Square Enix, the publisher and developer of a large quantity of titles, including the well known Final Fantasy Series, has their own highly anticipated lineup of products at E3, I’ll have the list and any findable trailers after the jump. Of course, because of E3’s nature, things are subject to change on a mere whim, hopefully all of these will show up.
First on my list is Dead Island which is likely to appear at E3, a Sandbox zombie survival game by Deep Silver and distributed by Square Enix. The first-person perspective and open world gameplay makes it reminiscent of the Elder Scrolls series. As the name implies, the game takes place on a zombie-infested island and you are one of the survivors of a sudden outbreak of the walking dead. The game has a mix of RPG and action elements, multiple playable characters, and co-op gameplay. Calling it Left 4 Dead: The RPG wouldn’t be a major stretch considering its co-op options and multiple types of zombies.
Also at E3 is Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a prequel to the original and developed by Eidos Montreal. Taking place in 2027, 25 years before Deus Ex and before the development of nanotech augmentations, but during biomechanical augmentations. Using these augmentations, the player can reach superhuman levels of power. Some changes to the game include regenerating health to prevent the game becoming unwinnable due to wounds and a lack of a backup save, different ammo types, and highlighting intractable elements in the game.
For the fans of the Final Fantasy series, a sequel to Final Fantasy 13 will also make an appearance. The overall reviews of FF13 were heavily mixed and there were multiple common criticisms about the game’s design. Square Enix has stated that they will exceed FF13 in every respect, and further improve its stronger points where it was possible. The story takes place years after Lightning saves Cocoon, but Lightning is nowhere to be seen and presumed dead by many. She remains the main character however, and the story will be far darker unlike the first Final Fantasy sequel, X-2, which was far more lighthearted than the original.
One I’m looking forward to is Hitman Absolution, the fifth game in the Hitman series starring the master assassin Agent 47. Though the previous games were largely episodic in their gameplay, Absolution is infinitely more story-driven, but they have said the game will appeal to newcomers to the series as well as seasoned veterans of the game. IO Interactive has been extremely quiet on the main details of the game however, hopefully they wont fix what isn’t broken. Because it runs on the Glacier 2 engine, it’s likely the gameplay wont be too different.
Tomb Raider’s reboot of the series is also coming. Changing the origins of the seasoned gunslinging adventurer Lara Croft, and the style and tone of the predecessors. The style of the game is completely different from the previous ones, with Lara being hampered by her physical capabilities rather than strictly by keys and puzzles. The game introduces leveling-up mechanics, item combinations, and a new gameplay engine that takes advantage of the environments makeup.
Dungeon Siege 3 is an action-RPG hack and slash game developed by Obsidian Entertainment, notable for creating Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2, and Fallout New Vegas. DS3 is being advised by the original creator of the first Dungeon Siege, Chris Taylor. The gameplay will include co-op with up to four players, and it looks like a lot of fun if you’re a fan of games like Diablo.
On the 3DS is Heroes of Ruin, an RTS RPG. Unfortunately there are very few details on it outside of the teaser. Outside of the genre and that it will make great use of the 3DS’ streetpass technology, and that it includes multiplayer. It is developed by n-Space.
Square Enix has a very interesting lineup of many anticipated titles, including five games in an established franchise, some of which shift away significantly from their foundations. They’re taking some very hefty gambles, but this has been a good few years of gaming. Let’s hope they don’t disappoint come E3 itself.