'Kingdom Hearts 3' will leave fans "fully satisfied", according to game director Tetsuya Nomura.

Kingdom Hearts screenshot

Kingdom Hearts screenshot

The latest instalment of the action role-playing game has been hotly anticipated since the release of 'Kingdom Hearts 2' for the PlayStation 2 a whopping 12 years ago, and Square Enix's Tetsuya has revealed the wait will be worth it when the game finally drops next year.

Speaking at Disney's D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, he said: "If we are able to accomplish everything that we did plan out for, I'm pretty confident that people will enjoy and be fully satisfied with the end product.

"I feel like I've packed in much more fun than I had in my previous Kingdom Hearts titles. 'Kingdom Hearts 3' is going to be our first full HD game in our current console generation.

"It does involve a lot of bandwidth and resources in order to create in full HD, so our directive was to have as many elements [as possible] of gameplay included in one single world, rather than having multiple different little worlds with few elements. We wanted to pack in as many gameplay elements and fun into a single world."

But it hasn't been smooth sailing for the game developer, who admitted he was left feeling "hurt" after fans assumed it was his fault that the third instalment had taken so long to be developed.

He added: A lot of people have been mentioning and making it sound like 'Oh, Nomura's taking too much time,' and it hurts."

In fact, the game's delay was largely due to the decision to switch the game's engine to Unreal Engine 4.

Tetsuya said: "There was a decision made to change to an external [engine]...Unreal Engine 4. So we switched over to that. Unfortunately there was a bit of time that needed to be rewinded and started over. So there was a bit of a setback there, but it was a decision that the company had to make, so it was inevitable."

'Kingdom Hearts 3' is now set to be released in 2018.