*****Spoiler Alert for the Kingdom Hearts series*****
According to a new trailer released at Disney’s D23 Expo 2017, Kingdom Hearts 3 will feature a world set in the Toy Story universe and is scheduled for launch in 2018. Toy Story will be the first non-Disney film franchise to feature in the series.
The trailer shows Kingdom Hearts protagonists Sora, Donald and Goofy, jumping from floating platform to platform in the skies of Hercules’ world, before fighting enemies in Twilight Town and stumbling into Andy’s room from Toy Story. Here, the gang are redesigned as miniature sized toys, meet Buzz and Woody, explore the outside porch and ride colossal toy mechs in combat - getting in and out of the mechs TitanFall style. Currently, Kingdom Hearts 3 features confirmed worlds from Hercules, Big Hero Six, Tangled and Toy Story, as well as the series original Twilight Town. However, we wouldn’t be surprised to see new locations set in the worlds of Wreck-It Ralph, Star Wars, Frozen, Moana, and Zootopia.
The game is currently being developed for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One - the latter of which is surprising given no game in the series has ever released on Microsoft hardware. According to series creator Tetsuya Nomura (Final Fantasy XV, The World Ends With You, Final Fantasy VII), the game could come to the Nintendo Switch after its official release.
“The Nintendo Switch is definitely a very interesting piece of hardware,” Nomura told IGN, “but if we lightly say, ‘oh yeah, we’ll be on the Nintendo Switch,’ I’m sure people will come back and say, ‘but what about the PS4 and Xbox One? We want them out first. Don’t focus on other platforms.’”
“For now, we want to focus on what platforms we’ve already announced we’re going to be releasing Kingdom Hearts 3 on,” He continued,”and after, perhaps, maybe we can start thinking about other possibilities… If we were to announce yet another non-Kingdom Hearts 3 [game, like a HD collection for the Xbox One,] people are going to be like, ‘hey, what’s going on?’ So we will want to focus on releasing on the platforms that we have already announced.”
Nomura also told IGN that the game could feature another playable character next to Sora.
“It would be tough to introduce many, multiple playable characters, but there is an intention of adding a playable character aside from Sora,” he said. “We’re able to depict multiple characters [in game]. Up to five people can join [and] even more, multiple characters can join your party.”
The most likely candidate is either Riku, having passing the Keyblade Mastery exam at the end of Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream, Drop, Distance, or a story told by playing the game from three different perspectives - Sora, Riku, and Kairi or Aqua - much like Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
An extra playable character isn’t new to the Kingdom Hearts franchise; in fact nearly every game in the series has included a second playable character. Kingdom Hearts 2 begins with you playing as Sora’s nobody clone, Roxas; Dream, Drop, Distance had players constantly switch between Sora and Riku; and Birth by Sleep’s story is told through playing as Aqua, Terra and Ven in separate playthroughs.
Square Enix has also changed the party dynamic to more than two party members on-screen, as demonstrated in the D23 trailer by having both Donald and Goofy alongside Hercules, and Buzz and Woody, respectively. Having more than two additional party members selected in-game suggests we might see the full seven warriors of light interact and fight alongside each other at some point in the game - or at least, this writer can only hope.
Kingdom Hearts is a Japanese role playing game series by Square Enix that combines the whimsical characters, locations, and themes of Disney with the teen angst of Final Fantasy. Kingdom Hearts 3 releases in 2018 for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
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