‘Kingdom Hearts 4’ will launch in Unreal Engine 5

The reveal trailer was running in Unreal Engine 4

Following the announcement of Kingdom Hearts 4, the game will reportedly be fully upgraded to Unreal Engine 5 in time for launch.

As reported by Famitsu (translated by VGC), Square Enix is apparently testing the game with Unreal Engine 5 in preparation for its eventual release, despite the fact that the debut trailer was running in real-time in Unreal Engine 4.

According to the publication: “The full game will be made with Unreal Engine 5, and the quality of lighting and detail will be several levels higher.”


The reveal trailer already features a more realistic art style than the series is accustomed to, but it’s also accompanied by the animated look many fans are familiar with.

Kingdom Hearts 4
Kingdom Hearts 4. Credit: Square Enix

Unreal Engine 5 is a real-time 3D creation tool and is specifically designed for photo-real visuals and immersive experiences in games, making it a good fit for the intended visual style of Kingdom Hearts 4.

Kingdom Hearts 4 was revealed yesterday (April 10) during the series’ 20th anniversary. The almost 8-minute presentation featured the first gameplay trailer for the action-adventure game, showcasing upgraded graphics – similar to the modern Final Fantasy games – and an aged up Sora.

A city called Quadratum was also featured, as well as Disney‘s Donald and Goofy. During the trailer, Sora takes on a massive Heartless enemy within the city, showing off the first official gameplay of the fourth entry in the series. It looks like the game will have quick-time events incorporated into the fighting mechanics, with Sora seen wielding the iconic Keyblade.

Square Enix has yet to confirm the release date and platforms for Kingdom Hearts 4.


In other news, after the announcement, many fans also pointed out how a specific shot within the trailer could point towards a Star Wars-related level in the game. The shot in question features a forest that resembles the planet Endor, as well as the foot of an AT-ST. Due to the fact that Disney owns the Star Wars IP, it’s possible fans will get to see the universe in Kingdom Hearts 4.