Kingdom Hearts III is the culmination of over a decade of build-ups. It aims to provide closure for the main story and for the many fan-favourite characters, while giving the audience brand new Disney worlds to explore. If you haven’t played a Kingdom Hearts game before, it is an action-RPG in which you visit various collections of levels, called worlds, themed around Disney properties. Each world is either a retelling of the original story or a brand new one. They are loosely connected to a main plot in which Master Xehanort plans to bring about another Keyblade War.
Sora can equip and freely switch between up to three Keyblades. After landing multiple hits, you can transform the Keyblade, which gives you access to new moves and a finisher. At times, you can trigger team attacks with your party members. As an example, if you are in the Toy Story world you can hop on a rocket with Buzz and Woody, and use that to deal massive damage. You can also utilise magic spells or link commands, with the latter allowing you to control other famous Disney characters such as Simba or Ariel. At times, a green circle will appear around an enemy hitting which lets you summon specific Disney rides.
It is much easier than previous games in the series as you can win most of the combat encounters by mashing attack and utilising team attacks or attractions whenever available. Still, the response time when coupled with the visual effects and transformations make fighting enemies a joy. Sora is extremely agile and feels great to control. As you level up, you unlock more active and passive abilities that further expand the battle system.
The Disney worlds take a few hours each to complete. They are massive and elaborate, and the level design as well as the way player interacts with the world has been improved. They all have some unique mechanics or gimmicks that make them feel distinct and unique. As expected, some worlds are better than the others but Tangled was easily my favourite.
After you’re done with all of the Disney worlds, Kingdom Hearts III ends with a 4-5 hour-long finale. While it takes some liberties with the plot, it is filled with some of the most memorable sequences in the game, including both cutscenes and boss fights. There are many surprises and story beats in store for long-time fans who won’t be disappointed with the closing hours of this saga.
Kingdom Hearts III successfully brings closure to the many storylines that have been building up for many years. The story almost reaches the point of being non-sensical, but if you are a fan of the series you are already so engrossed in the events that logic takes a backseat. Filled with fan service, fun boss fights, a memorable soundtrack and engaging world design; Kingdom Hearts III is a joy to play.