Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct Showcases World, Gameplay
Nintendo held a dedicated Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct presentation today, during which it showcased the setting and gameplay for Monolith Soft’s title. The twenty-minute video begins with a new trailer, viewable below alongside the full presentation, that teases some of the game’s story elements, most notably the characters’ limited lifespans.
It then introduces the ongoing and all-encompassing conflict between the nations of Keves and Agnus, which sees the two forces attempting to kill the soldiers of the other to fill their own flame clock. The soldiers have a lifespan of just ten “terms”, with those who reach ten terms undergoing a homecoming ceremony to send them off. For those who fall in battle, the Off-Seers conduct a ritual as their souls evaporate. The main characters consist of three soldiers from each nation — Keves’ Noah, Eunie, and Lanz, plus Agnus’ Mio, Sena, and Taion — sent on a special mission, who decide to work together and become fugitives in order to defeat a hidden true enemy.
The video then showcases the world of Aionios, including its variety of locations and creatures. The world is also home to the colonies of both nations. These colonies serve as the nations’ base camps, which have giant machines lying at their hearts that act as mobile bases and weapons of war. These colonies are home to shops, while players can interact with numerous residents around the world. The game sees the return of the Affinity system from Xenoblade Chronicles that tracks the relationships of the people of the world.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will also include rest spots, where players can undertake cooking and gem crafting, as well as uncover new quests by having the party discuss information gained from residents. One new feature is quest routes, which give players a path to follow to reach their next quest objective rather than a single compass point. Other returning features include landmarks, fast travel, and the ability to change time to encounter specific monsters.
The video then covers the combat system, diving deeply into its previously covered arts and class systems. It also introduces hero characters Ashera, Valdi, Riku and Manana, Fiona, Alexandria, and Gray. These residents of Aionios can join the party as a seventh party member. Only one can be active at any time, but players can choose to swap them. In addition, the heroes bring their own unique classes, which can be learned by the main party members.
It also details the Ouroboros system. This lets the three pairs of party members combine into a joint giant form. The fusion process is called Interlinking and the Ouroboros form comes with its own powerful move set, but will overheat if used for too long. The Ouroboros itself is controlled by one of the characters, but players can swap which one is in control to change their form and move set. Players earn points from battle that can be used to power up the Ouroboros forms.
Finally, Nintendo announced a $29.99 Expansion Pass. The Expansion Pass will include the following releases:
- July 29, 2022 — Helpful items, outfit colour variants pack
- By December 31, 2022 — Challenge battle, new hero character and quests, new outfit
- By April 30, 2023 — Challenge battle, new hero character and quests, new outfit
- By December 31, 2023 — New story scenario
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is set in a world that connects the futures of the settings of Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The game will release worldwide for Nintendo Switch on July 29, 2022.