In our earlier report, we got a look at Sony’s last installment of their Creator’s Interview video series, featuring the director of the Kingdom Hearts series, Tetsuya Nomura, who talked about Kingdom Hearts III. Famitsu have posted a transcript of the full interview—which wasn’t included in the video—where Nomura goes into further details about the game and the PlayStation 4.
After giving a brief introduction of Kingdom Hearts, Nomura is asked what kind of changes can we expect to see since the series’ last console release in Kingdom Hearts II back in 2005.
“I think when you look at the screens of what’s currently in development, you can get a good feel of the depth that will be possible to have as a console title,” Nomura replies. “For mobile [portable] releases, we’re pretty limited in the amount of information we can convey, but console versions make it possible to have a wider field of vision. It’s been a while since Kingdom Hearts was on a home console, so I believe its [increased] scale will be considerably noticeable.”
With a much larger scale, one can expect even more dynamic action in Kingdom Hearts III, Nomura says. He explains how the development team worked on trying bold new changes for past spin-off titles, but since Kingdom Hearts III will continue following the flow of the first two main-numbered titles, one of the key points will be implementing the “bold actions” and “special systems” that were featured in the spin-off titles.
“The protagonist Sora’s mobility will be vastly improved,” says Nomura. “Since we now have so many things we can do, it can be a little overwhelming, so we’re currently thinking about particular elements, and how much freedom they’ll allow. While Kingdom Hearts III is an action title, it is also an RPG. There will be action characteristics that will allow you to fly as far as you want, if you actually try doing it.”
He elaborates, “While there will be some sort of limit, this time, there will be the ‘Free Run’ feature that is seen in other action games as of late, that allow you to run and climb all over the place. Moreover, the ability to fly and jump will be seeing a much greater improvement, and I believe that the mobility has become much greater. For those of you who’ve played Kingdom Hearts II, we already have something that has higher mobility than the Final Form.”
In an earlier interview, Nomura briefly talked about the “Kingdom Shader” that was created for Kingdom Hearts III, and will adjust according to each world. As the director previously mentioned, it will be a key into making Disney’s 2D brush-style drawings into 3D. Nomura is asked if it’s something he’s always wanted to do for the series.
“Originally, since the first title, the graphic gradient was made to replicate the brush-style of Disney’s work,” he replies. “With the hardware at the time, we didn’t have the ability to freely adjust the lighting, so we dropped the idea of creating visuals from a brush-style texture. However, this time, the hardware capabilities have increased, and ‘not using light’ is no longer an option.”
“Simply taking the previous graphics and making them into HD won’t bring out a feeling of evolution,” he continues. “Furthermore, reproducing Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II’s pre-rendered scenes into real-time isn’t the goal we have in mind for taking the series into the next generation. After giving some thought to the visual concepts, the representation of the ‘Kingdom Shader’ was born.”
Nomura also mentions that since Kingdom Hearts III will be on the PlayStation 4, they are currently brainstorming different ideas on how they’ll be using the Dual Shock 4’s touchpad. While they haven’t decided on anything yet, he believes that it will be used in one way or another. As far as tablets and PlayStation Vita goes, they are currently testing out different possibilities with the game connecting to external devices.
Finally, a message for the fans, from Nomura.
“When you take all the past titles into consideration, and their own representations, I believe that [Kingdom Hearts] has become a game [series] of profound depth. We are working hard on development so the day you all will get to play [Kingdom Hearts III] will come sooner. Please look forward to our next announcement.”
Kingdom Hearts III is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.