window, I would expect some more details on the game itself. I have read that decisions will affect the game going forward so I would hope for some more explanations of that and other new gameplay features.
That leaves Just Cause 3. The open-world shooter was unveiled back in April with a big feature in Game Informer. I would expect to see an explosion-heavy trailer that shows off some of the new features of the game. Considering Just Cause 2 had multiplayer modded into it, it would be a bit of a big deal for multiplayer to be announced for this game.
In the handheld space, Bravely Second is being worked on so the sequel to Bravely Default could make an appearance here. And while it won’t be strictly handheld, I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Final Fantasy XII (considered the end of the Final Fantasy golden age by Square Enix) gets the HD Remaster treatment for PS3/PS4/PS Vita.
As for unannounced projects, it’s widely expected that a new Hitman game will appear during this presser. It also won’t be a mobile game though the Hitman game seems to be during surprisingly well on your phone. Io Interactive is confirmed to be working on a new Hitman game but we haven’t heard anything in a while. Expect that to change here.
Also, we know United Front Games is working on Triad Wars, a spin-off to the spectacular Sleeping Dogs. The game was announced last fall but we haven’t heard much since. We do know that it will be an online multiplayer game in which you try to ascend to the top of the Triad underworld. As long as it feels like a kung fu action movie again, I’m happy.
If you’re looking for an absolute outside chance long shot, if SqEnix wanted to steal some headlines back from Microsoft, they can let slip when the timed exclusivity window on Rise of the Tomb Raider ends. Now, I absolutely don’t expect that to happen because that would be the last thing Microsoft wants. Still, we’re going to find out when that exclusivity ends eventually. If not this E3, definitely next.
That all being said, Square Enix has promised that there will be six previously unconfirmed, unannounced or surprise games that are part of their presentation. If you count KH3, Hitman and Triad Wars, I’ve covered three of them. That leaves three more as games that would completely surprise most pundits. I think Square Enix might have this E3 thing figured out pretty quickly.
A full HD remake of Final Fantasy VII or the Chrono series would certainly fit the bill of a surprise.