Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue has a new trailer that shows off several key cinematic scenes and new snippets of gameplay footage from what is to be the newest entry in the Kingdom Hearts series. Here's everything we know so far.Kingdom Hearts 2.8 has a couple major things going for it. First, unlike the remixes and re-releases of the past, this Kingdom Hearts game provides two original entries in the series' storyline (namely, the Kingdom Hearts χ [chi] Back Cover movie and playable chapter Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A fragmentary passage –) along with the re-released material (which is Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance HD this time around).
Second, since the game has been built on the same engine as Kingdom Hearts III, it gives fans their first experience of wielding a Keyblade on a PS4 in the same way that they'll be doing so in the forthcoming game. Kingdom Hearts III is the highly anticipated finale for series' current storyline, which is being called "Xehanort's Dark Seeker Saga." The events in the Birth by Sleep chapter and the Back Cover movie are poised to deliver whatever setup might be needed to wrap things up.From what is seen in the new trailer, the foretellers – Keyblade Masters before Sora and Riku's time that players learn more about in the Kingdom Hearts mobile game – are struggling in the fight to keep the power of light burning bright. It's known that the Keyblade War is nigh, and they are dealing with a possible traitor within their group.
A cloaked figure wearing Organization XIII's signature black hoodie is shown several times throughout the video as well. At one point he pronounces, "What's written in the last page of the book is gonna happen." Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing for the foretellers and everyone else in this story remains a mystery.
Another highlight of the trailer is getting to see some of Aqua's new gear and customization options in the gameplay footage from Birth by Sleep – A fragmentary passage –. There appears to be an entire menu option dedicated to customizing Aqua's wardrobe. The video quickly shuffles through accessories like Minnie Mouse ears on her head, angelic wings on her back and arms, along with several different color options for her outfit. Whether these changes are purely cosmetic, or if each item has its own unique stats in a fashion similar to the different Keyblades, remains to be seen. This is the first time players can make changes to the playable character's outfit, and the possibilities could be interesting if this feature carries over into Kingdom Hearts III.
The new trailer also features the latest remix of the original game's theme song, "Simple and Clean." The "Simple and Clean - Ray of Hope MIX" plays in the English version of the trailer, while the "Hikari - Ray of Hope MIX" plays in the Japanese trailer. Both songs are by the popular J-Pop artist Hikaru Utada. Hear the music and see the new scenes from the game for yourself in the English language trailer below.Anyone wanting to dive into Kingdom Hearts for the first time should have the easiest time doing so on PS4 early next year. With a release date of January 24, 2017 in North America and Europe, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 hits store shelves about two months before the rest of the catalog of Kingdom Hearts games becomes available on PS4 when Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMix is released. The compilation that includes the HD versions of the first and second Kingdom Hearts games is set for release on March 28, 2017 in North America and March 31, 2017 in Europe.
In 2017, the Kingdom Hearts series celebrates its 15th anniversary. Players in Japan can get their hands on a special anniversary edition PS4 when Kingdom Hearts 2.8 releases in Japan on January 12, 2017. Similar to the Final Fantasy XV limited edition console, the Kingdom Hearts console is a black PS4 Slim model. It comes with the option of a 500 GB or 1 TB hard drive and a Kingdom Hearts 15th anniversary PS4 theme. No announcements have been made regarding this console being released outside of Japan.
[Featured Image by Square Enix/Disney]