The embargo has lifted on reviews for Kingdom Hearts III -- a game over a decade in the making. We imagine that most fans of the series will be grabbing a copy regardless of critical reception, but we've gone ahead and listed some review scores anyway.
It's looking pretty great for Sora and the gang so far, with most scores edging into 8 and 9 territory. The general consensus seems to be that this is a thoroughly enjoyable game with some fantastic moments, but numerous critics have singled out the story and pacing as low points.
IGN - 8.7/10
Even as I watched the dust settle on the story I wanted to jump right back in to collect everything. But to see all of the events of the Kingdom Hearts games so far culminate is, frankly, weird. Having been given so much time to ruminate, its specific resolutions aren’t all that surprising, but only a marginal impact is lost as a result. I still loved seeing so many characters from throughout this series interact in new ways and rekindle old bonds. It’s nice to see that, even so long after the very first game, is so full of heart.
GameSpot - 8/10
With the finish line in sight, the game disrupts the pace with one arduous boss fight after another--not challenging in any way, just more of slog. The payoff, meanwhile, isn't entirely worth it, as Kingdom Hearts 3 wraps up its story in an incredibly unfulfilling way. But the story of Keyblade wars, time-travelling villains, body-hopping also-rans, and world-ending darkness isn't what I'll remember about Kingdom Hearts 3 or the series as a whole.
GamesRadar - 4/5
Whatever the flaws, there is nothing quite like Kingdom Hearts 3, and it's a wild, wonderful ride as a result. Name one other game where you can watch Elsa belt out Let It Go before hammering some monsters to death with a giant key. I'll wait.
USgamer - 4.5/5
For all the new in Kingdom Hearts 3, there is plenty of the old too. The action combat is more satisfying than it's ever been, even if it's a tad easy to skate through the main storyline. For longtime fans of the series, all those emotional payoffs that have been building for 17 years await. For newcomers, buckle up: because you're in for a wild ride of bonkers Disney interactions and some exciting boss battles.
Polygon - N/A
Kingdom Hearts isn’t simple anymore; it isn’t just joy and bright colors and Disney heroes. Instead, the conclusion of this story is tangled up in so many conflicting threads, each one a heavy burden on its hero, whose smile now feels unnerving. Kingdom Hearts 3 is an example of what can go wrong when a series that once stood in contrast to its peers as a lighthearted alternative loses its way.
What do you make of these review scores? Are you excited for Kingdom Hearts III? Show off your craziest keyblade in the comments section below.