First announced at E3 2013 with a brief teaser trailer, Kingdom Hearts III remained a mystery for quite some time before small details started to trickle out. At the 2015 D23 Expo, a new trailer revealed a world based on Disney’s Big Hero 6. Two years later at the 2017 D23 Expo, a world modeled after Pixar’s Toy Story was showcased, further expanding the Kingdom Hearts universe. Sticking to the trend, the 2018 D23 Expo had its own surprise with an updated trailer featuring a level based on another Pixar favorite - Monsters, Inc.
As with every world in the Kingdom Hearts series, Sora and pals are privy to a unique design that fits in with the overall aesthetic of the Pixar film. Returning from the Monsters, Inc. cast are Mike Wazowski, Sully, and Boo, the mischievous toddler from the first movie. The heroes of Monsters, Inc. join Sora, Donald and Goofy through locations from the series, including the maze of doors. While the trailer revealed minimal story details, it’s likely that other memorable monsters from Pixar’s playful film will make an appearance.
Besides confirming what had already been expected thanks to an image leak back in December 2017, the D23 trailer also showed off plenty of combat, more of the Toy Story world, and a look at summons, special and magic attacks. At one point, Sora calls upon The Little Mermaid’s Ariel for support and uses Wazowski as a bowling ball in what appears to be a team-up attack.
Small hints at the game’s overall story were also featured, but considering how convoluted and confusing the plot of the Kingdom Hearts series can be, it doesn’t reveal much. The “New Organization” mentioned at the start of the trailer is likely a reference to new members of Organization XIII while mention of Ventus at the end of the trailer refers to a protagonist from Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep.
Based on the D23 trailer, Kingdom Hearts III looks to be an expansive adventure marked by massive and frantic battles. Currently, there is no official release date, and the D23 trailer failed to mention one, though it continues to promise that it will be in 2018. Kingdom Hearts III will release on Xbox One and PS4 consoles, making it the first of the Kingdom Hearts series to launch on Microsoft’s console.