Kingdom Hearts 4 Will Use Unreal Engine 5

Square Enix showed off a trailer for Kingdom Hearts 4 today, which has set the KH fandom ablaze with excitement, and more details about the upcoming sequel has been revealed, including which game engine it'll use. An impressive part of the trailer depicted a huge black-winged creature descending on a realistic recreation of the streets of Shibuya, Tokyo, and Sora dashing along the road towards it.

It's been revealed that the entire trailer was captured in real-time. In previous generations, such impressive rendering was usually the domain of CGI cutscenes, but with graphics rendering being so powerful nowadays it's possible to have this kind of realism, inasmuch realism relates to the fantastical world of Kingdom Hearts, running via the game's engine. It's also revealed that Kingdom Hearts 4's trailer uses Unreal Engine 4, but the game will be built in a new engine.

That's right, the fourth mainline entry in this storied series will be developed using Epic's new Unreal Engine 5. What this means in practice is that it's highly likely that when eventually the game is released, it'll look quite different to the visuals we've seen already. As Epic has shown with its impressive Matrix Awakens tech demo – which was a free, playable open world available on PS5 and Xbox Series – the new Unreal Engine 5 possesses powerful capabilities. Among the studios using UE5 for their upcoming games include Crystal Dynamics and a new Tomb Raider, and CD Projekt Red with an entry in the Witcher series. Now Square Enix and KH4 can be added to that list.

More details: additional information on KH4 will be revealed at a much later date and the game will not be appearing at E3, and it seems Square Enix decided to reveal this much to avoid possible early leaks. The game's logo has changed to reflect a new chapter, signalling that we've moved on from the Seekers of Darkness saga. Tetsuya Nomura also said, somewhat cryptically, that the trailers for Kingdom Kearts 4 and the other announced KH game, the mobile title Missing-Link, was narrated by the same person who is "a character [we] have known for a long time". These details are courtesy of translated information from KH13.

It's a bounty of juicy details for the Kingdom Hearts devotees, and it's likely that discussion will bounce around in the coming week, which we will be sure to join in with. In other news, fans think Kingdom Hearts 4 may feature a Star Wars setting, and Nomura revealed that he chose to forgo making a Verum Rex game because he was "worried" about Sora.

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