It’s only been a little more than a week since the shocking and long-awaited formal announcement of the next iteration in Square Enix and Disney’s magical mash-up series, Kingdom Hearts III. Hot off the heels of E3, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu gives us some fresh details by way of an interview with the visionary/potentially off-his-rocker director and creator of the franchise, Tetsuya Nomura.
The game, set for release on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, will take place after the events of last year’s Nintendo 3DS release, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, and will be the final chapter in the “Xehanort Dark Seeker” saga. All the stops are being pulled out, everyone. Similar to all the previous Kingdom Hearts outings, Sora will travel to multiple Disney worlds to fight off the Heartless and bring peace to the Realm of Light. The selection of said Disney worlds is still being decided upon.
With the title Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, players were given the ability to play through three unique campaigns as three different characters. When asked if we would get the chance to play with series mainstays Riku and Kairi, Nomura was a bit tight-lipped, saying he hasn’t counted out the possibility.
During the E3 reveal at Sony’s press conference, we were given a glimpse of what the game might look like. (Spoilers: It’s gorgeous.) With the capabilities of next-generation hardware, Nomura is looking to really get Kingdom Hearts III to have the look and feel of Disney animated films, bringing new shading and texturing detail to the characters and environments to each movie world to make it appear more cohesive. The technique or process has been dubbed the “Kingdom Shader.”
Nomura stated that they have a gameplay build already running on the next-gen hardware and expect the action to be even crazier than previous entries. Hey, if he can top Flowmotion from 3D, you can paint me excited.
Finally, we were also clued in to members of the staff who are part of the development of the next Kingdom Hearts entry. Tetsuya Nomura is, obviously, the director, and he is joined by co-director Tai Yasue, with Rie Nishi on board as producer. As a fan of the music that’s come from this series, I am extremely psyched to know that the composer for all previous entries in the franchise, Yoko Shimomura, is also returning.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over seven years since I first completed Kingdom Hearts II on the PlayStation 2, but I am as full of enthusiasm and vigor for this newly announced sequel as I have ever been. We will be sure to keep you up to date with all the newest information as it becomes available. Luckily, we’ve already been promised new details at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. Fall can’t come fast enough!