The Kingdom Hearts series has a lot of fans. This isn’t because the gameplay is unmatched by anything else. Rather, it’s because the series combines entertaining and easy to pickup gameplay with everything Disney. It allows fans of Disney to feel nostalgic as they play through the various worlds with Goofy and Donald as their companions, so when it comes to Kingdom Hearts 3, the world selection is extremely important.
Kingdom Hearts lead producer Tetsuya Nomura made it clear that every world needs to bring something new and unique to the table. However, he also stated that worlds from previous games in the series could see a return in the upcoming title. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the worlds that would offer such an experience in Kingdom Hearts 3.
Based on Peter Pan, Neverland has been featured in quite a few Kingdom Hearts games, and for good reason. This is one of the few worlds that allows Sora to fly. That alone is a gameplay mechanic that creates a unique experience for the player, but it doesn’t stop there. With all of the elements that go into Peter Pan, you can experience Captain Hook’s ship, the islands in Neverland or even the landscape of London. In some games we’ve seen Sora explore Big Ben and Captain Hook’s ship, never stepping foot on the islands, while in others the islands are explored. There are a number of options here that make Neverland very unique.
Hollow Bastion (Radiant Garden)
If there’s one thing that seems to pop up in Disney films more often than not, it’s a castle. The Hollow Bastion world from previous Kingdom Hearts games isn’t based on any one Disney property, but it borrows quite a bit from Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty. At the end of Kingdom Hearts 2 it was partially restored to its former glory, which means it may now be called Radiant Garden instead of the Hollow Bastion. However, it could be taken over by another evil entity and maintain the Hollow Bastion appearance. Either way, it allows Square Enix the option to create a castle-like environment that encompasses all of Disney’s love for castles.
The world based on Steamboat Willie and other classic Disney features should make a return in Kingdom Hearts 3 because it offers something few worlds can. Not only is the world presented in black and white (monochrome), the sound shifts from stereo (or surround sound in the case of Kingdom Hearts 3) to monotone in order to properly mimic the sound of the classic Disney cartoons. The resulting experience is unique when compared to virtually any other world in the game. Square Enix should be able to expand on that concept to create something even more unique with the power of the PS4 and Xbox One.
When it comes to Pixar, there’s a lot you can choose from to create a unique world for Kingdom Hearts 3. The obvious choice would be Toy Story, but unfortunately that would end up being at least somewhat similar to the various Alice in Wonderland worlds. Since you would need to have a toy perspective, everything would be bigger, similar to Wonderland. Instead, Monsters, Inc. or Finding Nemo (Finding Dory instead?) would be a better option. You can still have cameos from characters in many other Pixar films, but the base environment would be underwater or in the city of Monstropolis. Either way you’d have a variety of options to make a unique and fun new world.
Cosmic World (Marvel)
The Marvel universe is expansive. If only one Marvel world is included in Kingdom Hearts 3, it would be tough to determine exactly what that world would include. Instead of saying it should be Avenger’s Tower, S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters or some other locale, it can simply be a cosmic world. Here the players would be able to fly Star-Lord’s ship through the galaxy, venture into the cosmos with the Fantastic Four, battle Thanos in space or a number of other cool experiences. The idea is to take the player away from the Earth-like adventures that many of the other worlds will likely offer. Along the way you can have cameos from almost any Marvel character to further enhance the experience.
Coruscant or Space (Star Wars)
With Star Wars, you tend to run into the same problem as a potential Marvel world. There’s so much lore in Star Wars, where do you begin? A Star Wars world can be centered on Coruscant for a big city-like experience with lots of Star Wars cameos. However, while you’d get to meet a lot of Star Wars heroes and villains, a city environment isn’t all that unique. Instead, you could take into account the one constant in Star Wars, space. Similar to the Gummi Ship missions of previous Kingdom Hearts games, you could fly in the Millennium Falcon or an X-Wing (or even a TIE Fighter) and travel to distant worlds or simply partake in space combat.
Kingdom Hearts 3 still has no official release date, but stay tuned to Prima Games for more coverage of the upcoming title!