After six years of waiting, fans were ecstatic to hear that the next numbered game in the Kingdom Hearts series was going to be released. With initially just a trailer and console names, there was not much info about the upcoming sequel. In the latest issue of Famitsu, however, an interview with series creator Tetsuya Nomura has helped to fill in some of the holes and questions on everyone’s mind.
It should be no surprise that Kingdom Hearts III is not a direct sequel to Kingdom Hearts II, but a sequel to Kingdom Hearts 3DS in much the same way the second game was a continuation of Chain of Memories. It will, however, bring the storyline surrounding Master Xehanort to a close and be the last chapter in what’s called the Seeker of Darkness saga. That means finally defeating an enemy that has been plaguing the series for seven games and should provide exciting opportunities for the series afterwards.
As for graphics, the previously announced Kingdom Shader has been developed for the game to provide a better mesh between main characters and the Disney worlds. In particular, it was created to give the look and feel of Disney illustrations. This should provide not only a smoother feeling to the game but also add more depth to previously visited locations.
Speaking of worlds, and NPC from each one will be able to join your party without having to shuffle Donald and Goofy in and out of battle. Not only will you have the ability to travel with three party members, but as you progress throughout the game their AI will change and develop based on play style. The AI for enemies will also change to compensate, though, adding a level to the game that has never been seen.
Whether Kairi or Riku will be playable is not answered directly, but rather with a vague “it’s possible.” Time will tell though, as more news has been promised at this years Tokyo Game Show and Disney 23 in the fall.