Kingdom Hearts III was released to widespread critical acclaim, but one issue that both critics and fans alike had with the game was that it was way too easy. The hardest difficulty mode in the game (Proud Mode) was still considered to be too easy for longtime fans of the Kingdom Hearts series, which led to fans requesting a new difficulty mode.
Square Enix promised that the Critical Mode from the earlier games would be returning to Kingdom Hearts III via an update, which is due to be released today. The exact nature of the update is still unclear, but there are clues that can be gleaned from the earlier incarnations of the Critical Mode in the series. (via. Polygon)
Critical Mode is the highest difficulty mode in the Kingdom Hearts series and it first debuted in Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix. The effects of Critical Mode vary from game to game, but the player usually takes double damage in comparison to the Standard difficulty modes. It depends on the game, but Critical Mode will either boost the attacking power of the player or halve it. There are some abilities that will be weakened in Critical Mode in order to prevent the player from relying on them. The player is usually given access to the EXP Zero ability in Critical Mode, which prevents Sora from gaining experience points, which means that they will remain at level one if equipped at the start of the game.
The addition of a new difficulty mode to Kingdom Hearts III will be welcomed by fans who spent a decade sharpening their skills in the other games in the series in preparation for Sora's return. The only question now is when will other DLC stories will be added to the game, as fans are also chomping at the bit to see the return of the Final Fantasy characters to the Kingdom Hearts universe.
Kingdom Hearts III is currently available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Critical Mode will be added to Kingdom Hearts III through an update on Aprile 23, 2019.