Kingdom Hearts 3 Hands-On
There are few games that will manage to have people actively going "It's real, I played it" but Kingdom Hearts 3 is certainly one of them. The sequel to the 2005 Kingdom Hearts 2, yes, 2005, number 3 is a hotly anticipated game that I have actually played in real life.
There were two options to choose from when starting the demo. One was on Mount Olympus, fighting against a Titan, it was complete with absurd Disney rides and over-the-top displays of graphical prowess. The second was a somewhat less extravagant affair, well, sort of. Set in Andy's Room from the Toy Story series, you find Sora, Donald, and Goofy shrunken down and turned into toys.
This was the more story heavy one, it seems that things are very much afoot in this story of toys, you see Buzz's laser seems to have started working. Needless to say that Woody and co are all a little perplexed by the situation. As you show up a horde of heartless are descending upon the room and so, your first task is to defeat them and prove that you are one of the good guys.
The most striking thing initially is the fact that it actually looks like a Pixar film. We finally have graphics that can match up to the lofty aims of the previous entries. It is incredibly gratifying to finally play a Kingdom Hearts game that gets the look so right.
It isn't just the scenery that looks good, oh no, the fluidity of the combat is truly balletic. As you fight through the masses you get chances to change the form of your blade. Depending on the Keyblade you are using you will get a different transformation. One of the most fascinating ones has you blade turning into a pair of mechanical arms, which allow you to spin forwards towards enemies dealing fast damage to a wide group. The next step turns them into two Monsters Inc. themed yo-yos which you get to throw around in the most damaging walk-the-dog you'll ever see.
During the fights on the way to the toy store I even managed to trigger the Tea Cup ride to crush the Heartless between my little group. Everything flows and feels fantastic, it is a lot like going home to see an old friend, and the old friend looking better than ever.
In the toy store itself you get the chance to pilot a little mech. You then get to punch, shoot, and charge your way through everything that threatens the harmony of the world you are in. You can hop out of course, relying on your Keyblade once again too rain down upon everything that wants to challenge you.
While it was only a small slice the demo was wonderful. The worlds really do look as good as the films, it may well be that the rose tinted glasses that many fans wear when looking at the series are no longer needed. It isn't nostalgia that makes this look good, it just does.
As long as the quality is the same throughout then Kingdom Hearts 3 is going to be an incredible experience. The story may well be hard to follow to newcomers, but everyone has a few months to get caught up if they want to. In the mean time, there are lots of unanswered questions about how the game will play overall. As long as the moment to moment gameplay is as good as the demo, then fans are in for a treat.