Late last night Famitsu (a Japanese gaming magazine) brought us surprising news about Square Enix’s high anticipated Kingdom Hearts III. Apparently Kingdom Hearts III is well into development and it is switching engines.
When Kingdom Hearts III was announced at E3 2013, Square Enix had said that it will use the Luminous Engine. The Luminous Engine is an in-house engine created by Square Enix and the only game to use it (so far) is Final Fantasy XV. The Kingdom Hearts III trailer that premiered at E3 2013 was said to be the Luminous Engine.
Now, Square Enix has revealed that they will utilize Unreal Engine 4, Epic’s new version of their ever popular Unreal Engine. The game’s director, Tetsuya Nomura, had said they made the switch from Luminous to Unreal Engine 4 for “Various Reasons.” He then went on to say that there are some issues, but Epic is working with Square Enix to solve any problems with the engine switch.
It’s unknown when Kingdom Hearts III will be released, but it’s known that it will be for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Kingdom Hearts III will be the first true console sequel since Kingdom Hearts II back in 2005. The most recent games in the series, Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX, came out last year, and this December Square Enix will release Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX.
It’s a shame that they are not using the same engine they used to make that trailer from E3, but I still think that it will look great. Unreal Engine is one of the most widely used engines in gaming and if given to the right developers, it can look fantastic. Bioshock: Infinite used Unreal Engine 3 and that game looks stunning, even now. The Kingdom Hearts games always had a strong colorful aesthetic and I believe that they will keep it that way. Considering that they are switching engines showed us how early in development Kingdom Hearts III is in. It could be years before we see the game released.
Jesse Webster is a Senior Writer at MONG and is hunting captains. 3 captains at a time. You can find him on Twitter.