KINGDOM HEARTS III
All-new Toy Story adventure with Woody and Buzz awaits
Toy Story is in Kingdom Hearts III. The dream is real. But since 11 years have passed since Kingdom Hearts II, perhaps an explanation of what you’re looking at is in order. Kingdom Hearts is a Square Enix action RPG set in Disney-themed worlds, and you get to fight alongside Goofy and Donald freakin’ Duck. ‘Shut up and take our money’, yes?
The production quality has always been superb, recreating the sights and sounds of famous Disney films in colourful, semi-open worlds you can explore at your leisure. But if the sight of Bambi rendered in full 3D was amazing in 2002, PS4’s graphics are nothing short of miraculous. The most recent version of the game shows Sora – the main hero who wields the Keyblade and has massive shoes – and his companions turned into toys, and stepping into Andy’s bedroom from Toy Story. Everything looks perfect, from the Buzz Lightyear bedsheets to the noticeboard covered with hand-drawn Woody pictures.
But if the environment looks good, the characters look incredible. Woody, Buzz, Rex, Hamm, the green aliens… they’re all here in authentic detail, looking just like their big-screen incarnations. Well… not quite all the gang are present. Some toys have gone missing, ever since the shady Organisation XIII showed up, and a load of Heartless minions with it. Of course you have to investigate, which means jumping out of the bedroom window (Barrel Of Monkeys so far unconfirmed), fighting Heartless on Andy’s perfectly-recreated front yard, and then heading to Galaxy Toys – a toy shop in town, where you get to shoot laser cannons at your foes while piloting mechs (called Gigas), scattering piles of stock and basically running riot through various themed floors of the toy store.
Doesn’t sound familiar? That’s because unlike most Kingdom Hearts sub-plots, you won’t be directly following the events of any Toy Story film. Instead, according to the game’s director, Tetsuya Nomura, Pixar requested a brand-new storyline be written for the game. The resulting scenario is set after the events of Toy Story 2, and Nomura says that, thanks to its official approval from Pixar, it could be considered a “sequel of some sort”. That’s awesome.
Sora’s moveset looks vast in the trailer, with huge, screen-filling special moves, air dashes, burrow attacks, and drop smashes, as well as the ability to produce massive ice crystals out of thin air, and then to grind along their edges. But even better than the enhanced repertoire of standard attacks, some special moves are designed around famous Disney theme park rides, like Big Magic Mountain and Pirate Ship. Dubbed ‘Attraction Flow’, these summons can be used during boss fights. Nomura-san has said that the team want to showcase the specs of the current generation hardware, which is allowing it to add new gameplay mechanics that were previously impossible. It really shows. Pleasantly, that also appears to mean you’re no longer limited to an active team of three characters, as Woody and Buzz join Sora, Goofy, and Donald to fight on the lawn.
Clearly, Toy Story is the big news, but it’s not the only animated world that’s been confirmed. The full list has yet to be revealed, but already includes Big Hero 6’s San Fransokyo, Hercules’ Mount Olympus, and Tangled’s Kingdom Of Corona, as well as familiar recurring locations like the Mysterious Tower and Traverse Town.
Kingdom Hearts III is due in 2018, which gives us time to ponder the unanswered questions, like ‘Will Tom Hanks be reprising his role as Woody?’, ‘When will we hear Utada Hikaru’s inevitable new theme song?’ and ‘Will Donald actually heal us when we need him this time?”
Expect great things from Kingdom Hearts III. And the Gummi ship.