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Xenoblade Chronicles 2: news, gameplay, characters, story and more

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Everything we know about Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade is a fantastic JRPG franchise that has rarely received the attention it deserves. The previous two entries embraced the hardcore audience with their staggering open worlds and imaginative characters, yet they seldom penetrated the mainstream.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, bringing a broad, gorgeous adventure to Nintendo Switch later this year, although a solid release date hasn't yet been announced, leaving us with only a brief trailer to whet our appetite.

After being announced during the Switch's big unveiling in Tokyo, fans of the first game will no doubt be eagerly anticipating its arrival. And for those picking up a Switch, it'll be nice to have a solid JRPG to sink our teeth into at home and on the go.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 gameplay showcase

Not only do we have an E3 trailer, we also have a 40 minute gameplay showcase to delve into. This gives us hope that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is definitely set to launch this year:

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 E3 trailer

Nintendo's yearly E3 presentation saw a fantastic new trailer released for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. We got our first glimpse at the in-game combat and utterly sensational soundtrack. Monolith Soft is onto a winner here:

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 at a glance

Release Date: 2017

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Developer: Monolith Soft

Publisher: Nintendo

Genre: JRPG

What’s new? E3 2017 trailer

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What is Xenoblade Chronicles 2?

Acting as a sequel to the Nintendo Wii original, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will once again feature a dynamic open world filled with quests, monsters and secrets to discover. Coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch, the sequel adopts a chibi, anime-inspired art style to emphasise the size and scale of the environment. Little else is known about XC2 so far, but there is plenty we can’t wait to see.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 release date – When is it coming out?

The JRPG is currently slated for a 2017 release. No specific date has been announced, so expect to see more of a showcase at E3 2017 or a future Nintendo Direct.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Story – What’s it about?

All we know so far is that we play as a brand new character in search of a mysterious place known as Elysium. What this is and why it’s so important is unknown, and is something the core narrative will likely delve into.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Gameplay – How does it play?

It seems the world we explore in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is once again full of flora and fauna. In the previous game we saw a planet thriving with dangerous wildlife and luscious environments. The debut trailer features some truly titanic beasts towering above the protagonist as he sprints across open fields. This makes it clear that exploration will once again play a big part, complimented by rideable mounts and vehicles.

Related: Upcoming Nintendo Switch Games

Elysium seems to be populated with multiple towns and characters, beautifully rendered with unique NPCs and rewarding questlines. Some of the environments depict rustic forest towns, wide open fields and industrial refineries. There is plenty of variety here. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen enough footage to analyse any changes in combat, which was a real-time affair in previous games.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 wishlist – What we’d like to see

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Better user interface

For all its overwhelming positives, Xenoblade Chronicles X was a clunky mess at times. Across the Wii U gamepad and TV was a clumsy collection of icons that dominated the display. It became hard to appreciate the open world when you’re constantly fighting with a dozen different options obscuring it. It felt like a mediocre MMORPG butting heads with a brilliant solo adventure. We’d love to see Xenoblade Chronicles 2 remedy this on Switch, aiming for a more refined experience that doesn’t leave the player scratching their head.

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More British accents

Xenoblade Chronicles has garnered a cult following thanks to its wonderfully silly localization. Many of the characters were blessed with stereotypical British accents that dominated each conversation. It was grating at first, but soon became a part of the series’ identity. This was sorely missing in the last game, and would be a welcome return in XC2. Even if it doesn’t surface, a cheeky reference or two certainly wouldn’t go amiss. We’d also appreciate Dual Audio options for those of us partial to the original Japanese voice acting.

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More impactful combat

Having already mentioned potential improvements to the user interface, we thought it’d be worth touching upon the basic combat mechanics. For the most part, we loved the battle system, but it lacked a feeling of satisfying weight you might find in similar RPGs. Swinging a sword or firing a gun gave off little in the way of weightful recoil, making it feel as if our equipment was made of sponge despite eliminating colossal monsters by the hundreds. Ensuring combat provides us with more meaningful feedback will make things immediately more rewarding, especially upon downing a challenging bounty.

Are you looking forward to Xenoblade Chronicles 2? Let us know in the comments.

nebebe

March 5, 2017, 6:51 am

"It became hard to appreciate the open world when you’re constantly fighting with a dozen different options obscuring it."
You do realise you could disable all of them in the display settings? If we're going to criticise XCX for anything, it should be its messy, overly-complicated and poorly explained game mechanics.

Umad?

April 24, 2017, 1:03 pm

The problem with Xenoblade X was the story if anything. I still believe that they should have gone with a set character instead of a custom character. It felt like your silent character was just a spectator at times. Didn't feel anything for the characters except for maybe Lao. The others were just bland, and that includes blandness queen Elma.

lolcatz6657

June 3, 2017, 9:26 am

please no british voice acting lol. Or at least, include dual audio.

Ace

June 13, 2017, 8:07 pm

The story in Xenoblade Chronicles X was crap when compared to the original Xenoblade... I wonder if that means they want to go back to focused storytelling.

coolastrokidd

June 15, 2017, 7:17 pm

They are considered two separate series from what ive heard xenoblade chronicles being more story driven and xenoblade x being more exploration driven

Sandman83

June 21, 2017, 3:19 pm

Actually those Titanic beasts called Titans is actually the continents in the game. They move around and stuff exist in something called the cloud sea. As the cloud sea rises and falls areas of those Titans will become accessible or inaccessible. Not really confirmed if they rise because the titans move up and down through it but it's very possible.
Think this is probably the single most mind blowing fact about Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that this article sorta fails to mention completely if I'm not missing something. :)

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