Kingdom Hearts 3 detailed by game director Tetsuya Nomura

Kingdom Hearts 3 had its first trailer unveiled at last week's E3, but other than the fact it's a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game, we don't know much about it beyond the rumors of the past few years. Famitsu magazine attempted to get some solid answers out of director Tetsuya Nomura in this week's issue, and here are the results:

Nomura confirmed that KH3's story begins where Dream Drop Distance's left off. "We're proceeding along with which worlds we'll be selecting for the game," he said. "It's the final episode in the 'Dark Seeker' saga that began with the original KH, and it'll depict the final battle with Xehanort."

The new visual style seen in the trailer reflects the results of a long trial-and-error effort. "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."

How is KH's gameplay evolving? "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."

It'll still be a while before KH3 comes out, but Nomura promised that it'll be back in the public spotlight soon, either at the Tokyo Game Show this fall, the Disney-oriented D23 Expo Japan event in October, or both. "The FF15 and KH3 teams are aware of each other," he said. "They're constantly honing their work at this point in development. Even though KH3 is still pretty early in development, it's already producing some great scenes in Square Enix's internal conferences. We're discussing new developments never seen in any KH before, so keep an eye on further updates."

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