Kingdom Hearts fans eager for E3 2016 news about their favorite Disney-meets-Final Fantasy franchise are getting a glimpse of the first PlayStation 4 game in the series before the gaming industry’s biggest event of the year. Square Enix has released the Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue E3 2016 trailer a few days early, and it’s packed with characters, gameplay, and scenes players have not seen before.
In addition to releasing the new gameplay trailer, Square Enix has also confirmed Kingdom Hearts 2.8 is scheduled for a worldwide release in December.
Essentially, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is compilation title that includes an HD remaster of 2012’s Nintendo 3DS hit, Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance, and a movie titled Kingdom Hearts χ Back Cover. The movie tells the story of masked Keyblade wielders from days of old, known as the Foretellers.
Also included in the compilation is a new playable story, featuring Aqua, called Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage. As Square Enix Japan Social Marketing Manager Kaori Takasue explains on the official PlayStation.Blog, the battle sequence featuring Aqua in the E3 trailer depicts “… a completely new playable episode…” that “… includes next-generation graphics.”
As the first Kingdom Hearts title on the PlayStation 4, many fans may see the game as an appetizer before the release of the highly-anticipated Kingdom Hearts III main course. That theory will be put to the test on the E3 show floor, where players will get to experience Kingdom Hearts 2.8 through hands-on demos.
Fans have gone nearly six months without new gameplay footage from the upcoming Kingdom Hearts title. That may sound like a long time, but Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 was only announced about eight months ago. Prior to E3, an in-depth trailer was released at Jump Festa in December, 2015.
The Final Chapter Prologue announcement trailer debuted just a few months earlier in September 2015.
Fans who cannot make it to E3, but also cannot wait until December to unlock the mysteries of the Foretellers, can get a glimpse of these characters — and additional insight into Kingdom Hearts lore — by playing the Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ(pronounced “unchained key”) on their mobile device. The mobile game has only been available to North American audiences for a few months, but there is already a fair amount of story content in the game for players to unlock.
The Inquisitr previously interviewed Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ Producer Hironori Okayama, who shared his thoughts on the crafting a mobile gaming experience that takes both existing fans and new players alike through a Kingdom Hearts origin story of sorts.
“… I wanted the players to start from the same condition, or start from the same starting line. So, the story is based on the oldest story in the Kingdom Hearts series. New players and old fans alike experience the same story, the same way. For those players who have never played Kingdom Hearts before, I would be very happy if this game interests them enough that they try playing Kingdom Hearts 1.5 or 2.5, which are out right now.”
In the sense that Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories was designed for the Game Boy Advance, and Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance was designed to make the most out of the Nintendo 3DS, Okayama explained that Unchained χ was designed to be a unique, distinctive mobile gaming experience on iOS and Android devices.
“I think that you really do get a different kind of play/feel from this game than you would from any other game on the market right now. It has really great graphics, and it’s a pretty grand RPG. I’m confident players will enjoy this game and will be pulled into this world.”
With a hands-on preview of Kingdom Hearts 2.8 at E3, and an on-the-go or at-home mobile gaming experience in Unchained χ, fans seem to be well on the road to Kingdom Hearts III.
Although Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a PS4 exclusive, Kingdom Hearts III is going to be made available on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
[Image via Disney/Square Enix]