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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 out later in the year for the Nintendo Switch hybrid console.

As such, many fans were also keenly looking forward to the recent Direct, which offered a deep dive into the nitty-gritty of the game.

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The almost 25-minute long showcase touched on many key elements of the game. Ranging from the narrative to the world of Aionios itself, there is a lot to cover. Let us take a look at everything featured in the Direct.


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

Setting

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is set in the world of Aionios, a realm where the nations of Keves and Agnus are at war with one another. As a result, soldiers from both camps are often at war with each other, especially due to the fact that they only have 10 year lifespans called Terms.

Most of this time period is spent in battle and training to be able to emerge victorious and fill their respective contraptions, known as Flame Clocks, with the enemies’ essence.

Mio and Noah, the two main protagonists, are off-seers of their respective nations; flute-bearing mourners of the dead that allow the deceased to pass on with their music. However, fate plays a funny hand, forcing them and their teams to team up for a common adventure into the area of Sword March.


Characters

Which is your favorite? (Image via Nintendo)
Which is your favorite? (Image via Nintendo)

Noah is accompanied by partners Lanz and Eunie. The former is a charismatic brawler who specializes in close quarters, while the latter is a brash girl who hides her soft demeanor. Mio, on the other hand, is accompanied by the smart tactician, fellow Taion and 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 that can join the players’ team as a seventh party member. They each have their own unique perks and abilities 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 will be able to freely roam the vast, seamless, and scenic open landscapes of this massive RPG. These feature 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 give chase to players.

Players may also encounter warriors of Keves and Agnus dukng it out on their excursions, and can step in if desired. They can also visit Colonies, powered by Feronis’, powerful mobile bases that can double up as powerful weapons of destruction.

These Colonies are home to denizens that can be traded with or engaged with for side missions. There are even outlets to dine with the team, granting passive buffs.

The team can also kick back at Rest Spots and discuss plans, cook, craft, and more. It further deepens each characters’ personality.


Accessibility

Where do you go? (Image via Nintendo)
Where do you go? (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 quest criteria can only be met at specific points in the day.

The Navigation feature also springs forth a crimson trail to follow to the desired objective in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.


Combat

Battle ferocious creatures (Image via Nintendo)
Battle ferocious creatures (Image via Nintendo)

The combat in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 builds upon that of 2 and previous games. Players will have a suite of attacks to pick from and can move freely, with positioning affecting effectiveness. Abilities called Arts are also used to unleash powerful moves to help take down enemies faster, like toppling them.

Arts can also be chained together for more powerful variants that combine the effects of each ability, like healing, defending, buffing allies and so on. The possibilities are endless. Another feature, Chain Attacks, also lets characters come together for special follow-up moves that deal big damage.


Classes

Strategize for max effeciency (Image via Nintendo)
Strategize for max effeciency (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 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 may also swap around classes for the party configuration they want, including Arts of different classes. This even allows the Tanky Defenders to play a support role like healing.

Heroes also possess their own class styles, but only one can be in your party at any given time.


Ouroboros

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

Two-man teams among Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s party can fuse together into beastly forms called Ourboros by Interlinking. This form lasts only a short while but dramatically boosts player power, allowing them to capitalize on 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 forms. Ouroboros can be further strengthened by investing points and can also help with Chain Attacks.


Miscellaneous

Will you be buying it? (Image via Nintendo)
Will you be buying it? (Image via Nintendo)

Nintendo has announced an Expansion Pass for the game featuring cosmetics, new missions, new Heroes, new story content and more. Additionally, players can use any amiibo figurine to gain helpful 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 is set to release exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 29, 2022.


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