Kingdom Hearts 3 Critical Mode arrives as a free update this week

Square Enix
Square Enix /

Looking for more of a challenge out for Kingdom Hearts 3? On Tuesday, you’ll be able to tackle the brand new Critical Mode as part of a free update.

When Kingdom Hearts 3 released early this year, it came with three difficulty modes: Beginner, Standard and Proud. Aside from the challenge, the modes determined how many photos of Lucky Emblems you had to take to unlock the secret ending. None of them, though, were extremely challenging.

That will change tomorrow with the arrival of Kingdom Hearts 3‘s long-awaited Critical Mode. The new difficulty is set to arrive as part of a free update releasing tomorrow, April 23. The announcement was made by franchise director Tetsuya Nomura via a tweet from the game’s official social media channel.

Critical Mode is a notch above Proud Mode in terms of difficulty for most of the Kingdom Hearts games, including Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix and Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. The mode ups the difficulty of Kingdom Hearts by introducing a number of gameplay variants that differ depending on the title. However, in every game it has been featured in, the player takes double damage compared to Standard difficulty; and, in many games, the player deals half damage.

Other variants that make the gameplay difficult include lowering the experience gained, decreasing the max potential health and things of that nature.

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Nomura noted in his announcement, however, that with Kingdom Hearts 3 they’ve “changed things up from the previous games.” It’s unclear what that means, though. Are they implementing additional variations to the game to make it even more difficult? Are they including another secret that is only unlocked by playing through Critical Mode?

We’ll find out tomorrow. Nomura didn’t provide a timeframe for when the update will drop, but it is expected to arrive on Tuesday, April 23.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is available for PlayStation 4 and, for the first time ever for the series, Xbox One. Upon release, App Trigger’s Eric Chrisman scored it an 8.5 out of 10, calling Kingdom Hearts 3 “the best game in the series to date.” However, he did say that “a little too reliant on side entries.” Currently playing through the series now, I can safely say that remembering everything that has happened on this complicated journey is quite a difficult task.

Check back tomorrow to see if Square Enix releases patch notes to go along with the update.