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First episode of ‘Life is Strange 2’ debuts September 27th

June 22, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Dontnod Entertainment

A month ago, studio Dontnod revealed that its graphic adventure game Life Is Strange had sold 3 million copies — and a sequel was on the way. Apparently it was pretty far along when they made the announcement. The first episode of Life Is Strange 2 is coming out on September 27th, with four more to follow.

Episode 1 of #LifeisStrange2 will release on September 27th 2018.

Further information about @DONTNOD_Ent‘s #LifeisStrange2 will be revealed this August. pic.twitter.com/Jml0977VS1

— Life is Strange (@LifeIsStrange) June 22, 2018

That’s all we know, but if you’re itching for more of the world before then, at least the studio is releasing a free game next week, The Adventures of Captain Spirit, that was announced last week at E3 and takes place in the Life Is Strange universe. You can preorder the first episode of the sequel when Captain Spirit is released next week, and more (or really, any) information is slated to come in August, according to the above tweet.

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'Kingdom Hearts 3' made me feel 15 again

June 13, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

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Kingdom Hearts II was my jam. I can’t recall the number of times I’ve played those opening hours in Twilight Town. When the game came out in 2005, I was a 15 year-old grappling with adolescence and the relentless pressure to figure out my career path. Kingdom Hearts, with its colorful Disney worlds and random Final Fantasy cameos, was the perfect escape from reality. Over time, though, my interest in the series has waned. I enjoyed Birth By Sleep, but found the rest of the spin-offs to be underwhelming and full of needlessly convoluted story beats.

Kingdom Hearts 3, though, makes me feel like a teenager again. At E3 2018, I played two demos that covered the Hercules and Toy Story-inspired worlds. Both were bright, cheery affairs, with plenty of Heartless to pummel with a ridiculous arsenal of keyblade combos, magic and amusement park-themed attacks. I was surprised by how quickly my fingers and thumbs recalled the basic combat system; within seconds I was launching Sora into the air and chaining together a bevy of slices and spells. The fights were chaotic, but in a way that was familiar and strangely comforting.

That’s not to say Square Enix doesn’t have some new ideas. In the Olympus demo, for instance, I had to guide Sora up a huge cliff while a giant Heartless launched rocks from above. The keyblade wielder will now auto-run up surfaces that have a shimmering sheen to them. “There are a lot of open world games,” director Tetsuya Nomura said via an interpreter. “I think a lot of them just focus on trying to go bigger and bigger in a horizontal map. But when I thought about having dynamic actions, I felt that verticality should be very important to these types of games.”

At the top, I had to grapple with a multi-stage boss battle that included a ride on the Disney World-inspired Big Mountain Railroad train. These attractions are new to the franchise and break up the usual hack-and-slash monotony with some special movement or, in this case, shooting sequences. “Disney theme parks are a place that everyone gets excited [about] once they step right in,” Nomura said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, and [many people] will have some kind of fun memory from one of those theme parks. I just wanted to recreate that in the game. I also wanted some kind of move in the game that was fun just by looking at it.”

Despite these additions, the game felt like the Kingdom Hearts I fell in love with more than a decade ago. For one, Sora was wearing his classic black and yellow outfit from Kingdom Hearts II. My guess is that the world acts as a prologue, or tutorial, to Kingdom Hearts 3, before the spiky-haired hero picks up his new garb and

Tech News

Watch Square Enix's E3 conference in under seven minutes

June 11, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Chesnot via Getty Images

Square Enix’s press conference didn’t exactly wow us the way others have this E3, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any news. Or, that you don’t want to watch the show anyway. It’s just that we saw most of it during Microsoft’s keynote yesterday. Which is why we’ve distilled the show down to an easy six minutes. You’re welcome!

Follow all the latest news from E3 2018 here!

Tech News

Square Enix’s E3 showcase was a bust

June 11, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Well, that was a disappointment. Square Enix held its E3 showcase earlier today and it was, to put it mildly, underwhelming. If you were hoping for more information about Final Fantasy VII Remake, or the mysterious Avengers Project, sorry — neither made the cut this year. A number of smaller releases were absent too, including Dragon Quest Builders 2, The World Ends With You: Final Remix, and Left Alive, a new apocalyptic shooter directed by Armored Core producer Toshifumi Nabeshima.

So what did we get instead? A lot of games that were presented at Microsoft’s E3 press conference. The stealthy gameplay from Shadow of the Tomb Raider was interesting, but lacked impact after the cinematic trailer that was shown yesterday. Just Cause 4 was the same — a competent trailer, but one that fans had basically seen during the Xbox showcase. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, a new game in the Life is Strange universe, and the Xbox version of Nier: Automata were also announced yesterday, stripping today’s presentations of any real excitement.

For the most part, the show was one giant retread.

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Kingdom Hearts 3 should have been the show’s home run. But again, Square Enix decided to show a slightly modified trailer from the Xbox press conference. It’s great that Ratatouille will appear in the game (the film’s hero, Remy, appears to be a summon) and seeing Axel at the end made my heart flutter. For most people, though, it was a huge letdown. Admittedly, there was a huge Kingdom Hearts event last month, but couldn’t the publisher have summoned some new information for today’s event? The reveal of a new world, or an early look at its Big Hero 6 locale?

Square Enix did have some new games to show. We heard about Babylon’s Fall, a new title from Bayonetta developer PlatinumGames. The announcement trailer showed little, though, beyond a brief history lesson of the world. There was also The Quiet Man, a game that blends live-action cinematography with “realistic CG and pulse-pounding action gameplay.” Again, though, the trailer lacked excitement. The final announcement was a collaboration between Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix’s revitalized MMORPG, and Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World. It was a fine reveal, but not enough to put the average E3 attendee on the edge of their seat.

