Kingdom Hearts fans have been treated to several updates recently on the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts III, including a gameplay trailer released during the Orchestra Live concert, as well as a promise of more to come. Disney’s D23 Expo revealed the additional new information in the form of a lengthy trailer that showed off a brand new Toy Story-themed world and an official release window of sometime in 2018.
The trailer, seen below, kicks off with Sora taking on Heartless in several previously announced areas in an opening battle montage, including Twilight Town and Mount Olympus. However, the major spotlight of the trailer is the introduction of the new Toy Story world, which seems to revolve around Sora, Donald, and Goofy helping Woody and the gang rescue missing friends from a mysterious person in a black hood. Of course, our trio of heroes must protect the world order, which transforms them into blocky toys in case Andy comes into his room and wonders why three new small creatures are hanging around. This is the first Pixar world to be featured in a Kingdom Hearts title, which makes Toy Story a fitting choice, as it was Pixar’s first theatrical release.
The first set of battle mechanics takes place outside of Andy’s house, where Sora jumps from the roof to take on Heartless scattered across the driveway and lawn. Two new command forms are shown off: Hyper Hammer and Drill Punch. Both turn Sora’s Keyblade into large and powerful tools that seem to allow him to perform widespread physical attacks, and as it’s seen Buzz and Woody are part of the party, they most likely allow Sora to use the abilities when along in battle. When Sora is engaging in regular combat, a new Toy Story–themed Keyblade is seen, which is the shape of cactus with rope, a bandanna, and Woody’s hat on top.
Apart from Andy’s house, players will be able to explore Galaxy Toys, which brings the most inventive aspect of Toy Story meeting Kingdom Hearts. Sora is seen hopping into the cockpit of several mech suits, switching the play to first-person shooter mode, where the player can use hand cannons, perform a charged blast, punch, and boost at enemies.
It wouldn’t be a Kingdom Hearts III trailer without cryptic teases from the dark side, and thankfully, Young Xehanort, who is presumably the hooded figure Woody mentioned, confronts Sora to tease a new darkness is coming once they can unite the Heartless and Nobodies. This could mean a new form of enemy will spawn in the upcoming game, or Xehanort’s team is recruiting their final member.
Then again, the only info some fans will care about is the confirmation of a 2018 release. There’s been some speculation that would be the window, as it lines up with Square Enix’s “one Kingdom Hearts game a year” protocol, and not it appears the game will indeed release sometime in the next year and a half. Granted, Square Enix could also roll up at any time and announce the game has be delayed another five years.
Kingdom Hearts III will launch in 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We hope.