Thirteen years is a long time to wait for a sequel. The last numbered installment of Kingdom Hearts was two console generations ago. As one commenter on the Internet put it, “I was a child when I first started waiting for this game, and now I have a wife and a kid of my own.”
Even after years of teasers and trailers, it still doesn’t feel real that we’re about to actually play Kingdom Hearts 3. But the store displays are going up, the YouTube retrospective videos are growing in number, and the early reviews are mostly positive (except for Polygon’s). It’s time to mousse your hair into spikes and strap on those oversized novelty shoes for the first time since 2005!
Square has released a new “gameplay video” with narration explaining the mechanics of the game. Of course, if you don’t know how to play Kingdom Hearts by now, you must not have touched a single minute in the series. Much of what we see here is familiar: Sora, Donald and Goofy run around an environment ripped out of a popular Disney movie; they randomly encounter Heartless and sock them with giant keys until they evaporate; little energy balls scatter everywhere and Sora has to collect them because no one else will; eventually you run into a boss, and then another, and ultimately you cleanse the area of darkness.
Kingdom Hearts 3 doesn’t monkey with what works, but it does throw a few new curveballs into the mix. The biggest change is the new ability to transform your Keyblade into more powerful forms and learn new spells through them. Elemental magic will allow you to solve puzzles and surmount obstacles, as well as attack hordes of Heartless at once.
Check out everything you can do in Kingdom Hearts 3 below. Only five days remain until the game releases on Playstation 4 and XBox One.