Get ready to go on a big adventure this Christmas, because Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is fast approaching the Nintendo Switch. The sequel to the critically acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles features a whole new world and set of characters to enjoy. It adds to what has already been a fantastic year for Switch users.
Based on the success of the previous game, it’s easy to see why this title is one of the most anticipated games at the moment. It’ll play just like its predecessor, but with improvements all across the board made by developers Monlithsoft. The battle system has seen plenty of cool additions, and there are also many new environments to explore.
The UK release date for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the 1st December 2017 on the Nintendo Switch, giving players another game to add to their already bulging stockings. This date is the same for the rest of the world.
There is a collector’s edition available to purchase, featuring a steelbook, sound selection CD and a 220 page artbook to go along with the game itself. In terms of DLC, a season pass has been announced with great content which includes new quests, a Challenge Battle mode and a whole new story. This will all be released throughout 2018. Also, the option to have Japanese voiceover will be free day one DLC, coming after some fans voiced their concerns over the English voiceovers heard in the E3 reveal trailer.
Set in a world of an endless ocean of clouds called Alrest, players control a scavenger named Rex in this world where the dying civilisation is surviving on the backs of these beasts known as Titans. The narrative begins with Rex meeting Prya, this living weapon known as a Blade, who gave up half of her life force to save Rex after he was killed. In return, Prya asks Rex to help her search for her long lost home Elysium, the ultimate paradise, which is hidden in the World Tree.
By partnering with the Blade Prya on this journey, Rex becomes a Driver who gains tremendous power from her. He must gather a party of other Blades and Drivers on this epic adventure where he will encounter characters both good and bad and travel through many mesmerising environments. There are plenty of mysteries throughout Alrest to be discovered. To know more about the characters that will be seen on this journey, check out the trailer here:
Unlike the first game, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has an anime-like art style with one benefit being that the characters are a lot more expressive. This should help players to feel more immersed within the story and character narrative. Every character has their own identity in appearance, along with the wildlife, with everyone and everything having some unique designs.
Each Titan region in the game is packed with great, colourful detail and there is plenty of life on show as wildlife parades around. There are many pretty sights to be seen as players journey through different environments. This vast open world really does show off the graphical capabilities of the Switch. You can see more of the graphics on Nintendo’s YouTube playlist for the game.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 plays a lot like the previous game with the same enjoyable Japanese RPG elements. Players control one character out of a party of three as they complete quests and battle enemies on the adventure in search of Elysium. They will freely navigate through the large open world of Alrest with interconnected environments from deep caves to winter kingdoms.
All areas can be explored to discover treasure, secret pathways and some mysteries about Alrest. To make things easy, landmarks across the world can be quick travelled to when discovered. There is also a day and night time cycle which can affect in-game events, like item availability, with some similarity to The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
The all-important real-time battle system is similar to the original, but has it has seen several changes. In a battle, Drivers take the offensive lead while Blades provide support. Up to three Blades can be taken into combat and switched at any time during battle. As attacks are stringed together, three different combos can be executed which are a Driver Combo, Blade Combo and Fusion Combo which involves both types of characters working together.
A Driver can also unleash a Driver Arts special move after hitting a succession of auto-attacks. The damage dished out depends on when and where on the enemy the move is performed. All enemies have their weak point. There are various Driver Arts available to select from, with some useful ones generating healing items. Using Driver Arts builds up a gauge which can trigger a Blade to unleash a powerful special move.
Blades can be created when a player’s Driver comes into contact with Core Crystals, with each new addition giving players new abilities. There are three different types of Blades which are Attackers, Tanks and Healers. Each Blade will have their own elemental powers, weapons and special moves so the party combinations that can be created are endless.
These Blade combinations will determine a Driver’s class. There are three different classes with each one having a different set of three Driver Arts. Every Blade can be enhanced by collecting Aux Cores and their weapons can be modified with Core Chips. That’s not all, though, as Drivers share a special Affinity with each Blade created. The more time a Driver and Blade spend together, this Affinity increases on a chart with new skills being unlocked the more this chart grows. Unwanted Blades can be dispatched on quests as part of a Merc Group, returning with XP and increased Affinity.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 gameplay demonstration
As you can see from the gameplay demo above, there’s a lot of depth and detail to the game, which just shows how much content there is to look forward to in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. There is a fun adventure in store for players with a whole bunch of likeable characters to see. The battle system is looking really cool with all the possibilities that are available.
It’s safe to say that there is potential for this game to be a brilliant addition to the Switch game catalogue. It may not be the most accessible for newcomers to Japanese RPGs, but current fans will absolutely love it. Gather your party of Blades at Christmas this year, because there is a huge journey in store with plenty to discover along the way.