Square Enix shocked many fans (and non-fans) when it announced a new mainline Kingdom Hearts title. Developed on Unreal Engine 5, Kingdom Hearts 4 takes place in the world of Quadratum and though Sora is very much alive, he’s still battling against the Heartless. Among the many changes in combat, director Tetsuya Nomura has confirmed the return of a fan-favorite feature – Reaction Commands.
Speaking to Famitsu (translation via DeepL), Nomura said, “In the video, you can see button icons appear when an enemy punches you, and you can think of it as a kind of reaction command that existed in Kingdom Hearts 2.” As for why it’s indicated by a black circle, he clarified that, it’s “simply because we have not announced which models are compatible with it.”
As for why Reaction Commands are making a return, Nomura said, “After the release of Kingdom Hearts 3 we saw a lot of requests for the return of the reaction command, so we brought it back.” It really is that simple.
Reaction Commands were famous in Kingdom Hearts 2 – and follow-ups like Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep – for extending combos and performing special actions. They gave a stylish flair in many instances and were generally well-regarded but didn’t make the cut for Kingdom Hearts 3. With their return, it should be interesting to see how the combat evolves further.
Kingdom Hearts 4 doesn’t have a release date or platforms. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.