Story, characters, mechanics and more

Japanese publisher Nintendo recently aired the Direct Livestream for Xenoblade Chronicles 3. The brand new JRPG from first-party developer Monolith Soft is one of the most anticipated games coming to the Nintendo Switch hybrid console later this year.

As such, many fans were also eagerly awaiting the recent Direct, which offered a deep dive into the core of the game.

The nearly 25-minute showcase touched upon many key elements of the game. There is much to tell, from the story to the world of Aionios himself. Let’s take a look at everything featured in the Direct.


Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is another deep RPG experience that enhances the core formula

Institution

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is set in the world of Aionios, an empire where the nations of Keves and Agnus are at war with each other. As a result, soldiers from both camps are often at war with each other, mainly due to the fact that they are only 10 years old, called terms.

Most of this time is spent fighting and training to emerge victorious and fill their respective constructs known as Flame Clocks with the essence of the enemies.

Mio and Noah, the two protagonists, are non-seers of their respective nations; flute-carrying mourners who enable the deceased to pass on their music. However, fate plays a funny hand, forcing them and their teams to work together for a common adventure in the Sword March area.


characters

Which one is your favourite?  (Image via Nintendo)
Which one is your favourite? (Image via Nintendo)

Noah is joined by partners Lanz and Eunie. The former is a charismatic fighter who specializes in close quarters, while the latter is a brash girl who hides her soft demeanor. Mio, on the other hand, is joined by the clever tactician, colleague Taion, and the hammer-wielding Sena.

Bring the big guns to the show (Image via Nintendo)
Bring the big guns to the show (Image via Nintendo)

Heroes are unique characters who can join the player squad as a seventh party member. They each have their own unique benefits and skills that can be learned.


open world

The world is yours to explore (Image via Nintendo)
The world is yours to explore (Image via Nintendo)

Players can freely roam the vast, seamless and scenic open landscapes of this massive RPG. These have varied biomes, from plains and forests to deserts and tundras. Each is home to a variety of creatures, both docile and aggressive. In typical Xenoblade fashion, they can chase players.

Players can also encounter warriors from Keves and Agnus during their excursions, and can board if desired. They can also visit colonies powered by Feronis’ powerful mobile bases that can serve as powerful weapons of destruction.

These colonies are home to residents that can be traded with or involved in side quests. There are even outlets to dine with the team, bringing in passive buffs.

The team can also sit back at Rust Spots and discuss plans, cook, craft and more. It further deepens each character’s personality.


Accessibility

Where are you going?  (Image via Nintendo)
Where are you going? (Image via Nintendo)

Fast travel is also a great way to travel between discovered locations, a necessary mechanic for a game with such a large open world. Players can change the time as many search criteria can only be met at specific points of the day.

The navigation feature also shows a crimson trail to follow to the desired target in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.


fights

Fight ferocious creatures (Image via Nintendo)
Fight ferocious creatures (Image via Nintendo)

The combat in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 builds on that of 2 and previous games. Players have a range of attacks to choose from and can move freely, with positioning affecting effectiveness. Abilities called Arts are also used to unleash powerful moves to take out enemies more quickly, such as knocking them over.

Arts can also be chained together for more powerful variants that combine the effects of each ability, such as heal, defend, polish allies and so on. The possibilities are endless. Another feature, Chain Attacks, also has characters come together for special follow-ups that deal major damage.


classes

Maximum Efficiency Strategy (Image via Nintendo)
Maximum Efficiency Strategy (Image via Nintendo)

There are many classes in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, with each character belonging to one: Attacker, Defender, and Healer. Each functions in a way that one would generally expect. Players can switch between any party member on the fly.

Each class has its own style:

  • Attacker has Swordfighter and Ogre.
  • Defender has Zephyr and Heavy Guard.
  • Healer has Medic Gunner and Tactician.

Players can also switch classes for the party setup they want, including art from different classes. This even allows the Tanky Defenders to play a supporting role, such as healing.

Heroes also have their own class styles, but there can only be one in your party at a time.


Ouroboros

Power-up during battles with the Ouroboros forms (Image via Nintendo)
Power-up during battles with the Ouroboros forms (Image via Nintendo)

Two-man teams from Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s party can fuse into beastly forms called Ourboros through Interlinking. This form only lasts for a short time, but greatly increases player power, allowing them to take advantage of the opportunity.

The pairs are as follows:

  • Noah & Mio
  • Lanz & Sena
  • Eunie & Taion

Players can swap control between one of the two fused characters to further switch between shapes. Ouroboros can be further boosted by investing points and can also help with Chain Attacks.


Miscellaneous

Are you going to buy it?  (Image via Nintendo)
Are you going to buy it? (Image via Nintendo)

Nintendo has announced an expansion pass for the game that includes cosmetics, new missions, new heroes, new story content and more. In addition, players can use any amiibo figurine to get useful in-game items.

Using the Shulk amiibo allows Noah’s sword to appear as the Monado from the original Xenoblade Chronicles game. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will be released exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 29, 2022.


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