Kingdom Hearts 3 is Newb-Friendly, Fast, and Fun

Kingdom Hearts 3 E3 2018 Preview

Logistically speaking, the Kingdom Hearts series is a feat worth celebrating, given that is it the collaborative result of one of the most celebrated gaming franchises with what is now one of the largest media conglomerates in the world. In addition to the collaboration between Final Fantasy and Disney, the games themselves were a success both critically and commercially. Now roughly 16 years since the original released, Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally set to release later this year, with both the Final Fantasy series and Disney Interactive being in much different places than they were when it all began.

As someone who is only slightly acquainted with the series, having played some of Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 but not to completion, I was curious as to how others in the same or similar circumstances would come to find Kingdom Hearts 3. Though Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts 2 are the only numbered games released before the upcoming title, a number of other games meant to fill in gaps in the story also exist, convoluting the story for “casual” fans. Luckily, there have been collections released of past games for players to catch up on the story. As one of the likely many who is not caught up, taking control of Sora in the Kingdom Hearts 3 demo at E3 2018 felt surprisingly natural.

Kingdom Hearts III

Although I have played some of the previous games before, continuing the action in Kingdom Hearts 3 was easy to figure out, making the combat easy to get into while still complex and fun. The biggest takeaway from my time with Kingdom Hearts 3 is that it is very accessible to players of all levels of experience due to its one major factor: Disney. The fact that Disney is a universally recognized brand with multiple iconic characters, most players will be familiar with one world or another. In addition to simply having the various Disney worlds, the art styles of each world are in line with what you would expect.

In my demo, I played through the Toy Story world demo, which had some combat, some platforming, and then combat within a robot. While the stories do seem a bit strange to outsiders looking in when seeing characters unique to Kingdom Hearts, some backstory and familiarity to the Disney characters are likely to bring some stability to those unfamiliar with the overarching plot. Although I had little clue as to what was happening during the demo, I was still heavily interested in the characters of Toy Story and was able to enjoy the combat which was fun, fluid, and fantastical. Overall, the Kingdom Hearts 3 demo left me, an inexperienced player of the franchise, looking forward to catching up with the series before the release of Kingdom Hearts 3.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is set to release on the PS3 and Xbox One on January 25, 2019.