Kingdom Hearts will be real in… a few years maybe
Square Enix gave a first look at Kingdom Hearts 4 during a 20th anniversary event for the series.
The trailer shows series protagonist Sora waking up in a world called Quadratum. Kingdom Hearts 3 introduced this world and it’s based off of real-world Shibuya in Tokyo.
The trailer also shows off some gameplay, with Sora battling a giant enemy in the middle of the city. The mobility of KH3 seems to be carried over with options to grapple on to and pull yourself towards parts of the environment.
However, most of the gameplay looks to be a scripted sequence, which makes sense given that there is no release date in sight. Also, Square Enix won’t show the game off more anytime soon according to a tweet by a Final Fantasy/KH news account.
The tweet, alongside stating that the trailer was made in Unreal Engine 4 but the game will be shifted over into UE5, also says the game won’t be at E3. Given that E3 2022 is cancelled, we can assume this means KH4 won’t be shown at all during summer.
Ah, well. At least we know Donald and Goofy are still in it.
Since the series’ inception, Kingdom Hearts has had a cartoony artstyle that blends well with the Disney/Pixar worlds the games take place in. Not only that, but it helped the older games in the franchise visually age better than most of their contemporaries.
Arguably, the parts of the older games that have aged the worst are the ones trying for a realistic look. One such example is Kingdom Hearts 2‘s Pirates of the Caribbean world.
All of this is to say that Kingdom Hearts 4 is looking jarringly realistic for the series. Sure, previous entries have featured realistic places, but they always retained some level of cartoonishness.
This isn’t to say that this new style is necessarily bad. It’s just weird to see a recreation of a Tokyo ward in Kingdom Hearts of all places, a series rooted in mixing Disney and Final Fantasy together. This is especially so when other games to do this include gritty crime beat-em-up series Yakuza and action-horror Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what direction this new installment will go. And with the trailer potentially teasing a Star Wars crossover, maybe Kingdom Hearts 4 will explore more of Disney’s live-action properties? We’ll just have to wait and see, as with no release date and only confirmation that it’s “magic in the making” (in-development), all we can do for now is speculate.
What worlds would you like to see in Kingdom Hearts 4? Do you like the new realistic style or do you prefer the previous games’ animated feel? Let us know in the comments below, or hop over to the All Maverick Discord to chat with us about gaming and entertainment!