E3 2018 | Press Conferences: Day 3 Highlights (Square Enix, Ubisoft, Sony)

Main Presser Day With Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Sony
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Published on June 11, 2018

It’s Day 3 of E3 2018, with the main presser day bringing Square Enix, Ubisoft and Sony to the spotlight. There’s a lot of hype with each of these companies this year; we’ll go over everything they announced.

Square Enix

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With the Kingdom Hearts III release date out of the way, there was a lot of anticipation for Final Fantasy VII Remake and unannounced titles. Here’s what they had to offer during the 30 minute digital conference.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Although a lot about this game has already been shown in other conferences and announcements leading up to E3, Square Enix dug a bit deeper into some of the gameplay and story of the latest installment in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the director of the game put it, Lara becomes “one with the jungle” in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, as she takes on the Trinity group in the Central American jungles. It’s apparent that Lara has changed significantly from the first and second games, with an almost emotionless method of murdering people via takedowns, explosives, and Molotov cocktails highlighted most of the 5-minute gameplay video. What is supposed to be the end of the origins trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks to be the darkest entry yet in the reboot series. The game will launch September 14, 2018, for Xbox One, PS4, and Steam.

FFXVI x Monster Hunter World Crossover

In a surprise reveal, Square Enix announced an upcoming crossover between their flagship MMORPG title Final Fantasy XIV, and Capcom’s newest hit, Monster Hunter: World. From the trailer, we were able to see Palicos and a Ratholos facing down a raid group. It’s unclear whether this will be a new dungeon, a roaming boss or a limited time event. Another live stream on June 12th at 11 AM PST is scheduled to provide more information about the event. The crossover is expected to start sometime in the Summer of 2018.

Babylon’s Fall

The first big reveal of Square Enix’s press conference was a new IP titled Babylon’s Fall. The trailer begins with a short chronological history of this new world containing events such as the discovery of an “Oversoul,” a new Age of Dawn, an apocalypse, a world war, the birth of a new goddess, and a divine punishment by a “Gaia.” The game seems to take place in a new era of rebirth as we are presented with two knight’s dueling in an environment oozing with dark fantasy vibes. One knight is swinging their weapon when the other suddenly uses magic of some sort to disarm and counter-attack the other knight in the blink of an eye. The game is being developed by Platinum games and is currently set to release sometime in 2019 on both PS4 and PC.

Kingdom Hearts III

With the new Kingdom Hearts III trailer, we got a glimpse into the new world of Frozen. Elsa has just run away from the castle after her powers were exposed and it appears that Sora will have to prove to her that her powers can be used for good. We also got a sneak peek at the world of Ratatouille and another look at the world of Monsters Inc. The second half of the trailer focused more on the story aspect of the game with a potential premise of searching for Roxas within Sora. The trailer ends with a chilling moment of a heartless looking Aqua about to fight King Mickey. Although original promises were for a 2018 release, Kingdom Hearts III isn’t that far off with a January 29th, 2019 release date in the west, and a January 25th release in Japan for both Xbox One and PS4.

Rest of the Square Enix Announcements

  • We saw The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit again. More details about how this interacts with the Life is Strange universe was also told; with this game affecting some of the story points of your Life is Strange 2.
  • Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Illusive Age was announced for a western release for the first time. It will release on September 4th.
  • NieR:Automata for Xbox was shown off again. Launching June 26th.
  • A quick trailer of the upcoming Switch-exclusive Octopath Traveler was shown off. It will be releasing July 13th.
  • A longer gameplay trailer of Just Cause 4 played during the conference. It showed how the extreme weather can be used for and against you to wreak havoc. Customizable grapple mods will also be introduced: airlifters, booster rockets and more tethers. Will release December 4th, 2018.
  • A new IP called The Quiet Man was announced. It takes place in New York, and features a deaf protagonist. It aims to provide “ story-driven cinematic action experience, which players can complete in one sitting, seamlessly blending high-production live action, realistic CG and pulse-pounding action gameplay.” More info in August.

Ubisoft

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Hype for Ubisoft’s conference was fairly quiet this year; with the announcement of Beyond Good and Evil 2 last year, and the leak of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey before the show. Even without their big hitters, they were able to bring a couple of surprising announcements for the conference.

Beyond Good and Evil 2

After the initial reveal trailer last year, BGE2 makes its return at Ubisoft’s 2018 conference with an additional story trailer. Aside from the breathtaking visuals and a surprise appearance of Jade (protagonist from the first game) at the end, we got a lot of info on the game. Beyond Good and Evil 2 is a prequel to the first game taking place near the end of the 24th century. The production team is most likely Ubisoft’s biggest yet, spanning multiple locations of offices.

