Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Direct Reveals Tons of Info on Blades, Characters, and Upcoming DLCs
Today, Monolith Soft presented us with a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Direct to finally cover more details on their upcoming exclusive RPG -- and about time, if I do say so, myself. We're barely a month away from sinking our teeth into this crazy fantasy world, yet we've hardly been told a thing about it. They certainly had a lot to talk about, today, though, to make up for it.
Let's dive in!
Japanese Voiceover Available as Free DLC on Launch Day
Before they dived into the meat of the Direct, they revealed that they're adding a Japanese Voiceover for those of us who want to experience the game in its original language. It will arrive with the game on launch day and must be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Story and Character Introduction Trailer
Following the announcement for the Japanese Voiceover, they revealed a new trailer that covers some of the Characters found in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, along with a peek at the role they play in the story. At the end of the trailer, there's even a minor glimpse of a unique Blade for Rex called Mythra.
More Info on Blades, the Living Weapons
Blades are essentially artificial lifeforms who can be used as weapons by forming a bond with people called Drivers. These bonds form when a Driver finds a Core Crystal and resonates with the Blade that's born from it.
One Driver can bond with multiple Blades--some of which are rare. Each Blade is special and comes with its own weapon, abilities, and design to really set itself apart. Seek out many Blades and bond with them by building trust in order to grow the strength of your team.
Beautiful Landscapes Packed with Colorful Wildlife
The Direct shows off many different landscapes that you'll be exploring, including grassy plains, caverns, winter wonderlands, deserts, and cloud beaches. No matter where you end up going, though, you'll find all sorts of wildlife.
Wildlife found in each area changes depending on the time and weather. You might find peaceful herbivores or aggressive predators roaming the land. Many of these creatures have interesting AI that breathes extra life into the world, such as traveling in herds or performing rituals, while others still could show up in the middle of a fight or even call for help.
There are many especially strong monsters that drop rare items when defeated. If you manage to kill one, it drops a tombstone in its place. Interacting with this tombstone allows you to fight the monsters again and show it who's boss.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Blade Abilities
Blades have a wide array of support abilities. For example, while you're out in the field, some Blades may increase the number of items you find while others may open up new pathways. In battle, they may use Blade Arts to protect or buff their Driver. Each Blade has their own unique weapon type, elemental type, and support abilities to make use of.
Blades can be strengthened in three ways. Aux Cores are essentially accessories that come with various passive boosts to enhance abilities. Core Chips directly alter weapons by boosting its stats and altering its appearance. And finally, you may boost a Blades abilities by filling out their Affinity Chart. As the trust between Blade and Driver grows through use and Heart-to-Hearts, you unlock more of the Affinity Chart to utilize stronger abilities.
Excess Blades can be paired together into Mercenary Groups. Send these Mercenary Groups out on Missions and the Blades in it will come back with Experience Points, Rewards, and extra Trust for the Affinity Chart.
Exploring the World of Alrest
The Cloud Sea goes through high and low tides just like any other sea, which means, depending on the time of day, you may be able to go cloud swimming and reach sweet new areas. As you explore, you'll find Collection Points reminiscent of older Xenoblade Chronicles titles. Interacting with these points allows you to collect items for use in all sorts of things.
There are also Salvage Points to be found near the Cloud Sea. Certain Drivers can use these Salvage Points to dive below the clouds and collect unique items. You may even drag a few monsters back up with you, while you're at it.
As you explore Alrest, you'll come across various landmarks. These landmarks are found all over the place, from centralized locations to hard to reach places. Unlocking a landmark allows you to fast travel back to it at any time. Here the DIrect also reveals that you may manipulate time by changing the in-game clock and even take the mini-map off the screen, or use a fullscreen translucent map to help you find your way around.
Of course, you'll find tons of cities while exploring the world of Alrest. Each one is unique and packed full of people. There are merchants that will trade you gold or other items for packs of items that you put together. Other citizens you meet may even have requests for you to complete for rewards.
Interesting Collectibles and Unique Customization
The Trade Guild has many shops set up for all of your many needs. Here you can buy miscellaneous items like musical instruments or books that, when placed in a characters belt pouch, may greatly increase certain battle stats. There's even an accessory shop where you can buy items that increase your Drivers' stats while worn.
There's a unique Blade called Poppi that can be customized by playing a special mini-game called "Tiger! Tiger!". The rewards earned from the game are used to upgrade her abilities and change her elemental type. No other Blade has unique customization quite like Poppi.
All About Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Battles
A party consists of up to three Drivers with three Blades each to switch between (four for Rex). Auto Attacks will charge up the more powerful Driver Arts. If you overfill your Driver Arts gauge, you begin charging a powerful Special Attack. If you continue to charge the Special Gauge, you can level it up to a maximum of four for more powerful attacks. Allies will even wait for your command before they use their own specials.
There are three different types of Blades: Attackers, Tanks, and Healers. The combination you wind up bringing into battle determines the Driver's class. The class will determine what sorts of bonuses your Driver earns.
Each Blade has four Driver Arts to choose from. A Driver may pick only three of the four Driver Arts to bring into battle, leaving a Driver with up to nine Arts to choose from between their three different Blades. As a Driver levels up, they may learn new skills and buffs for their Arts.
The Combo System
There are three different types of combos in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Driver Combos are performed by chaining together Arts to essentially juggle a monster. You can break a monster's guard, then topple it, launch it, and smash it back down to the ground. If you manage to get an enemy stuck in a Driver Combo, it won't even be able to attack or defend itself.
Blade Combos are performed by using a special that uses one of the specified elements on the HUD. Keep the combo going by following up with your allies' special attacks. If you reach the end of a combo, a mysterious Elemental Orb will appear and circle the enemy. If you start a Blade Combo while in the middle of a Driver Combo, you'll execute a Fusion Combo that deals massive damage.
As you battle, the Party Gauge will slowly fill. While it's normally used to revive fallen allies, it can be used to perform a Chain Attack when completely full. During a Chain Attack, each Driver performs their Special one right after another to combo the enemy. Normally this ends after three turns, but the Chain Attack will continue going if you manage to burst Elemental Orbs.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Expansion Pass DLC
They also announced an Expansion Pack available for $29.99 that comes with five unique DLCs that are set to release over the span of the next year.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is also getting an update on November 9th. The game will receive a new side quest that you can complete to earn Rex's costume.
Pro Controller, Special Edition, and eShop Pre-Purchase
A brand new themed Pro Controller will also release alongside the game on December 1st.
They even revealed a Special Edition for the game that comes with 220-page hardbound art book, a CD of some of the best songs from the soundtrack, and the game in a metal game case. Buying or pre-ordering the Special Edition will set you back $99.99.
On a closing note, the DIrect ends off with an announcement that the game is now available for pre-purchase on the NIntendo eShop. If you snag it now, you'll have it all pre-loaded and ready to go when the game finally launches at midnight on December 1st.
That's all, folks!
Today's Nintendo Direct blew us away with a wealth of new information on the upcoming RPG. Thankfully, the game is just around the corner, so we won't have to wait much longer before we can finally play this gorgeous-looking game.
In the meantime, be sure to check back with GameSkinny for all sorts of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 coverage and all things Nintendo.