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Breaking down the combat in the latest Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer

Matt Leone has written about games for three decades, focusing on behind-the-scenes coverage of the industry, including books on Final Fantasy 7 and Street Fighter 2.

On Tuesday, Square Enix released a new trailer for its Disney mashup fantasy sequel Kingdom Hearts 3. And following that reveal, Polygon had a chance to sit down with the game’s director, Tetsuya Nomura, to explain what’s happening in the trailer. Specifically, we asked him to pick apart what’s happening with the game’s combat.

"We’ve revamped it a lot," Nomura said. "You were able to see some things in the trailer, like how [main character] Sora’s movement in general is a lot more mobile and he’s active in combat."

Going into detail, Nomura pointed to how Sora can transform his Keyblade into attacks based on theme park rides in a system called Attraction Flow. In the trailer, you can see this play out as he creates a roller coaster attack and an attack based on the Mad Tea Party tea cups from Disneyland.

Nomura also said that based on the trailers released for the game thus far, he’s heard player speculation that Sora’s flashier moves will play out through quick-time events, which will not be the case. "In Kingdom Hearts 2, what we called the Reaction Command system [which took away the player’s direct control] was a big part of some of the combat sequences," he said. "But my directive for Kingdom Hearts 3 was to not have those."

Instead, he wants the game to maintain its visual spectacle, but keep the player in control. And he plans to reveal more touches along those same lines as the game gets closer to launch. "[The Attraction Flow system is] just a small portion of what’s going to be revamped in the combat sequences," Nomura said. "There are some more elements that are coming that hopefully we’ll be able to disclose very soon."

Nomura is currently directing both Kingdom Hearts 3 and Square Enix’s newly-announced Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and said he’s currently spending more of his time on Kingdom Hearts since it is closer to release.

Square Enix has not yet announced a release date for Kingdom Hearts 3.

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