It’s been a long time coming, but Kingdom Hearts III is finally on the horizon with plenty of fresh content in tow!
In the 15 years that have passed since the first Kingdom Hearts launched on PlayStation 2, plenty has changed. Console technology has made leaps and bounds, and action/RPGs have become better and better at providing fast-paced, spectacle-clad combat. Never one to be outdone, however, Tetsuya Nomura has created more than a few new features for Kingdom Hearts III that we’re excited to see in the final game. Here are a few of our favourites.
In both of the series’ main entries, the player’s party was limited to three characters. Forcing them to choose one member to bench for part of or the entirety of an adventure. In the third entry, however, players can fight alongside every party member at once, bringing in guest characters like Buzz and Woody alongside the core team of Sora, Donald, and Goofy. Not only will this allow for better control of how party members cover different sections of combat, but it also allows players to see and use the different team member combo attacks available in each world. This includes higher-tier magical attacks that can wipe out waves of heartless all at once.
Console hardware has come a long way since the last core entry in the Kingdom Hearts series, which has allowed for bigger and better worlds in the third entry. Nomura has already stated that the development team is striving to make worlds players won’t simply breeze right through. Showing in depth and detail of what’s been revealed in demos: sprawling mountainsides in Olympus, wide-open forests in the Tangled world, and a fully stocked toy store in the Toy Story world.
Each world will also offer new options for interacting with the environment to enhance combat. The most recent trailer for the game showed off the mech combat available in the Toy Story world, switching the perspective to first person as Sora blasted and bashed his way through Heartless while piloting a toy robot. Other trailers have shown off the game’s new free-running mechanics, with Sora leaping around an environment for different vantage points and combos. We can only imagine what other options will be available throughout each location.
What could be more fun than shredding through Heartless with giant teacups? Since some of the game’s earliest trailers, we’ve seen that players can summon famous Disneyland Park Rides into combat for faster traversal and harder hitting attacks through the flow-motion mechanics. According to Nomura, these aren’t tied to specific keyblades, but are instead triggered when battling certain enemies, activated once a specific command or attack becomes available across whichever worlds they appear in.
Boss fights also have their own unique attraction flows, providing a fitting spectacle for encounters with iconic rides like the Mad Tea Party, Pirate Ship, or the Big Magic Mountain train delivering a stylized finishing blow.
Keyblade Specific Weapon Transformations
Kingdom Hearts III serves as a testament to Sora coming into his own as a Keyblade Master. This shows in the new weapon transformations available to him in combat, from a giant guard breaking hammer and rocket-propelled drill in the Toy Story world to a Pegasus drawn carriage in Olympus.
Nomura has said that each keyblade will have its own unique transformation, which will add a whole new layer to choosing how to tear through waves of Heartless and Nobodies. Taking on airborne spellcasters? Equip the keyblade from Twilight Town and fire off a volley from twin pistols. Need to put some space between you and some heavier enemies? Equip the keyblade from Olympus and blow them away with a barrage of fists. That’s to say nothing of how amazing the finishing blows will feel.
A Climactic End To The Xehanort Arc
As great a series as Kingdom Hearts is the Xehanort storyline’s conclusion has been 15 years in the making. The end of Dream Drop Distance revealed that it would take the form of a battle between seven keyblade wielders and thirteen darknesses led by the enigmatic villain, leaving many to speculate who will form these sides and how they will come into the fold. So check out a summary of the entire convoluted Kingdom Hearts storyline. We’re more than ready to see how Sora and friends’ battle against Xehanort ends, and what lies waiting for the series after its conclusion.