They also went more in-depth into how they want to involve the community in the game. Partnering with HitRECord (Founded by Joseph Gordon Levitt), they will partner with fans to incorporate artwork, music, and writing into the world of System 3 to make it a “space of expression for the community.” The website opened up today, and you can already check out the different categories of media that the development team is looking for. They have confirmed that all creators that have their content included in the game will get paid. The team will showcase some of the community-created content at BGE Fest this fall, which will be held in Montpelier, France.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 still has no release date or window.

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Since we were already able to see a gameplay trailer of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 at previous conferences this year, Ubisoft spent more time going into the details of the game during their press event. After a new cinematic trailer, they went into the details of the three specializations that the game will offer. Players will be able to choose between Sharpshooters, Demolitionists, and Survivalists during their playthroughs. Leveling up will not only upgrade your power levels but also grant you with better weapons and combat moves.

Additionally, they announced the addition of 8-player co-operative raids and 3 “episodes” of Year 1 DLC that will be free for all players. The Division 2 will release on March 15, 2019.

Skull & Bones

This year at E3, Ubisoft gave us a much deeper dive into their pirate adventure game Skull & Bones. The game takes place in the Indian ocean where trade flourishes giving you an opportunity as pirates to steal your fair share of the booty. Each raiding operation you embark on will have factors that affect the mission called fortunes. The game will have three types of fortunes such as weather, conflicts, and cataclysms. Based off these, the player will be able to customize their ship with different sails, cannons, and a variety of other components. The second half of the trailer featured an in-game mission. The player first sneaks by a Portuguese fort by using non-pirate flags to close in on the target ship. After unleashing a sneak attack on the target ship and taking the treasure, an enemy Portuguese warship emerges in the distance. Many allied pirate ships then appear in the distance and the pirates band together to destroy the warship. Skull & Bones comes out sometime in 2019.

Transference

A collaboration between Ubisoft Montreal and Elijah Wood’s studio SpectreVision, Transference is a psychological thriller game that tries to bring a first-person exploration game into a chilling new dimension. A mix between playing and watching live-action footage, it seems to be a unique mix between Hollywood with gaming. We were able to watch a new trailer for the game; it didn’t provide too much but seemed to point towards entering other people’s consciences. It’s meant to be an immersive VR experience and will release on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive, but will also be available on traditional platforms. Transference will be coming this Fall.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Ubisoft’s new space-faring game that involves augmenting your controller to customize your spaceship made a brief appearance at their press conference this year. We still don’t know a lot right now about the mechanics of the game or how the physical ships will work, but we now know that we will be battling for control over the Atlas star system. The biggest news of the game is that the Nintendo Switch version will have Star Fox characters like Fox McCloud as bonus characters to play with. This announcement also revealed Shigeru Miyamoto who was hiding in the crowd for the second year in a row at the Ubisoft conference. Starlink: Battle for Atlas releases on all consoles on October 16th this year.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey showed more gameplay and story at E3 this year showcasing its further transformation into an RPG. First and foremost, the game now allows you to choose between being either male (Alexious) or female (Kassandra). The game takes place during the war between Sparta and Athens in Greece where you play a mercenary on a mission to save your loved ones. Granted the sword of Leonidas, you wield a powerful weapon that grants you special melee, ranged, and stealth abilities. Throughout your journey, you will be able to interact with famous historical figures like Socrates. The presentation they gave us a quick gameplay demo of arriving at a new island and then dueling a fierce opponent. Assassins’ Creed Odyssey will be releasing on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 5th.

Rest of the Ubisoft’s Announcements

  • Just Dance 2019 is coming in October.
  • A Rainbow Six: Siege documentary is in the works, and will premiere at the the Paris Championships in August.
  • A new Trials game, Trials Rising, was announced. There’s a ton of destruction and death, just watch the trailer… Closed beta later this year, and will release on all platforms (Including the Switch!) in February 2019.
  • The Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Donkey Kong Adventure DLC had a great showing with a live orchestra and Grant Kirkhope conducting! The new content will release on June 26th (with a 1-day early access for season pass holders)
  • A new expansion for For Honor is coming on October 16th. Named Marching Fire, it will feature four new fighters, along with single player content. A new 4v4 castle siege mode rounds out the add-on.
  • The Crew 2 is very close to launch. Open beta will be available for PS4, Xbox One and PC between June 21–24. The game will release on June 29th.

Sony

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Sony had given us warning long before the actual conference that they will be mostly focusing on four main games: The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Death Stranding and Spider-Man. They were still able to fit in a couple surprise announcements, keep reading to see what they brought this year.

