‘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.”

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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.

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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.

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