Can you believe that Kingdom Hearts 3 (or Kingdom Hearts III) was announced almost five years ago at E3 2013? Yeah, we can’t either, but Square Enix has been toiling away on the game, and we’re likely to hear a lot more about the Disney crossover this year.
There are rumours that we may hear something major about the game this week. Kingdom Hearts Insider posted a tweet claiming a premier event embargo will lift on Friday, suggesting news could be around the corner.
With E3 2018 on the horizon, and the Kingdom Hearts 3 release due in 2018, now’s a great time to remind yourself why Final Fantasy meets Donald Duck has so many people excited. When exactly can we see Sora and the gang from Disney kick back into action? Read on to find out everything we know about Kingdom Hearts 3.
Kingdom Hearts 3 release date: When is Kingdom Hearts 3 coming out?
Back in 2017, at the D23 Expo, Square Enix unveiled a new trailer that showed off Kingdom Hearts 3‘s new Toy Story world. Besides getting to see Woody, Rex and the rest of the Pixar crew, fans were even more delighted to see that Kingdom Hearts 3 would be arriving at an unspecified time in 2018.
Square Enix still hasn’t clarified when in 2018 fans can expect to see Kingdom Hearts 3, but a retailer may have accidentally let the release date slip out a little early. US retailer Target listed the game for a 1 November launch. As Comic Book noted back in April, retailers usually put 31 December as product holder dates, not 1 November.
Indeed, Target changed the release date to 31 December after Comic Book’s report came out. While this isn’t solid evidence that Kingdom Hearts 3 will be coming out on 1 November – it could have been an honest mistake – we’re sure to find out the official release date fairly soon, with Square Enix recently announcing that it will be holding a press conference this year at E3 2018. If it’s going through the effort of holding a conference, we’re pretty sure the developer is going to be showing off both Shadow of the Tomb Raider as well as Kingdom Hearts 3 – hopefully along with a release date.
Kingdom Hearts 3 story: Where will we go?
Kingdom Hearts 3 will involve one of the maddest crossovers ever, as protagonist Sora and the gang from Disney traverse a platter of recognisable pop-culture worlds. Tetsuya Nomura, the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, has already confirmed to Famitsu (via Polygon) that Kingdom Hearts 3 will follow directly after the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, meaning we should see Sora, Donald and Goofy continue their journey to find the Seven Guardians of Light. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see them battle it out against Master Xehanort.
Along with Sora and the gang, we’ll also be following Mickey and Riku as they search for the Keyblade wielders.
At this year’s D23 Expo in Japan, we were treated to a fancy new trailer that showed off the Monsters Inc. world, including introducing Mike, Sully and little Boo, but it also gave us a lot more to feast on. We saw the return of characters like Vanitas and Marluxia, as well as the return of the Unversed.
The Monsters Inc. trailer joins the five other Kingdom Hearts 3 trailers already released, which gave us a peek at the Tangled world, the Toy Story world, a Hercules level, plus a combat trailer.
Nomura also confirmed to Famitsu in a separate interview (via Kotaku) that the game will have a very different art style to previous Kingdom Hearts games, opting to show off Disney’s signature 2D brushwork in the Kingdom Hearts’ 3D setting.
According to the file listings (which don’t have the worlds list in full) we could also see a Frozen world, a Jungle Book world, Twilight Town, Mysterious Tower, 100 Acre Woods, Disney Castle and Land of Departure. The list was also the first place to mention that we’d be seeing a Monsters Inc. world, and it ended up being true. Still, as with all leaks and rumours, take this with a pinch of salt.
Kingdom Hearts 3 gameplay: How will it play?
The announcement trailer gave us some interesting snippets of gameplay, showing us Sora running up walls and riding on the back of large enemies.
“Kingdom Hearts III has three-person parties, but NPCs and other characters join the fight in each individual world and the resulting action is really flashy and exciting. The enemy AI is a lot more intricate too, and I think the gameplay will reflect that new dynamic balance,” Nomura told Polygon.
We’ve also received confirmation from a Famitsu article (via Kotaku) that Sora will be able to change the shape of his Keyblade, something further evidenced in the D23 trailer.
In the latest D23 trailer, we saw Square Enix show off some new combat abilities. Other things hidden in the D23 trailers included first looks at limited transformations and special attacks. Sora’s trademark Keyblade can transform into a metal monster claw that grows out of his weapon for melee power; Rapunzel’s tower bursts from the ground in a mirage attack; hyper hammer, which deals melee damage but with the use of electricity; and many more.
We also saw that Boo had an interesting power. In the Monsters Inc. trailer, we saw a laugh meter filling up when Sora used his strongest Keyblade transformations. We reckon it will work pretty similarly to Mulan’s Morale Meter in Kingdom Hearts 2. If correct, it will mean game over if you don’t keep her meter juiced up.
Kingdom Hearts 3 platforms: What will it play on?
Square Enix has already confirmed that Kingdom Hearts 3 will be coming to the PS4 and Xbox One, but whether it will also arrive on the PC or Nintendo Switch, well…we’re not sure, but it’s certainly a possibility.
Nomura told Famitsu (via DSoG) that Kingdom Hearts 3 would be coming to PS4 and Xbox One, but once it’s released on these platforms, it could be ported to the PC or the Nintendo Switch: “Other hardware is not limited to the Nintendo Switch and we will consider all of them after the release of the PS4 and Xbox One versions”.