Kingdom Hearts III brings back the power of friendship

Kingdom Hearts III

Everyone’s favorite team-up between Disney and Square Enix is back for a third edition featuring the power of friendship! Kingdom Hearts III brings back the main protagonist, Sora, in this action role-playing game and makes for the twelfth installment in the Kingdom Hearts series.

The game’s main antagonist, Xehanort, continues his reign of terror and attempt to bring about a second Keyblade War. To prevent this, Sora and his companions, Donald Duck, Goofy, King Mickey, and Riku, join together in a search for the seven guardians of light.

Just like previous Kingdom Hearts titles, KH3 works in a hack-and-slash style combat. And as before, Sora is joined in a team by Donald Duck and Goofy, but unlike previous titles, the team size can have as many as five people total (whereas previously the maximum was three).

In the game, Sora faces off against common enemy types such as the Heartless, Nobodies, and Unversed – and new variants appear as well.

Just like previous games, Kingdom Hearts III will have players visit different worlds during the game. They are pulled from various Disney, Pixar and Square Enix properties. Examples of worlds the player will visit include Olympus (from Hercules), Toy Box (from, of course, Toy Story), the Kingdom of Corna (from Tangled), Monstropolis (from Monster’s Inc.), and the Caribbean (from Pirates of the Caribbean).

Players can fully expect to see the main and supporting characters from these movies to be part of the story as seen in previous Kingdom Hearts games.

Every world also offers a special gameplay element. For example, the Toy Story world has “Gigas” mechs that operate in a first-person shooter mode, downhill sledding exists in the Frozen world, and there is naval, underwater, and aerial combat in the Pirates of the Caribbean world.

Keyblade transformations have also returned where Sora is capable of changing the look and operation of his keyblade weapon to fit the world or situation he’s in. For example, in the Toy Story world the keyblade could change into a hammer or a drill depending on what was needed.

The number of characters to meet and greet in the game is vast. Included among those who can join Sora’s party are Hercules, Jack Sparrow, Woody and Buzz Lightyear, Rapunzel, Baymax, and Marshmallow.

A number of characters also operate as summons that Sora can call upon for dramatic effects such as Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Wreck-It-Ralph from the film of the same name, Simba from The Lion King, and Stitch from Lilo and Stitch.

The story of Kingdom Hearts III is an epic conclusion to the story arc that started in Kingdom Hearts and will conclude with the defeat of Xehanort and the Organization. This means that KH3 completes a story that has spanned 17 years since the publication of Kingdom Hearts in 2002.

Kingdom Hearts III shipped worldwide January 29 and is available now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.