After years of waiting and wondering, Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts III finally has a release window, plus a new world reveal and trailer to go along with it. Look for the game’s launch in 2018.
The new trailer from Disney’s D23 Expo shows a brand new world for Kingdom Hearts III based in the Toy Story universe. This marks the game’s first Pixar world, a long-time dream of the game’s developers. In the below trailer, you’ll see Sora, Donald, and Goofy shrunk down and turned into toys as they meet some new friends, Woody and Buzz Lightyear.
The Toy Story world has, of course, been infested with those pesky Heartless which Sora and friends are determined to exterminate. What’s more, the toys’ beloved Andy is missing, so players will be helping to track him down on their quest to return the world to normal.
In an interview with Game Informer, director Tetsuya Nomura shared more details of Kingdom Heart III’s new world. He confirmed players’ adventures in the Toy Story universe will follow a completely original storyline, a first for the Kingdom Hearts series. Most worlds Sora ventures to plop the team in the middle of the movie’s story, but Pixar requested that Square Enix stray from this pattern.
“[Pixar] preferred for us to not follow the film directly,” Nomura explained. “They said, ‘Please create something original to Kingdom Hearts,’ so we did not draw any inspiration from the films. It is completely original and exclusive to Kingdom Hearts, so you can almost say it’s a sequel of some sort.”
Nomura went on to say the team didn’t disregard the films entirely. After studying the Toy Story timeline, developers decided to place this Kingdom Hearts III adventure after the events of Toy Story 2.
The new trailer also shows the gang battling enemies in Andy’s front yard with some fun weapons before changing locations to a toy store, called Galaxy Toys, filled with huge mech suits. It looks like players will actually get to control these suits and use their powerful cannons to take out the Heartless. Thankfully Nomura had some information to share on this part of the world as well.
“Galaxy Toys is going to be your primary stage where a lot of the action is going to be happening in this world,” Nomura said. “Because Sora, Donald, and Goofy are toys and very small, the playing field is going to feel very large. We also have multiple floors and each section has its own personality, so to speak.”
Nomura spoke excitedly about the mech suits, called Gigas, and said players will not be required to use the mechs to fight enemies. But, like, why the hell wouldn’t you?
“I wanted to showcase that there’s nothing that’s impossible at this point,” he explained, talking about Gigas. “Previously, we couldn’t have Sora ride on different things to fight and now we can. We wanted to showcase that with the specs of the current generation hardware, it is possible. We’re hoping there’s a surprise element with each new mechanic that is introduced with Kingdom Hearts III, and we’re going to be revealing more information as they become available.”
Kingdom Hearts III, the third mainline game in the series, was first announced at E3 in June of 2013. It now has a release window of 2018 for Xbox One and PS4.