Sometimes, it really pays to read beyond the headline. For example, if you were sent a press release that says “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Launch Date Revealed,” you would think that the press release was mostly about the game’s launch date and a little bit about what is available for pre-order.
That what I thought it was until I got to the subheading of “Player Choice Prevails with Augment Your Pre-Order Campaign; Collector’s Edition Unveiled.” At first glance, player choice and pre-order bonuses seems like it’s a long-awaited change to the typical pre-order plan. Then you see how Square Enix has put it together and you can’t but help but hit your head off your desk.
When we first found out that Final Fantasy VII was coming to the PS4 as an HD remake, people were extremely disappointed. After all the hope that came with the Final Fantasy VII PS3 tech demo from 2005, people have been clamoring for a full remake of the game in the style of the Final Fantasy: Advent Children movie. Instead, December’s PlayStation Experience event showed the original Final Fantasy VII slightly cleaned up for PS4.
It’s funny what Square Enix had up their sleeve to be played six months later. Sony scored a major coup for the PlayStation press conference at E3 with the surprise reveal of a major remake of Final Fantasy VII.
The pre-E3 media briefings started with a newcomer to the show and ended the same way. It was Square Enix who rounded out the action on Tuesday just before the doors opened on E3 proper. Surprisingly, Square Enix did most of its big reveals before E3 or at the Sony press conference. However, they had one official announcement under their sleeve that surprised no one but was still a welcome sight to gamers.
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.
I want you to flashback to March 2013. I know it seems like forever ago. I didn’t have any grey hair then so it’s longer for me.
In an investor call at the end of the month, Square Enix effectively called the Tomb Raider reboot that had been out for all of three weeks a failure. They said that they had expected the game to ship between five and six million copies and only it moved 3.4 million. Square Enix made it sound like the Tomb Raider franchise was dead on re-arrival.
Over the following 24 months, Tomb Raider and the current-gen (PS4 and XB1) Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition sold another 5.1 million copies to bring the total units sold to a franchise record of 8.5 million copies sold. They’re touting the success of the Tomb Raider reboot in the run up to this fall’s release of The Rise of the Tomb Raider (a timed exclusive on Xbox One and Xbox 360).
So what happened for Square Enix to change their tune?
As I finished up writing this review, I had to change the posting date of it. It read February 25th, 2015. I’ve had this review waiting to be written for a month-and-a-half. It’s hard to motivate yourself to write a review for a game that does so little to motivate you to play it. Basically, this game is the game that nearly ended et geekera. I had to overcome the challenge and finish the review but I couldn’t will myself to do it.
There are great games. There are terrible games. The worst thing that a game could be is perfectly average. Nothing particularly good. Nothing particularly bad. The only thing that it’s great at is making you go “That was a game.”
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is the “sequel” to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, a game that is very well-regarded by gamers and critics. LCTOO is just a game. Nothing more, nothing less.
When there’s a game that I’m interested in reviewing, I reach out to the public relations officers at the publisher of the game (or their contracted PR firm) to see if I can get a copy for review. More often than not, I don’t get a copy of the game. Usually, I can wait for a sale and pick up a copy to play it through but usually that’s not for several months that it gets down to a price within my budget.
In the case of Murdered: Soul Suspect, I was figuring that Steam’s Holiday or a spring sale would bring it down to a price where I would buy it. Then I got it for $15 from the Humble Store in early August. Two months after the game was released, I’m already getting it for some 70% off. While I know it was a big enough flop to force developer Airtight Games out of business, it couldn’t be that bad, could it?
We’ve been focusing on the console manufacturers and the major publishers over the course of the first two days of E3. Today, we change the focus from the publisher to the developers. Not everyone gets to show off their game in a massive presentation with the eyes of the gaming world focused on it. Most developers make the press rounds to announce and promote their games. Here are a few of the bigger announcements and news updates from the first few days of E3. Continue reading