After releasing Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance last year for Nintendo 3DS and more recently revealing the latest trailer for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 Remix, it came as a big surprise to see Square Enix announce Kingdom Hearts III for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Director Tetsuya Nomura talked about the game’s development in an interview with Famitsu.
Nomura started out by talking about the recent reveal:
“Since the release of Kingdom Hearts II, I believe that many fans were feeling impatient due to our continuous releases of spin-off titles, so we decided to announce it at the same time as Final Fantasy XV.” Nomura says. “However, looking at the current development status, I think we may have announced it a little too early.”
On this note, Famitsu pointed out that the game’s visuals are already looking solid.
Nomura replies, “We call these visuals the ‘Kingdom Shader’, within the development crew. The characters will look like in the original worlds. The shader will adjust according to each world, so Disney’s worlds will have their own fitting visuals.”
The next-generation Luminous Studio engine was first introduced by Square Enix during last year’s E3 showing of the Agnis Philosophy tech demo, which is also being used for Final Fantasy XV. Nomura and his team are currently using the Luminous as the base and developing in an “overspec” environment. We assume this means PC, as FFXV is being developed on PC, and both it and Kingdom Hearts III use DirectX 11.)
The battle parts that were shown in the trailer actually weren’t recorded while running on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, Nomura shares, but are representative of the level of quality he hopes to achieve. Nomura says the footage in the trailer is very close to what it will look like running in real-time. (The demo was running in the overspec development environment.)
Famitsu then asked about how Kingdom Hearts III’s action has evolved.
Nomura replied, “At this moment, we actually have a working demo version… and it’s really wild (laughs). The ‘bold action’ has become even greater. Kingdom Hearts III features a party of three, but you’ll also have different NPCs join the battle in other worlds, and the action is pretty flashy. You’ll be flying all over the place in aerial-combat, without ever having to land.
We know that Sora will be faster and stronger than ever, but the enemies will also be tougher to stand a chance against the Keyblade Master.
Nomura also talks a little about the enemies: “The enemy AI has become considerately more elaborate, and the coordinating action unfolds for both enemies and allies. For example, there’s a vehicle-type enemy, which Sora can ride on and fly around during battles.”
In concluding, Nomura leaves the following message for fans:
“Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III both have a healthy rivalry relationship together, that continues to better each other through competition. During a preview showing within our company, we feel that even though the development stage is still early for Kingdom Hearts III, the response can already be felt. We are currently experimenting with online features for Kingdom Hearts III, which has yet to be seen in any previous Kingdom Hearts games. In addition to this year’s Tokyo Game Show, we’re also thinking about revealing more information during the Disney’s ‘D23 Expo Japan’ event in October.”
Kingdom Hearts III is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.