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Save for a new Dragon Quest XI trailer, that was about it. The entire press conference took about 30 minutes and by the end I was wondering why Square Enix had bothered at all. A sense of obligation? That’s not an excuse. If the company had little to show this year, that’s fine — it should have skipped its own press conference and sprinkled the trailers it had throughout the Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo press conferences. Replaying old, or slightly modified teasers is a sure-fire way to bore, or worse irritate your audience. Create something meaningful, or don’t bother at all.

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Square Enix's new title 'The Quiet Man' embraces silence

June 11, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

In between all the fantasy worlds in today’s SquareEnix presentation we also got a look at a decidedly realistic New York and some sweet fighting action thanks to what looks to be an entirely new franchise from the company: The Quiet Man. And no, it doesn’t seem to be related to the classic 1952 film.

The short trailer didn’t reveal much, showing us a young man walking the streets of Lower Manhattan and promptly dispatching two thugs in an alley without saying a word, interspersed with the tag line “Silence Rings Loudest.” Though no release date was given, we’ll find out more about this new title in August, and it’s set for release on PS4 and Steam.

Tech News

‘Babylon’s Fall’ is the next Square Enix PlatinumGames collaboration

June 11, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Square Enix

Square Enix and Platinum Games last worked together on Nier: Automata. Now, as announced during the Square Enix livestream from E3, the two companies are partnered up again for a brand-new game titled Babylon’s Fall. It looks to have a 2019 release date for PS4 and Steam.

The trailer showed during the stream seems to show a massive timeline of back history for the game world, along with fascinating artwork and giant creatures battling with swords. The timeline starts with a shot of the Helos Empire on a map, which could mean the new game is connected to Attack on Titan in some way. CE 5000 is noted as the discovery of the “oversoul,” while a World War occurs in CE5112. In CE5450, Gaia turns against mankind and punishes everyone on the Day of Judgement. Two giant warriors clash in CE5475 on what the trailer calls “Awakening.” The fictional world then experiences a Rebirth in CE5500, which is where the trailer ends and the game, apparently, will begin.

Follow all the latest news from E3 2018 here!

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'Monster Hunter: World'' will invade 'Final Fantasy XIV'

June 11, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Square Enix

At the top of its E3 presentation, Square Enix trailer footage for Final Fantasy XIV‘s Stormblood expansion that dropped last year…and then had bumper footage for another event: A crossover between the MMO and the publisher’s best-selling Monster Hunter: World, which came out back in January.

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It’s unclear how much of either game will be crossing over into the other. All we saw was a colossal dragon and a team of FInal Fantasy-garbed adventurers ostensibly facing off with the creature. Odds are that Monster Hunter: World enemies will be added to the online game rather than the other way around, given that other franchises like Yo-Kai Watch have invaded the MMO before, as Polygon pointed out. But with details so scarce, we’ll have to wait for news down the line to clarify exactly how much of one game will end up in the other — but we did see Palicos in the teaser, which is all we really need to look forward to (right?).

Follow all the latest news from E3 2018 here!

Tech News

Watch Square Enix's E3 keynote right here at 1 PM Eastern

June 11, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Dontnod/Square Enix

How do you catch the news as it happens from Square Enix’s E3 media briefing if you aren’t in LA? You watch along with the publisher’s livestream embedded below starting at 1PM Eastern, naturally. In a few minutes we’ll (hopefully) find out more about Dontnod’s next Life is Strange tale (above), Kingdom Hearts III and maybe an update about that Final Fantasy VII remake. Perhaps a few Marvel superheroes will show up as well? It’s E3 week after all — anything can happen.

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Follow all the latest news from E3 2018 here!

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'Just Cause 4' parachutes in December 4th

June 10, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Xbox

Square Enix brought more than just Kingdom Hearts to Microsoft’s pre-E3 2018 press conference — there’s also Just Cause 4. Rico is back, once again parachuting into some disastrous warzone with both guns and attitude in tow. The quick trailer showed off some new-gen powered gameplay with plenty of driving, shooting, explosions and impressive weather effects as our hero plunged directly into a tornado. The game is scheduled for release December 4th on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, so at least that’s one title we won’t be waiting until Q1 2019 for.

While a gameplay trailer showed off Just Cause 4 at the event, you should look below for the “Welcome to Just Cause 4” video that goes in-depth with developers from Avalanche Studios (which is also behind the 80s-themed robot shooter Generation Zero) explaining what’s new this time around. This time the game takes place on the home turf of a group that has been featured in previous games called The Black Hand. There will be four separate biomes included, and the concept of a “force of nature” plays a massive role. Rico’s grapple hook is, of course, included, but there are even more physics-based tricks for players to mess around with this time.

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Follow all the latest news from E3 2018 here!

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Yoko Taro's 'Nier: Automata' comes to Xbox One on June 26

June 10, 2018 — by Engadget.com0

Nier: Automata was one of the most surprising games of 2017. The Japanese RPG had a mind-bending story, conceived by Nier and Drakengard director Yoko Taro, and a snappy combat system refined by Bayonetta developer PlatinumGames. It was a huge success for Square Enix, shifting more than 3 million copies and winning countless awards. Now, the game is coming to Xbox One. A special Become As Gods edition will hit the Xbox Store on June 26th, bundling the base game, the 3C3C1D119440927 expansion, and a slew of in-game skins and accessories, including a Grimoire Weiss-themed robot companion. Hopefully the extra sales will solidify a sequel, or an entirely new project by Taro and his team.

Follow all the latest news from E3 2018 here!