The creative team at Square Enix and Kingdom Hearts III sure know how to leave their fans always wanting more, and after their most recent demo of gameplay footage all I have to ask is “when is it coming out?!”. This time around fans of the series were treated not only with new gameplay footage, but some interesting insight as to the mechanics of Sora’s Keyblades, his limit breaks, and most surprisingly his companions summons – of which I’ll say just one thing: I’m Gonna Wreck It!! Stick around as we break down these two detailed trailers piece by piece!
The Greek mythology inspired world of Olympus has been a steady staple of the Kingdom Hearts games since its inception and has always played a part in the major titles, particularly with the coliseum challenges. This time however, it would seem that Sora and crew will be exploring Olympus on a grand scale. We get to see the gang assail a steep cliff side, as they attempt to battle a mountain-sized rock titan, dodging falling boulders left right and centre. Not only are the action sequences flawless, but the quality of the graphics and smooth frame rate have me foaming at the mouth. It can be confirmed that the Shotlock special attack, which featured in Birth By Sleep, has made its flashy return to Kingdom Hearts III.
Forms have also made a return to the series with commands like attack and magic being the catalyst for which form Sora will take on. Ally combos like Sora and Donald’s Flare Force can also be used and just as pretty to witness. Towards the end of the Olympus demo we get to see Sora battle the rock titan before effortlessly jumping, leapfrog-like, atop the titans body to his two heads to call forth an attraction. This is what I’ve been waiting to see; a new variant on the reaction moves that allow the player to perform a situation specific move to take on their foe. Against the rock titan we get to see Sora call forth the Big Magic Mountain attraction ride, using the firework blasting train to attack and defend against the gigantic foe. Sora even mid-ride dodges a surprise attack with acrobatic ease – it’s all just eye-candy gaming at this point.
In toy box world we see Sora, Donald and Goofy join forces with Buzz Lightyear and Woody to save their missing friends and defeat the assaulting heartless. First we get to see the functionality of a transforming keyblade in action, this time it’s Toy Story inspired keyblade, Infinity Badge, and boy does it pack a punch! Transforming first into a giant hammer, with the Hyper Hammer form, it deals area damage over a wide scope before swinging high up and bringing it crashing down to unleash one final wide area ground smash. The other form, Drill Punch, appears to home in on heartless nearby and then use its final attack, grabbing onto an enemy and using them as a flail to smash the area around them. Shotlock attacks also appear to change based on the keyblade in hand, with the Infinity Badge granting Sora the ability to zip across the screen to obliterate those in his path.
We head outside the front of Andy’s home to see more heartless waiting for Sora, and this time he takes on his foes using the Monsters Inc. inspired keyblade and watch as he transforms it both into a set of claws and yo-yo. While his Agile Claws form, Sora battles somewhat like a crazed brawler attacking his foes at a more close range, while in his Twin Yo-Yo form he attacks heartless from a distance and even uses a final attack where his yo-yos turn into a pair of jaws to crush any heartless caught in them. Finally he uses his shotlock to create portal-like warp holes to throw his yo-yos through and attack with. Sora also joins forces with Woody and Buzz to ride atop a rocket and fly around the screen, before aiming it at his enemies to attack with.
The demo then moves onto the toy store in which Sora jumps into the cockpit of one of the attacking giga’s toys to attack the others surrounding him and his comrades. You’ll be able to dash, punch and blast your way through your enemies, and if you charge up enough energy, fire a focused energy blast at your target. We also get to see Sora use his Tangled keyblade to take on one of the gigas with some very pretty attacks, including an afterimage combo that combines four apparitions to fire a barrage of shots at a single target. The shotlock for this keyblade utilises reflective jewels to ricochet energy around the stage and blast his enemies.
Sora also gets to call upon another attraction, this time aptly using the Toy Story inspired Shooting Ride which zips around the stage and allows a player to target foes before blasting them with a zap gun. With the return of character summons, finally we get to see Sora call a familiar Disney face to the stage, and I’m super excited to see my boy Wreck-It-Ralph debut on Kingdom Hearts III. Using the 8-Bit Blast we see Ralph bring forth several blasters strategically placed all around the stage before setting them off to explode and deal massive damage.
With all this and more footage shown in other demo videos it’s clear that Kingdom Hearts III is shaping up to be one of this year’s most anticipated games and will certainly be flying off the shelves once it arrives. Now if only we could get a solid release date I could start planning my annual leave around it! Tetsuya Nomura has actually promised to announce the release date within the next month, which leads me to believe we’ll be hearing about it during the Square Enix presentation at E3, so June can not come fast enough. Kingdom Hearts III will be coming out in 2018 on both the PlayStation and Xbox One, so make sure you’re console ready for when it arrives!