Kingdom Hearts 4 will "feel slightly different," but Tetsuya Nomura says Disney fans shouldn't worry

Kingdom Hearts 4 screenshot
(Image credit: Square Enix)

While Kingdom Hearts 4 is going for a more realistic visual style, director Tetsuya Nomura says fans shouldn't worry about Disney being downplayed in the upcoming game.

"With regards to Kingdom Hearts 4, players are definitely going to see a few Disney worlds in there," Nomura tells Game Informer. "I just want to mention that they don't need to worry so much about this aspect of the game. It might feel slightly different from previous Kingdom Hearts titles, but once players have had a chance to play the game, I'm sure they'll be relieved to find that it is definitely a Kingdom Hearts title."

Nomura does note that the increase of graphical qualities in each successive Kingdom Hearts game "kind of limits the number of worlds that we can create in a sense. At this time we're considering how to approach that, but there will be Disney worlds in Kingdom Hearts 4."

The continued inclusion of Disney shouldn't come as much of a surprise - after all, Donald and Goofy were in the debut trailer. But the focus on the hyper-realistic Quadratum location in that trailer suggested that we might be seeing more grounded locations in the new game.

Nomura adds that Kingdom Hearts' most realistic world was previously Pirates of the Caribbean, and "this time around we’re spending some time in the actual real world." The devs aimed to challenge themselves to see "just to see how realistic can we make this."

While there will be plenty of Disney, Nomura seems to suggest that there won't be much Final Fantasy this time around. Nomura describes the inclusion of FF characters in the original Kingdom Hearts as a way to help introduce players to the game's original cast. Once the new characters became established, "it was hard to find room for including more Final Fantasy characters. We're trying to find a good balance for that."

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Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.