The Last of Us Part II

After the cinematic reveal last year, we were finally treated to a lengthy gameplay trailer of the highly anticipated sequel of the 2013 hit by Naughty Dog. Sony did a good job setting the environment by setting up a recreation of a barn-like church that half the trailer is set in. We see Ellie talking and enjoying peaceful times with her girlfriend before cutting away to some brutal gameplay segments in the forest.

Both the graphical and gameplay elements for the sequel seem to have been updated drastically. Environments and setpieces look stunning and give off a cinematic feel as Ellie roams the forest before going into combat with the enemies. Many of the grotesque animations seem to be entirely contextual, and it’s not clear if players will be able to do these different types of actions on their own. Kills and finishing moves are cranked up to another level, complete with body explosions, axing people in the face and decapitation.

The 6-minute trailer was pretty stressful and taxing by the time we got to the end, but we’re looking to get more. No release date or window was given for The Last of Us Part II.

Ghost of Tsushima

We finally got our first deep dive into Suckerpunch’s new game Ghost of Tsushima. From previous announcements, we knew that the game takes place in Japan during a Mongol invasion in 1274. The environmental graphics and cinematography look absolutely stunning, and is a refreshing departure from the familiar grays and browns we have seen regularly in recent games.

Our assumed protagonist comes across some Mongols at the crossroads and quickly eliminates one with an unsheathing of his katana. As he quickly cuts down the other two foes, you come across a female friend of yours armed with a bow. She tells him that they must save the monk at the local temple and the two of them quickly trek up the hill. There seem to be stealth gameplay, almost in an Assassin’s Creed-like manner complete with takedown attacks on unsuspecting enemies below.

What they showed tonight definitely lived up to the hype of the game, and we’re hungry for more. We didn’t get a release date for Ghost of Tsushima so make sure and keep your eyes open.

Resident Evil 2

Leon Kennedy has returned to the streets of Racoon City amidst the aftermath of the T-virus outbreak. As a total remake of the classic, the game has abandoned the fixed camera angles of the past and adopted an over-the-shoulder view reminiscent of Leon’s adventure in Resident Evil 4. Taking full advantage of modern generation graphics, familiar scenes are sure to make a return along with far more detailed environments.

Resident Evil 2 will hope this isn’t Chris’ blood when it releases on January 25, 2019.

Death Stranding

In what felt like a very long two years, Kojima Productions delivered an extended trailer with a focus on character-driven scenes and a bonus of gameplay. Sam, the character portrayed by Norman Reedus, is introduced as a courier of sorts, delivering items in boxes and other packages. Sam is shown to be adept at various forms of travel such as climbing up steep slopes, swimming through fast rivers, climbing up ropes, and balancing across deep chasms. The malevolent adversaries of Death Stranding seem to be invisible to Sam’s naked eye, instead of requiring that he use a light emitting device seemingly powered by the baby child seen in previous trailers. Plenty of mystery remains for what else Kojipro has in store for this title. Also, Lindsay Wagner and Léa Seydoux have been revealed as joining the growing cast.

Death Stranding aptly leaves us stranded for a release date.

Spider-Man

Changing it up from the daytime, metropolitan-based trailer we got last year, we got to see Spidey travel to the RAFT during the night. After Electro starts breaking out supervillains from the prison, we see various antagonists team up to take down both the island and Spiderman. Rhino, Vulture, Scorpion, Mister Negative seemed to have Spiderman stuck in a pretty rough spot before the trailer ends. The gameplay looks similar to last year, and all that’s left is to get our hands on it when it released on September 7.

Rest of the Sony’s Announcements

  • There will be a New Game+ mode added to God of War
  • Call of Duty Black Ops 4 will be receiving 4 remastered maps from the previous games: Jungle, Summit, Slums, and Firing Range.
  • There was a recap of the “Countdown to E3” that was held before the press conference: Tetris Effect, Days Gone, Twin Mirror, Ghost Giant, Beat Saber
  • A trailer of Destiny 2 Forsaken was shown off. It will release on September 4th.
  • Control is a new game developed by Remedy set to release sometime in 2019. We got Inception vibes from it.
  • A new (!) trailer of Kingdom Hearts III was played showing off The Pirates of the Caribbean world. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 and 2.8, along with III will be available as a package.
  • Squanch Games (created by Justin Roiland) announced a new game called Trover Saves the Universe.
  • Nioh 2 was announced.
  • From Software is working on a VR game called Déaciné.

And with Day 3 wrapped up, all we have left is Nintendo tomorrow! Be sure to keep an eye on our Twitter, and we’ll see you on Day 4!

Categories: Live Coverage