For Kingdom Hearts fans eager for more information on Kingdom Hearts III and the recently announced PlayStation 4 compilation Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, Square Enix has just released what will likely be the last bit of media for the franchise in 2015, with a new trailer showcasing new features for both titles.
2.8 will, like the previous two Kingdom Hearts compilations, include two playable titles and one comprised solely of cinematics. The highlight this time around is the first HD console release of 2012’s Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, originally a 3DS exclusive. The spinoff title, which sets up the conflict Kingdom Hearts III will revolve around, has players take control of both the series’ lead protagonist Sora and his longtime friend Riku as they battle to save various Disney-themed worlds and deal with the return of series big bad Xehanort.
The other two games within 2.8 will be completely new, the first one being Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A fragmentary passage. Similar to Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae, the title will be a shorter, more episodic installment revolving around the further adventures of Aqua, one of the leads from the 2010 PSP prequel, and will provide players with their first chance to play using the new Kingdom Hearts III gameplay and graphic engines.
The cutscene-only entry will be called Kingdom Hearts X Back Cover, and will apparently chronicle a long-ago tale that helped shape the events of the series. No characters have been shown yet, but the entry looks to also use the Kingdom Hearts III graphic engine, and the dialog included in the trailer hints at a traitor among its characters.
Finally, a brief Kingdom Hearts III trailer, while not revealing any new worlds or characters, showcases more of the flashy new battle mechanics. Sora is shown fighting alongside Donald Duck and Goofy in Twilight Town, Yen Sid’s tower, and the recently confirmed Tangled-themed world.
One particularly interesting part shows Sora executing a special move with a targeting reticule, locking on to several enemies, and automatically zipping between them for speedy attacks. Also, the game continues to showcase more special powers based on iconic Disney theme park rides, with the latest one appearing to reference the Buzz Lightyear-themed shooting galleries. One can hope that this might mean a Toy Story-themed world, but Square Enix is remaining quiet for the moment on major new announcements.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is scheduled to release on PlayStation 4 in 2016, while Kingdom Hearts III‘s release date on both PS4 and Xbox One remains unannounced. We will continue to keep you updated on the series as more news drops.