During Disney’s D23 event in Tokyo, Japan, new information was given for Kingdom Hearts III, the long-anticipated next installment in Square Enix’s crossover series featuring characters from Disney and Final Fantasy.
Kingdom Hearts III is the conclusion to the mainline Kingdom Hearts trilogy, after many spinoffs and remakes. Aside from new transformations, powers, and worlds based on Disney franchises, the game increases the player’s party size, and now up to five characters can travel together at once.
The biggest reveal was a new world based on Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., featuring Sully and Mike as playable characters. Monsters, Inc. is the second Pixar property to be featured in the game, following the reveal of a Toy Story World. New transformations themed after the world are available to Sora, Donald, and Goofy, the three recurring protagonists. The level will include the Door Vault, in which Sora clings to conveyor belts and grinds on rails.
The Gummi Ship was also stated to return, now split into two different phases. In previous Kingdom Hearts games, the Gummi Ship was the player’s main mode of transportation between different worlds, and the player would enter a flying minigame to travel. Gummi Ship sections will now be split into an exploration mode and combat mode, the former being described as open world gameplay.
Finally, the reveal trailer also showcased Marluxia, a returning character from Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. This is Marluxia’s first major appearance in the mainline entries, having previously been relegated to spinoff titles and the occasional cameo. Marluxia is shown encountering Sora and his friends, and while they don’t know him, Marluxia certainly recognizes Sora.
Kingdom Hearts III is set for a 2018 release on XBox One and PS4.