Grand Theft Auto and Kingdom Hearts are completely different in terms of gameplay, story, worlds, sound and characters but there are three lessons that the developers behind Kingdom Hearts 3 can grasp from Rockstar’s recent smash hit, Grand Theft Auto V. From showing the game as little as possible to having a world feeling alive, even a J-RPG such as Kingdom Hearts 3 can be given a few hints from the crime simulation Grand Theft Auto V.
1) Show us as little from the game as possible.
Rockstar Games, throughout the production of Grand Theft Auto V, has been infamous in terms of not spoiling anything about the game’s narrative or locations, but Square Enix with their past Kingdom Hearts games have given away too much. What made the original Kingdom Hearts so wondrous as a kid was that I did not know which Disney characters or stories will appear. The recent portable entries/Kingdom Hearts 2 were completely leaked out for which Disney worlds and characters would appear. For the first time ever, I will ask this of Square Enix; only show small snippets of Kingdom Hearts 3 before release. Rockstar Games has done a remarkable job of teasing their fans with little information and in result, the screenshots and videos being shown are an event rather than a recurring cycle of footage we have seen before (example: Agni’s Philosophy). At the same time, it would be great if we had a simultaneous worldwide release date for Kingdom Hearts and to add to that, Final Fantasy XV so the company can prevent spoilers.
2) Populated worlds
Kingdom Hearts has always had one major issue that has deterred the beautiful art design and splendor of every Disney world… Where is everyone? In the busy street of Thebes of Birth By Sleep, there is nothing; no noise, no people, no peddlers pestering you to buy their wears. Also, there is no crowd in Olympus Coliseum and yet, you can hear chants and screams from them during cut-scenes.
In Grand Theft Auto V, the city of Los Santos is populated with so many variants of citizens and the world feels alive. If Kingdom Hearts 3 adds the wonderful art design of each world alongside a populated environment, the locales would feel much more enchanting rather than somewhat dead.
3) Release it when it is ready
Rockstar Games have been known for their polished products as of late with Red Dead Redemption, L.A Noire and most recently Grand Theft Auto V. While not a huge fan of the studio, I have always admired their stance of not releasing a game until it’s ready.
Grand Theft Auto V was delayed four months after it was expected to ship and with the attention to detail they placed in the city of Los Santos and given the huge open nature of the title, that time sure paid off as it includes very few glitches . Kingdom Hearts III can be placed in the same boat when it comes down to it’s development. By referring to the other entries in the series, the game will most likely have over 25 hours of gameplay. I hope Square Enix will not bow down to the fans’ outcries for a prompt release and create a game that is worthy of our grand expectations. The original Final Fantasy XIV release, while not having played the original personally, was received horribly by critics and fans alike for it’s bugs and repetitive mission structure. As a result, the company decided to remake the game in the form of A Realm Reborn. We do not want a development like this to happen again from Square Enix, especially with a series that is cherished by so many who played it during their youth. We want this to be a grand conclusion to the Xehenort saga so please, Square Enix, take note of Rockstar Games and give your developers the time to make the next entry the most polished in the franchise.