Kingdom Hearts 3 will increase the size of a player’s active party over the previous mainline entries in the series, director Tetsuya Nomura confirmed. After a hard limit of three members per battle in earlier games, Kingdom Hearts 3’s latest trailers show that players will have more flexibility in constructing their teams.
Gameplay shown over the weekend during D23, Disney’s biennial industry conference, confirmed that some speculated earlier this year: Kingdom Hearts 3 will allow far more team members to enter combat at once. We got to see a toy-sized Sora fight alongside not just his regular companions Donald and Goofy, but also the classic pair of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear and Woody — all at once, with no need to abandon anyone.
"We’re able to depict multiple characters,” Nomura told IGN during D23. We saw a team of five during the Toy Story world’s premiere trailer, as well as a four-person squad from a clip shown just before E3 2017. That video had Hercules fighting alongside the core Sora, Donald and Goofy trio.
If there’s a cap on the party size, Nomura didn’t say. But increasing the number from its previous maximum of three eases one of Kingdom Hearts’ more frustrating mechanics. As Sora, Donald and Goofy ventured from world to world, new heroes would ask to temporarily join the fight to free their land of Heartless. In order to bring them into the fold, Sora would have to drop either Donald or Goofy from the team.
While this limit is common in role-playing games, frequent member switching could lead to some hefty stat differentials between Donald, Goofy and Sora — as well as a team that’s stuck with a short-term, much less powerful character instead of the stronger Donald or Goofy.
We’re excited to see how having more heroes on Sora’s squad will shake up the gameplay. Kingdom Hearts 3 launches in 2018 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.