Sora, Donald, and Goofy are back for yet another adventure in Kingdom Hearts 4, Square Enix’s worst-kept secret of 2022. The only issue is, it’s still quite a ways off yet, and has yet to receive any real concrete data to help whet our appetites. And yet, despite having little knowledge of the upcoming RPG, we’re still just as hungry—ravenous, even—to get our mitts on the Disney-Pixar world.
The good news is, we do actually have enough to go on, if only to construct a list with all the details Square Enix has shed light on so far. So, if you’re curious to know more about the upcoming world-hopping Keyblade master and his trusty companions, then read on. Here’s everything we know about Kingdom Hearts 4.
What Is Kingdom Hearts 4?
Kingdom Hearts 4 is an upcoming third-person action role-playing game by Square Enix. Serving as the fourth major instalment to the long-standing series, players will once again delve into the weighty boots of Sora, a Keyblade master who bears the power to lock worlds and banish Heartless through the power of light and love.
Kingdom Hearts first came to light back in 2002 on the PlayStation 2, a time during which Square Enix developed a roadmap for a lengthy series on multiple platforms. Fast-forward two decades, and the series has now toppled thirteen games in total, which range from top-down dungeon crawlers to rhythm-based shooters, action RPGs to feature-length interactive movies.
The biggest question that any newcomer is sure ask remains mostly the same: do you need to play the other thirteen games to understand what’s what and who’s who in the fourteenth? Well, technically, no. That said, Kingdom Hearts definitely has one of the most convoluted plotlines in the history of gaming — so it would definitely help to have some knowledge of the series. And if not, then having just the first three main games under your belt will suffice.
Kingdom Hearts 4 will be set in Quadratum, a Tokyo-inspired metropolis that will serve as Sora’s home world, and a place that players will be able to return to between other worlds. This will also be the anchor point for the The Lost Master story arc, an entirely new tale that will branch away from Xehanort and the Nobodies. And yes, there will be a slew of Disney worlds to shovel through along the way. As for what their connection with Quadratum will be is another question, though we’re honestly hoping to have answered sooner rather than later.
From what we’ve seen, Kingdom Hearts 4 will adopt its signature third-person hack and slash approach, a style that is almost too familiar at this point. Similar to Kingdom Hearts 3, the gameplay will most revolve around exploring Disney-Pixar worlds, engaging in QTE-heavy battles, and foraging for resources to synthesize new key items.
There’s a lot we don’t yet know about the gameplay, though, but it’s only natural that Square Enix would foster a similar blueprint to the ones used in previous games. Will it be more fluid? Probably. Will it feature more Disney worlds and companions? Here’s hoping.
Kingdom Hearts 4 was put under the hammer almost immediately after the launch of 2019’s Kingdom Hearts 3. It wasn’t revealed until April 2022, though, at which point Square Enix made it official by uploading a short teaser trailer outlining some of the core gameplay elements and a few of the returning characters.
As it stands, Kingdom Hearts 4 is still a ways off. How do we know this? Well, turns out, Bill Farmer, who voices Goofy, wasn’t even aware the game was happening a few months back. This gives us the impression that the voiceover work hasn’t even begun yet, let alone the actual script. So, going by that, it’s hard to believe that the sequel will be coming any sooner than 2024, to be honest.
So, has Kingdom Hearts 4 actually received a trailer of any sort yet? Well, yes. Problem is, it isn’t too revealing, and only lets slip some of the core details of the game. It’s enough to whet our appetites for what’s to come — but Square Enix definitely need to think about bringing a bit more to the table to reignite the hype train while development continues.
Release Date, Platforms & Editions
Unfortunately, there is no official release date set in stone for Kingdom Hearts 4 just yet. It is a worry, mind you, knowing that we’ve previously had to wait nearly fourteen years between the second and third instalment. It’s unlikely to be anything like this between the third and fourth, though. Or at least, it’s hard to imagine Square Enix leaving it on the back burner for a similar amount of time — especially after the negative response the studio received the last time.
It’s been just shy of three years since the release of Kingdom Hearts 3, so we’re bound to hear something about the next leg of the journey over the next year or so. As far as a concrete launch window goes, we’ll be lucky to see it arrive by 2024. And even then, that’s wishful thinking.
Although Kingdom Hearts was originally a PlayStation exclusive, Kingdom Hearts 3 did break the pattern by branching out to Xbox One and PC. Therefore, it’s only natural that Square Enix would follow up with this by putting the next journey in the saga on multiple platforms outside of the PS5. It’s speculation at this point, but we’re putting our money on it coming to Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, and PC.
Sadly, as it’s still early days, we don’t actually have any clue as to what the game’s editions will be. If we’re going by previous instalments, though, then we’re likely to see a standard edition, and a digital deluxe edition, which may or may not include some additional DLC. For more information on that, you can follow the social handle here.
So, what’s your take? Will you be picking up Kingdom Hearts 4 when it drops? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.