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Kingdom Hearts IV Announced in Time for Franchise’s 20th Anniversary

Square Enix surprised Kingdom Hearts fans this weekend with the confirmation of the fourth mainline entry in the long-running RPG series. Kingdom Hearts IV will pick up where the last game left off, mashing together Disney worlds and Final Fantasy aesthetics into an original and sometimes confusing whole. The first trailer for the game premiered in a trailer celebrating the 20th anniversary of Kingdom Hearts and showcased a brand new look for series protagonist Sora.

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Waking up in a big city, Sora is far less animated than he’s ever been before. The environments surrounding the spiky-haired protagonist also got a simple and clean upgrade, leading to what will hopefully be a generational leap forward for the game in the visual department. The teaser goes on to show Sora fighting a Heartless monster that’s not dissimilar to the initial beast that haunted the Destiny Islands at the start of the first game.

The game premiered alongside footage of Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link, a new mobile spinoff for the franchise that goes into closed beta on iOS and Android later this year. There was also footage from another mobile game (Kingdom Hearts χfeaturing a group of keyblade wielders fighting the face of The Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Whether spinoff or mainline entry, it doesn’t seem that the developers at Square Enix want to stray too far from the Kingdom Hearts formula, even with Sora’s massive redesign.

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While it may be an exciting time for Kingdom Hearts fans, it’s also worth remembering that a teaser trailer like this doesn’t guarantee that the next adventure is right around the corner. It took six years for Kingdom Hearts III to emerge after its debut trailer, and there was precious little information revealed before the game’s release window approached. For now, it’s best to enjoy the numerous other Disney-related projects on the immediate horizon and let Kingdom Hearts IV simmer in the background.

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