Fourteen years and two whole console generations have passed since Kingdom Hearts II first released on the PlayStation 2 in 2005, and the wait is almost over for its much-hyped sequel.
What is Kingdom Hearts III?
Kingdom Hearts III is an action role-playing game developed by Square Enix and featuring characters and settings based on some of Disney’s most iconic properties, alongside appearances from various well-known characters from the popular Final Fantasy series. Despite the title, Kingdom Hearts III is actually the twelfth instalment in the series, and series director Tetsuya Nomura says it will be in the final chapter in the ‘Seeker of Darkness’ saga, picking up directly after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
The game will see protagonist Sora once again teaming up with faithful companions Donald Duck and Goofy. Their quest is to search for the seven Guardians of Light in an attempt to stop the plans of Master Xehanort, who wishes to start another Keyblade War—the first of which was said to have almost destroyed the fabric of the universe.
The earliest work on Kingdom Hearts III is said to have begun in 2006, but was not confirmed until 2013. That delay has only increased the level of speculation and anticipation among fans of the series, including much debate over what new worlds would be included. The acquisition of Marvel and Star Wars by Disney only served to fuel the fire even further.
Why are we excited?
Several gameplay features from previous entries in the series are returning in Kingdom Hearts III, such as the Shotlock attacks from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, while the Flowmotion system from Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance has been tweaked into the Athletic Flow system.
Some new mechanics are also being introduced, including the ‘Attraction Flow’ commands, which are inspired by some of the most famous rides at Disney Theme Parks, such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Similar to Kingdom Hearts 0.2: Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage, Kingdom Hearts III has been built using Unreal Engine 4, resulting in a significant graphical upgrade compared to previous entries in the series. The development team has also promised a more intricate AI system for both allies and enemies and a fast-paced, flashy gameplay style.
Worlds based on Frozen, Tangled, Big Hero 6, and Monsters Inc. are making their debut, while several worlds that have appeared previously in the series, such as Hercules, Pirates of the Caribbean, and 100 Acre Wood from Winnie the Pooh, are making a return.
Many fans (including the staff at OnlySP) are anticipating a fusion of the best elements of previous Kingdom Hearts games, wrapped in the best presentation current generation video game technology can offer.
When can we play it?
Kingdom Hearts III is due for release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 29, 2019.
Let us know if you’re looking forward to getting your hands on Kingdom Hearts III later this month, and make sure to come back tomorrow for a look at an intriguing new IP set for release this year.