Kingdom Hearts III at E3: What We Learned

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 16: Game producer Shinji Hashimoto introduces 'Kingdom Hearts 3' during the Square Enix press conference at the JW Marriott on June 16, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The Square Enix conference is held in conjunction with the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) which focuses on gaming systems and interactive entertainment, featuring introductions to new products and technologies. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

This year at E3 we got another look at some new content in Kingdom Hearts III. The trailers may have been short, but they were packed with new clips of gameplay and other crucial details. Here’s everything significant that Square-Enix has unveiled:

What We Learned About Kingdom Hearts III at E3

Frozen World

This first glimpse of Kingdom Hearts III at E3 this year was seen at the Microsoft press conference. We were treated to a brand new trailer in which the Frozen world was revealed. Familiar characters were present, including Olaf the Snowman and Elsa. We also saw some interesting gameplay, including a ‘Goofy Curling’ section. This involved the player riding down a snowy mountain on Goofy’s shield. We also saw a quick shot of Sora ice skating in combat. Interestingly, Larxene appears in this world, and speaks of a ‘new 7 hearts’. It appears that Elsa could be a princess of heart, just like characters such as Snow White and Alice in the first Kingdom Hearts game.

Port Royal Makes Its Return

After a disappointing Square-Enix stream, another Kingdom Hearts III trailer premiered during the Sony conference. This trailer opens with Sora, Donald, and Goofy on a raft on the open sea. It’s immediately obvious that the cast have returned to the Pirates of the Carribean world from Kingdom Hearts II, much to Sora’s delight. This time the three heroes are wearing pirate attire. In Port Royal it seems that there is a more open environment than we’ve seen in other games including a scene where you can hop from ship to ship using flowmotion. Sora seems to fit in a lot more this time, thanks to the ‘Kingdom Shader’. This is a welcome change, and the world looks more coherent because of it. This brings the number of confirmed Disney worlds up to seven.

  • Olympus (Hercules)
  • Kingdom of Corona (Tangled)
  • Big Hero 6 World
  • Toy Box (Toy Story)
  • Monstropolis (Monsters, Inc.)
  • Arendelle (Frozen)
  • Port Royal (Pirates of the Carribean)

Other details

The Microsoft trailer also gave us a quick first look at the Gummi Ship missions. This seems to borrow heavily from Kingdom Hearts II, albeit with more dramatic hazards. The trailer also gave us a look at Aqua who has spent years in the Realm of Darkness. She tells Mickey that he is “too late” and reveals that she is now a vessel for Xehanort.

Remy from Ratatouille appeared in the Microsoft conference. Tetsuya Nomura, the game’s director, clarified in an interview by GameInformer that Remy will aid Sora by cooking consumables that will give the user a temporary status buff. Nomura also revealed that there are times where the player controls other characters. We also got a glance at the returning “Simba summon” from previous entries, as well as a thorough look at the new designs for Kairi and Axel (Or, uh, Lea.) Finally, it appears that bringing Roxas back is going to be a key focus in Kingdom Hearts III, meaning that we could get another look at the digital Twilight Town.

After the Kingdom Hearts III trailer in the Sony conference, a Kingdom Hearts themed PlayStation 4 Pro console was revealed. It was implied that the console comes with every Kingdom Hearts game available on the console, which would make it the ultimate package. Square-Enix also put up pre-orders for ‘Kingdom Hearts 3: Deluxe Edition‘ on their website. There are two versions of this bundle, one including BRING ARTS figures of Sora, Donald, and Goofy for a whopping $230 USD. The other Deluxe Edition without these figures is a more sensible $80.

Last Word on Kingdom Hearts III

Kingdom Hearts III arrives on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 29th, 2019. 13 years after the release of Kingdom Hearts IIKingdom Hearts III has high expectations to live up to.

 

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