Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Preview – The third time is a charm
The world of Aionios is in a state of perpetual war, constantly engulfed in flames and filled with corpses. Nation Keves and Agnus love and hate each other, and armies on both sides pay the price. To make matters worse, these look mass-produced soldiers cursed with a short lifespan, 10 years. So the goal is to serve the front lines and be eternally immortal in Homecoming, an honorable farewell to Aionios’ most tenacious survivors.
I meet Noah, Eunie, and Lanz, in the final stages of their lives (or conditions). The top trio killed their fair share of Agnusians and watched many beloved teammates fall one by one. So when they joined forces with agents Agnus Mio, Sena, and Taion in the final minutes of Chapter 1, it felt as if all bets were unprofitable. In a time when one “lives to fight and fights to live”, the six leading the way seek a more fulfilling and meaningful destiny.
Spontaneously speaking, I was immediately reminded of Tales of Arise – two races pitted against each other, blinded by trauma and rage, unable to question the hateful rhetoric at the heart of their bloody conflict. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 tells a gritty story. While its opening hours suffer from some jarring momentum shifts and unconvincing plot rhythms, I overall enjoyed learning more about Aionios and its youthful cast of characters.
However, I would love to use the various quality of life features of the JRPG even more. Convoluted but overly complex menu interactions have bogged down previous games in the franchise. The third entry is tailored for the modern audience. I’m talking in-game GPS routes, a customizable shortcut hotbar with button mapping, more concise pause menus, and player-character-oriented icons for combat-based art. location. These may be minor impurities to the uninitialized Xenoblade, but this new level of accessibility is a welcome change that makes for less intensive exploration and combat.
In Chapter 1 alone, I trudge through a bomb-ridden desert, swim in azure waters, deal with a salesman in a small military camp beneath a towering robot, engage in the background difficult boulders in some rocky plateaus, and navigate a sickly forest shrouded in mist. The biomes are teeming with animals in the air and on land, from large birds to armored insects. I have collected the items scattered around the game world, finished quest quest for NPCand “send off” the fallen troops by playing a ceremonial flute.
I spent most of my time fighting creatures and cars for drops and exp. Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s combat is very systematic and rhythmic. Auto attacks can be “cancelled” (or chained) with role-specific arts such as Noah’s various sword attacks and Eunie’s group healing ability. These abilities build up a measure of the “art of talent” or the distinctiveness of being effectively recruited. Certain combos between certain characters can cause enemies to wobble, causing them to topple or launch.
And then there’s the interconnected system: Two party members – Noah and Mio, Eunie and Taion, Lanz and Sena – merge into a humanoid mech, aka Ouroboros, with devastating moves . So far, I’ve only played an Ouroboros in a boss fight, but using its fiery and terrifying attacks is a fun power ride. With six party members to control on the fly and swap roles giving basic encounters a delightfully chaotic quality, I’m eager to see what new mechanics await behind. Xenoblade Chronicles 3The extended tutorial chapter of.
I started the story eleven o’clock and with the main cast on the run from their respective factions I was looking forward to meeting the famous “heroes” that spiced up the action, interacting with my various companions at makeshift camps, and find out who the “real enemy” is. There will probably be dozens of other vast environments to navigate and legendary monsters to mess with, but so far, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is shaping up to be a solid, albeit conventional, trilogy.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 launches on Switch on July 29.