#E32021 XBox-Bethesda & Square Enix [Highlights]

Still haven’t fully digested that Microsoft did actually buy Bethesda, but i didn’t have much interest in their games before… with the exception of Doom, Wolfenstein and pretty much anything they published but not developed, but still, it is a big deal.

Cared more than i could ever care about Microsoft’s offerings this last generation (and if anything so far into the X-Box One X is indicative of something, make it two), but whatever, let’s see if the two companies can offer a proper conference, at least with the standards we expect from “AAA” publishers and console makers.

So, Todd “It Just Works” Howard opens the conference with the expected speech of how videogames were even more important during a pandemic, but we do get a lot of announcements, mostly of games that will be console exclusives (or console launch exclusive, meaning they will launch later on other platforms) to X-Box Series X/S, like a new game from Avalanche Studios, Contraband, a new IP from Bethesda about space travel, Starfield, finally seeing gameplay and a date for Psychonauts 2, Stalker 2.

Other non-exclusive but new or newly presented titles include A Plague Tale: Requiem, Slime Rancher 2, Atomic Heart (been a while since we saw this Bioshock looking title), Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes and Eiyuden Chronicles Rising (surprising entries for a Microsoft presentation), Age Of Empires IV and The Outer Worlds 2.

Halo Infinite doesn’t do much for me, i’ve played the first one on the original X-Box, i don’t think i’ve even ever finished Halo 2, but i find it hilarious that this one basically pretends Halo 5 didn’t happen at all.

I don’t know if to mock or compliment them and Rare for still trying with Sea Of Thieves, but if this new story that involves a collaboration with Disney to bring Pirates Of The Caribbean characters into the game doesn’t revitalize it… nothing will, i’m afraid.

Though, don’t worry, Bethesda has still no shame at all, since they keep reminding people of Fallout 76 and keep announcing expansions-story campaigns for it, i guess it’s a profitable piece of crap after all.

A bit surprised Blizzard Activision let the Diablo II remaster trailer play in this conference, it’s just kinda there.

And while i don’t have a dog in the race in this instance, as i don’t own a X-Box Series X/S (or the X-Box One, as in, the 360 successor)…. i can’t deny that Microsoft deserves compliment for making the idea of the Game Pass be a viable way for many people to get a lot of stuff with a Netflix-like subscription, and it’s even more clear than before that it’s an important pillar for the system and the X-Box enviroment, as a lot of the announced exclusives will be included in the Game Pass, and Microsoft is working a lot to make it worth the investment, including the whole Yakuza series with it… holy shit, it’s a good deal, i can’t deny that.

Overall, Microsoft-Bethesda’s showing was good, there was a good variety to the games, and a good balance between gameplay trailers, cinematic ones, and “just announcing i exist” ones, some good surprises, so… the best so far, of the conferences i’ve watched.

Square Enix’s western side still has Marvel’s blessing, and still wants people to somehow come back to “Destiny Marvel’s Avengers” with new content… and hopefully trick people that didn’t buy into it with Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, which looks and looks to play exactly the same (but with choices to make in some instances), so most likely another crap live-service that has the license and clearly wants to have the characters designed like in the Marvel live-action movies…. but not quite.

I might be wrong about the designs, since clearly the GOTG comics came first, and i’m sure there are plenty of renditions-takes on them, but still, not sold.

Remember Babylon Fall being a thing they announced existing years ago? It exists, but it’s ANOTHER GODDAMN live-service thing, so pass. Just pass. Sick of these excuses for microtransactions milking.

I just skipped so hard when i realized that, so sick of this motherfucking “services”.

The fact Squenix is selling back the first 6 mainline Final Fantasy games should be a nice thingie… but it looks like them emulating the original version, ignoring the remakes some of the earlier games did got, and the fact they will launch them for both mobile and Steam makes me feel we’re gonna see another round of Square-Enix lazy AND overpriced ports.

At least the Legend Of Mana port/remaster looks good, and makes more sense than them remastering… Life Is Strange? Why? For a graphic overhaul of games not that old or so dependent on the “graphics”? Why?!

The highlight for sure was Stranger Of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins, not only for the hilarious meme gold of the overabundance of “CHAOS!” in the script, the fact it starts a fairly random trio of characters, but also because it’s an action game developed by Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo Games, sure as hell looks like it.

To be honest, i do wanna play this one, looks fun (even if technically not up to par), but i can’t check out the demo since i don’t have a PS5… then again, according to many online, even having the console doesn’t mean you could play it, as the demo itself seems to be broken or not working. XD

Which is one hell of a blunder to make after not exactly setting the world on fire with this lukewarm – at best – presentation. At least they showed stuff, instead of just doing the old “anti-announcement” announcement they used to do in the past, but clearly Squarenix didn’t try much at all.

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