Since the reveal at E3 Kingdom Hearts fans have been clammering for details regarding the latest installment of the franchise. Thanks to an interview with Famitsu, series director Tetsuya Nomura gave us a little more to go on.
First and foremost, KH3’s story is direct continuation from the 3DS title Dream Drop Distance. “We’re proceeding along with which worlds we’ll be selecting for the game, It’s the final episode in the ‘Dark Seeker’ saga that began with the original Kingdom Hearts, and it’ll depict the final battle with Xehanort.”
In regards to the art style, it’s actually a return to form rather then a drastic change. “We spent a while figuring out what direction to take Kingdom Hearts’ visuals in the next generation. Should we go for a more realistic look like in recent projects, or try something else? Along the way, we remembered that these Kingdom Hearts characters were originally paintbrush art from Disney productions, a texture that was one of our original aims, and that it was time to return to that. So [chief creative director Takeshi] Nozue went through a series of tests, and the results are the visuals that we refer to in the team as the Kingdom Shader. It may look like a pretty drastic change, but I see it as a rich evolution of everything we’ve shown you up to now.” Nomura explained.
When it comes to gameplay, Nomura stated “”The action’s pretty frantic. The really bold action we’ve always had is getting even crazier. Kingdom Hearts III has three-person parties, but NPCs and other characters join the fight in each individual world, and the resulting action is really flashy and exciting. The enemy AI is a lot more intricate, too, and I think the gameplay will reflect that new dynamic balance. For example, there’s a foe that’s shaped like a vehicle, and Sora may jump on it and fly around; that’s already implemented.”
While some may be hoping for a quick release of KH3, Nomura stated that it’s still pretty early in developtment. However, the rumors going around right now is that our next look at KH3 will be at the D23 Expo Japan in October or possibly at Tokyo game show.