The latest Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Nintendo Direct was full of new information. The direct gave us more information on the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and the gameplay.
To start the direct, a new trailer was shown with confirmation that Japanese audio will be coming to the West through a free Day One DLC. In the trailer, we are introduced to the new cast – Rex, Pyra, Nia Dromarch, Tora, Poppi, Zeke, and Pandoria. We’re also introduced to other characters. Morag is a special inquisitor, Brighid is the Jewel of Mor Ardrain, Vandham is a Mercenary Leader, Niall is the Emperor of Mor Ardrain, Raqura is the Queen of Uraya, Bana is the Argentum Trade Guild Chairman, Eulogimenos is the King of Tantal, Amalthus is the Praetor of Indol, Jin is the leader of Torna, Malos is the second-in-command of Torna, and Akhos is known as Torna’s brain.
Not only were we introduced to the cast and characters, we also received more information on the story. From what it seems, there is conversation between Pyra and Rex where Rex promises to take Pyra to Elysium. From there, that is how Rex slowly meets other members of the cast.
Blades – Living Weapons
In this segment of the direct, we learn that blades are artificial life forms that bond with drivers, like Rex, to help and give them strength in battle. In order to bond with a blade, the driver has to touch the blade’s core crystal which can be found through Alrest. Also, a single driver can resonate with multiple blades.
The Wildlife of Alrest
Areas of the game are teeming with wildlife and the wildlife will change between day and night. Also, some of the wildlife will travel in herds or they may travel alone. Sometimes the creatures will call for help if they feel they are in danger. There are also some strong monsters in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and if the player can defeat one, a tombstone will appear which allows for the player to fight the strong creature again.
Blades grant weapons and power to the drivers. During exploration, blades can find items and they can also unlock new paths. During the battle, blades can strengthen and support the drivers. Each blade will have unique skills and there are multiple ways to strengthen them. The first is through equipping Aux Cores which will alter a blade’s abilities or a Core Chip which will alter their stats. There is also an Affinity Chart and new tiers on the chart can only be unlocked after the player has increased their bonds with the blade. There are also certain locations throughout Alrest that will allow the player to trigger a Heart-to-Heart moment which will allow them to bond with the blade.
As the player progress through the game, they may find themselves having too many blades. To remedy this, there is an option to dispatch a group of Blades to complete some missions and they will also gain experience points!
Depending on the time, the areas will change and offer different exploration points. There will also be collection points where the players can find items, and salvage points where there are treasures and the player may find themselves in a battle. There will be landmarks on each Titan that will allow players to easily travel back to that location and players can change the time.
Collection and Customization
There is also a trade guild the player can join and purchase items and accessories. There is a mini game in the trade guild called Tiger Tiger that the player can play and win some items.
The Art of the Battle
In the battle, drivers can equip up to 3 blades. The player can charge their Driver Arts with auto attack and then unleash Driver Arts. Once the special gauge is full, the player can unleash the special attack which are more powerful than the Driver Arts. It seems that the player can continue to charge the special gauge until the gauge is completely full which happens at level 4. Also, the players can command their allies when to use their special.
The blades fall under 3 different categories – Tanks, Attackers, and Healers. The player will need to carefully strategize and bring the right combination.
Master All Three Combo Types
There are 3 different combo types in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. There are Driver Combos which can be obtained by chaining arts. Blade Arts can be obtained by chaining specials. Lastly, a Fusion Combo will happen once the player begins a Blade Combo while a Driver Combo is in effect.
To round out the Nintendo Direct, an expansion pass has been announced. The expansion pass will include the following:
- Support Items for Your Journey – December 2017
- New Quests for the Main Game – January 2018
- New Rare Blade – Spring 2018
- New Challenge Battle Mode – Summer 2018
- A Brand New Story and Adventure – Autumn 2018
Also, on November 9, a new side quest will be distributed to players who have Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The reward will allow players to dress Link up as Rex.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will be launching on the Nintendo Switch on December 1st and a Xenoblade Chronicles 2 edition of the Pro Controller will also be available on December 1st. The Special Edition of the game will be available on launch day and it will include a 220-page artbook, a CD with a selection of the music from the game, and the game in a steelbook.
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