Since the release of Kingdom Hearts II in December of 2005, fans have eagerly awaited the next numbered entry in the series. Square Enix has tided fans over with entries on various platforms since that time, but this weekend the information floodgates have opened and (some very exciting) information about the moment that has been 13 years in the making finally arrived.
In a private trailer screened during the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra - World Tour event in Los Angeles days before E3, Square Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts 3 will officially launch on January 29, 2019 (January 25, 2019 in Japan). But the information did not stop there. On Sunday SE showed off a brand new trailer at the Microsoft Xbox E3 Conference, another new trailer on Monday during the Square Enix Presents E3 Video Conference and ANOTHER new trailer on Monday during the Sony E3 Conference.
Monday’s first trailer combined elements from the two previous trailers and featured both gameplay and cutscenes from the upcoming Action JRPG. Beyond the release date, this trailer featured a massive amount of information including the announcement of, and footage from, a brand new world based on Disney’s Frozen; footage of The Lion King’s Simba as a summon; a new attraction flow based on a carousel; a scene with Remy from Pixar’s Ratatouille; and numerous cutscenes with key characters from the franchise.
The trailer is set to Utada’s “Don’t Think Twice” (which also serves as the theme song for this entry), the gameplay looks sleeker than ever before, and the trailer’s final moment has some SERIOUS ramifications for the plot. Monday’s second trailer was just as exciting, featuring completely new footage and yet another announcement of a new world, this one based on Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The second trailer featured gorgeous cutscenes with incredibly realistic character models of Pirates’ Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Captain Barbosa and more, as well as the new underwater gameplay mechanic.
Kingdom Hearts is an action JRPG that melds together the worlds of Disney and Final Fantasy. The game’s protagonist, Sora, wields a powerful weapon known as the Keyblade and uses it to protect various worlds inspired by Disney films with the help of his two companions, Goofy and Donald Duck. Kingdom Hearts III is the final entry in the “Dark Seeker Saga” which has encompassed every game in the series to date, and will serve as a book end to the series as it has existed since the release of the original Kingdom Hearts in 2002. Fans of the series have been eagerly awaiting the series’ finale, and those lucky enough to attend E3 will get a chance to play a hands-on demo before the game’s release. Also announced on Monday were the details of the game’s Deluxe and Deluxe + Editions which feature a SteelBook case, collectible pin, physical art book, and three actions figures (figures in Deluxe + Edition only).
Additionally, Sony announced a Limited Edition Kingdom Hearts Themed PS4 Pro, along with the Kingdom Hearts All-in-One Bundle (exclusive to PS4) which features Kingdom Hearts 1.5+2.5, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 and Kingdom Hearts 3. Kingdom Hearts 3 will launch January 29, 2019 (January 25, 2019 in Japan) on the PS4 and Xbox One.