Eleven years after the release of Kingdom Hearts, Square Enix announced that the final game of the series, Kingdom Hearts III, was finally in production during E3. Fans scrambled to find information detailing the long-awaited game, but beyond learning platform capability (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One), Square Enix has been tight lipped.
The newest issue of Famitsu Weekly (7/4) comes out today and features a new interview with series director, Tetsuya Nomura.
Nomura confirmed that Dream Drop Distance (Kingdom Hearts 3D) has set the stage for KH3′s next and finale battle in the Xehanort Saga and the last chapter in the Seeker of Darkness saga.
Visual style proved to be a key decision in how to wrap up the saga. ”We spent a while figuring out what direction to take KH’s visuals in the next generation,” Nomura said. “Should we go for a more realistic look like in recent projects, or try something else? Along the way, we remembered that these KH characters were originally paintbrush art from Disney productions, a texture that was one of our original aims, and that it was time to return to that. So [chief creative director Takeshi] Nozue went through a series of tests, and the results are the visuals that we refer to in the team as the Kingdom Shader. It may look like a pretty drastic change, but I see it as a rich evolution of everything we’ve shown you up to now.”
Not only is the team striving to make the visuals a show of the teams evolution, but they seek to show it through gameplay too. “We have a demo version running on the actual hardware, but the action’s pretty frantic. The really bold action we’ve always had is getting even crazier. KH3 has three-person parties, but NPCs and other characters join the fight in each individual world, and the resulting action is really flashy and exciting. The enemy AI is a lot more intricate, too, and I think the gameplay will reflect that new dynamic balance. For example, there’s a foe that’s shaped like a vehicle, and Sora may jump on it and fly around; that’s already implemented.”
And while it’s still quite awhile until KH3 is released, Nomura tells fans to expect more information at Tokyo Game Show 2013 in September and at the Japan D23 event being held in October.