It seems like forever ago that Kingdom Hearts 3 was announced in 2013. Almost five years later, Square Enix has drip-fed fans details here and there. Recently, media outlets including Kotaku and the PlayStation Blog were finally able to get hands-on time with the anticipated sequel, sharing a few exciting new details about the game.
In the demo, journalists were treated to two of the game’s worlds: Olympus from Hercules and Pixar’s Toy Story. The Olympus section of the demo pits players against a Titan, highlighting the game’s sense of scale, traversal and attractions. This is the first time in the series that players will be able to journey to Olympus, outside of the Coliseum level from the previous games. Sora has new means of interacting with the environment that allows him to run along and up walls. During the demo, players use these new traversal methods to dodge boulders, climb up the Titan, and weaken it to unlock one of the game’s many “Attractions.”
The new Attractions feature has been teased multiple times in the past as an ultimate attack based on famous Disney Theme Park rides. The “Big Magic Mountain” sees Sora riding a train around the Titan, much like Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad rollercoaster, shooting it along the way before delivering a final blow. Other Attractions featured in the demo include a swinging pirate ship, a mad teacup ride and a space rocket.
Toy Story is the first world based on a Pixar feature film. During this level, main characters Sora, Donald and Goofy are transformed into toys, and joined by the infamous Buzz and Woody. This is also the first time players are able to add two guest characters to their squad. After some fun interactions with the main cast of Toy Story, including some fun references to Sora and the crew being videogame characters, players make their way to a Toy Store to investigate the source of the Heartless.
Kotaku points out that the Toy Store is a creation of the developers, who were encouraged to make it their own. According to their hands-on time, it’s filled with “a mix of American and Japanese playthings, from giant robots to kaiju monsters (that’s what the game’s text even calls them in English) to Barbie-like dolls.” The Toy Story level also shows off several new features, including the ability to switch the form of your Keyblade to other weapons (claws, hammer, guns, etc.) during combat. Players can also take control of certain enemies and summon characters from other Disney properties, including Wreck-It Ralph and The Little Mermaid, for spectacular attacks.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is shaping up to be the most extravagant entry in the series. With E3 coming up, we should be seeing more from the game soon. While no release date was given during journalists’ hands-on time, Tetsuya Nomura, director of Kingdom Hearts 3, revealed that information for the release will be announced next month, presumably during Square Enix’s E3 Showcase.