Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review
Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the third installment in Nintendo’s Xenoblade role-playing series is grander and more in-depth than the earlier installments, but also takes dozens of hours to get going.
Since 2010, the Japanese Monolith Soft has been making the Xenoblade games for Nintendo game consoles. Those games feature grand, open worlds to explore. These worlds are often located on top of a giant, which you move over like a kind of ant.
In the third part, such a world is embroiled in an ongoing war. Humanity has become dependent on soul engines. These so-called Flame Clocks have replaced the usual food and other necessities of life. If you don’t kill enough enemies, your engine will run out and starve.
Your small group of soldiers depends on that too, until you and an enemy division are suddenly cut loose from your Flame Clocks. You and those enemies suddenly have no reason to fight, but you have to flee from the mysterious forces behind the endless war.
The story starts slowly and only goes in surprising directions towards the end. It mainly serves as a backdrop for your team of six playable characters, which you gradually get to know.
They process their war traumas and slowly have to learn to trust each other, after years of killing each other’s comrades.
Big world impresses with beautiful views
While the story takes you from area to area, the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is largely free to explore. For example, you can search for resources for upgrades, find optional bosses to defeat or complete side missions.
The world looks stunning, if you look up a little: it’s a game that impresses with its views of mountains and beautiful starry skies. The ground is a little less impressive, although characters do look good and everything runs smoothly.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 review
Dangerous monsters keep you alert
There are a few ways Xenoblade manages to keep that world fun. Secret areas ensure that there is always something to explore. And as the game progresses, you’ll unlock new ways to move forward. For example, you can return to an old valley later, because you can climb there or use a cable car.
By making the world dangerous, the makers keep you alert. For example, you can encounter a dangerous monster from dozens of levels higher. You have to carefully sneak around that.
Battles become more complex throughout the game
It’s fighting that beats the clock in Xenoblade 3. At first, it’s simple: you have three attacks on the action buttons of your controller, which you can use once every few seconds. Some are stronger from the side or back of a sample, while others repair damage, for example.
As the game progresses, all kinds of systems are added that slowly make the battles more complex. You’ll learn how the characters merge into one big robot for special attacks and must cut off attacks at the right time for more damage. You can also perform so-called chain attacks to get the most out of your team in one go.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3
A scene from Xenoblade.
You can decide for yourself how your team is formed
Each of your six characters has their own class, but they can freely switch to another. The game encourages you to do the same: for example, if your swordsman is level 10, you can use its attacks if you play a healer afterwards. By training everything, your characters gradually become more versatile and stronger.
The longer you play, the more you’ll travel with Heroes: additional, seventh team members who temporarily join your team. And if you complete a special mission for them, you can also use their class for your characters. All this creates a lot of variation: you can decide for yourself how your team is formed.
Takes a long time to get to know everything
It takes a long time until all systems in the game are introduced. It wasn’t until about twenty o’clock that we had the idea that we really had an influence on a fight and could apply strategies.
But by that time, the amount of systems was so large that we often had to consult a database in the game to read how everything worked again. It sometimes feels like learning a big, long-lasting board game with a thick manual. Some find that the best thing there is, but others may not have the patience for it.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a great game that truly contains hundreds of hours of content. Everything is flawless, but you have to be patient to traverse the beginning of the game and get to know all those underlying systems. If you bite through for about twenty hours, then this is a great role play.
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