It may be hard to believe, but after sixteen years and countless spin-off titles, the Kingdom Hearts series has never seen an entry on the Xbox family of consoles. That's all about to change with the release of Kingdom Hearts III, the long-awaited grand finale to the trilogy. Microsoft celebrated the presence of the timeless Square Enix franchise on the Xbox One with a brand new trailer, and it's a big one!
The trailer begins with Sora, Donald, and Goofy fighting off the Heartless in a snowy environment, where they encounter none other than the cast of Disney's Frozen, including Elsa the Ice Queen and Olaf the snowman. Based on the clips shown, it appears the story of this chapter of the game will involve Elsa's battle between the light and darkness within her heart, with Sora and Organization XIII urging her to join their respective sides. On the gameplay side of things, Sora is seen battling enemies while riding on makeshift ice skates and riding down a mountain using Goofy's shield like a slick toboggan. Square Enix has promised that the different Disney worlds will each have a variety of unique mechanics; from what we've seen, they're living up to their word.
Other stand-out moments include the appearance of The Lion King's Simba as a summon, Hercules protecting innocents from a collapsing building, and exploring a cliffside forest with Rapunzel, complete with climbing her hair like a rope.
To longtime Kingdom Hearts fans, the most shocking moment shows Mickey finally reunited with Aqua, who appears to have been turned to the dark side. He barely recognizes her silhouette, obscured by the darkness. She turns to face her old friend with Xehanort's trademark yellow eyes and exclaims, "Mickey, you're too late."
Kingdom Hearts III means a lot to its fans, whether they have been with the saga since 2002 or if they only got into it recently, courtesy of the HD Remix re-releases. KH3 is a historic moment for many players, and it finally has a release date: January 29, 2019, nearly thirteen years after the North American release of KH2.
Updated: At the Square Enix video presentation (narrated by the great Keith David!), a new Kingdom Hearts trailer made its debut.
Essentially a remixed version of the one shown at the Xbox presentation, the clip nonetheless featured new imagery, including the appearance of Ratatouille, Riku, and young Xehanort.