Square Enix’s “Kingdom Hearts” may be the most popular out of everything they have done, outside of the KH-inspiring and massive “Final Fantasy” franchise, and as there was such a large gap between “Kingdom Hearts 2” and “Kingdom Hearts 3”, the publisher and developer have announced not only the next entry in the series but also a wide range of information in general regarding many aspects of the past, present, and future of the franchise at their Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event. Below, we’ve gone into detail on everything announced at the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event, as well as what to expect from such announcements.
Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Announcements
Square Enix teased the event back in January as a simple anniversary event but when the event actually landed and games such as “Kingdom Hearts 4” and “Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link” were announced while updates were provided for “Kingdom Hearts Dark Road”, and other reaches of the franchise as well. While “Kingdom Hearts Dark Road” was announced to be a continuation of “Kingdom Hearts Union X”, which itself was a continuation and mobile version of “Kingdom Hearts Unchained”, which also incorporated the “cross” title with ” X”. Square Enix announced in February of 2021 that “Kingdom Hearts Dark Road” was delayed, after being delayed already, and now the official release of the final chapter of the “Kingdom Hearts Road of Darkness” storyline, which focused on why Zehanort became the Keeper of Darkness, will release in August. Overall, all games within the “X” series of games take place before the events of the original “Kingdom Hearts” setting but tie in heavily with events relating to “Kingdom Hearts 3”, but even an update to the most active title in the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise wasn’t anywhere near the craziest thing announced at the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event.
Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link
Among everything announced at the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event, one new mobile game and one new console game within the “Kingdom Hearts” universe were announced, the first of which we’ve covered was the mobile game, “Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link”. “Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link” will be yet another mobile entry into the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise, but seemingly will be different from the previous mobile entry, “Kingdom Hearts Union X”, as it was announced to feature augmented reality features that will allow real-world interactions through the game. The short, but interesting, trailer for “Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link” was compiled into the same video as the “Kingdom Hearts Dark Road” and “Kingdom Hearts 4” trailers as well but the trailers were held one after the other, in order to build true hype towards to the games, especially as they seemed to peak interest overall as each one was shown.
Upon the start of the trailer for Missing-Link, we were greeted with what looked like previous console-style graphics for the series, between half of the gameplay and most of the cutscenes. However, the other part of gameplay that was showcased for “Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link” that looked to be built heavily for mobile devices was what appeared to be the actions and style your character will take upon the exploration of the city, Scala ad Caelum. Overall, Missing-Link featured everything you’d expect in a console “Kingdom Hearts” game, from boss fights, Keyblade wielding, Heartless destroying, and more but will be a mobile title that has definitely turned away from the graphic styles of “Kingdom Hearts Union X” and yet the most interesting news from everything announced at the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event was the announcement of our next topic we’ve discussed below.
Kingdom Hearts 4 and Unreal Engine
Out of everything announced at the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary Event the most interesting without a second thought was not only the announcement of “Kingdom Hearts 4” but also the hint at possible worlds, such as Star Wars, updated graphics with Unreal Engine, and the introduction of Quadratum. The “Kingdom Hearts 4” portion of the Kingdom Hearts 20th Anniversary showcase video started immediately with an updated look for Sora and what appeared to be the most realistic and high-end graphics we’ve ever seen in the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise, due to Epic Games‘ Unreal Engine.
Truly showcasing the work of the game engine, the realistic graphics last throughout what appeared to be the actual introduction of the game as a gigantic Heartless appeared in this new world and started grabbing anything in sight from vehicles and people to everything in between. From there we saw Sora running towards the giant Heartless as he summoned his Keyblade and jumped immediately into the gameplay of Sora attempting to reach the Heartless by jumping from several obstacles until eventually fighting the Heartless directly and ultimately showed members of Organization XIII as they looked below from a rooftop. Overall, the “Kingdom Hearts 4” announcement trailer, among everything announced at the Kingdom Hearts Anniversary Event, ended with Goofy and Donald walking through a dark place and confronted by a seemingly evil force, which I personally believed to be Hades.