Xenoblade Chronicles 3 walks through its extensive gameplay mechanics and announces an upcoming Expansion Pass in a new Nintendo Direct presentation

Nintendo and Monolith Soft provided a new extensive, in-depth look at Xenoblade Chronicles 3 in a dedicated Nintendo Direct presentation just for the title alone. The Direct spent over 20 minutes diving deep into the upcoming RPG's story premise, playable characters, combat system, and a deluge of progression mechanics augmenting its gameplay.

Before the presentation got on its way, they even shared a new teaser trailer right before it started. Lasting over 3 minutes, the teaser features a group of enigmatic, presumably antagonistic, figures conversing with one another right before a reel of brief Xenoblade Chronicles 3 story snippets played to whet the appetite of viewers.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct Teaser Trailer

As the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct started, it introduced the six main playable characters from its initial announcement in February - Noah, Eunie, Lanz, Mio, Taion, and Sena.

From then on, the Direct spends most of its time recapping information shared previously, though now it is all accompanied with new game footage. The Direct provides another glimpse at the vast world in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and some of the various wildlife that inhabits each region. As Xenoblade fans know, animals can be peaceful or hostile when the party gets near them. Some foes may be vastly overleveled when players first step foot in an area and they will have to cautiously manuever around them. The forces of Keves and Agnus may be on the battlefield duking it out as well.

People will encounter Colonies in their travels, which are base camps for resting and shopping. Vendors provide goods, such as accessories, to enhance the party. As players talk to NPCs, they will fill out a relationship chart diagram - a system that was in the first Xenoblade Chronicles. Rest Spots both in Colonies and at campfires allow the characters to catch their breath and interact with one another. As previously mentioned, they spend time hanging out, cooking, and gem crafting, which was also another mechanic present in the franchise's first entry. Some quests may be obtained too.

A series staple makes a return too. Landmarks encountered in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 provide experience and skill points; they become fast travel points upon discovering them. Players can toggle a Quest Route function that can set a course to a specific point of interest and the game will provide a route line they can follow to get there. Like in previous installments, people can change the time in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to encounter key monsters that only appear at specific times.

The Direct spends a good time thoroughly explaining and breaking down the basics of combat. These have been covered not too long ago, but the Direct provides a succinct explanation with footage to accompany it. Each character has several Arts they can execute in battle; some of them may deal bonus damage depending on where they hit the enemy, so positioning is key. Some Arts can initiate and continue the familiar Xenoblade series combo of Break into Topple into Launch and finally, a deadly Smash finisher onto foes.

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Chain Orders in the game allow players to link multiple Arts together. Completing these chains of attacks successfully gives a bonus effect. Each character attack fires off an Art one after another during these sequences.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 features three distinct roles: Attackers, Defenders, and Healers. They all are self-explanatory; Attackers focus on dealing damage, Defenders concentrate on drawing the enemy's attention to tank incoming damage, and Healers heal the damage that characters accumulate throghout the fight. People can seamlessly switch characters mid-battle for greater manual control over a certain role at any time.

Each role has several Classes for them, as detailed a few weeks ago. The Direct shows off the Attacker's Swordfighter and Ogre classes; the Defender's Zephyr and Heavy Guard classes; and the Healer's Medic Gunner and Tactician classes. Characters are not bound by their roles and Classes as well; players can freely switch them into different ones that suit their own personal playstyle.

Characters can individually level up Classes to learn Arts for them. Once they master a Class, they learn Master Arts which are a set of abilities that they can still use no matter what role and Class they switch over to. Both Master Arts and some compatble Arts on the new Class the character switched to can be combined to intiate a Fusion Art, which combine the effects of those two Arts simultaneously.

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A seventh party member occassionally joins the core six in the game. These are characters that are switched out; only one of them can participate in battle to assist the others. Several of them were shown off in the Direct, including Ashera, Valdi, the Riku & Manana Nopon duo, Fiona, Alexandria, and Gray. They bring their own unique Hero Classes, but the six playable characters can spec into them and learn their abilities. The Direct also mentions that people can transmog their outfit, so switching to a different Class doesn't necessarily mean they have to switch to its outfit too; they can keep their current ones or even switch to another outfit if they want.

Although Nintendo and Monolith Soft have shared the Ouroboros system before, the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct gives a better look at what this mechanic can do. When they announced that they moved the release date up to July 29 months ago, the Ouroboros was shown off. When predetermined pairs (Noah and Mio, Lanz and Sena, Eunie and Talon) Interlink with one another, they can fuse together to become an Ouroboros.

Each Ouroboros form has their own set of Arts; Ouroboros fusions only last for a set amount of time, so maximize damage output as much as possible during them. Only one of each pair controls the Ouroboros, so it is possible to swap over to the other character during the Ouroboros fusion to alter its form and give it a new set of Arts from the new "host" body. Every Ouroboros has its own set of interlinking skill trees to modify and enhance their power.

After laying out the flood of information, the Direct reaches its conclusion. It unveiled that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will be getting an Expansion Pass, like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 did. At launch day, those with the Pass will receive some items and outfit colors. Before 2022 ends, Pass owners will get access to a new challenge battle, new hero, new quests, and new outfits. Another wave of those will come by April 2023 and finally, a brand-new story scenario will be added to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 before the end of 2023. Presumably, this new story content will be in the same scope as Torna - The Golden Country from Xenoblade Chronicles 2's Expansion Pass, which was also offered separately as a standalone product.

Owners of the Shulk amiibo can use that as they play Xenoblade Chronicles 3 to give the Swordfighter class's weapon a Monado skin.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3 launches on July 29 for the Nintendo Switch.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct

In a new Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct video presentation today, Nintendo unveiled nearly 25 minutes of new footage featuring monstrous foes, intriguing personalities and sweeping locales from the upcoming game. The Xenoblade Chronicles 3 game launches for the Nintendo Switch family of systems on July 29, but today you can catch an early glimpse at the chain of events that sends Noah, Mio and their fellow soldiers on a grand journey of fate! To view the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct video in its entirety, visit Nintendo’s YouTube channel.

As the latest entry in the critically acclaimed role-playing series, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 connects the futures of the two previous mainline Xenoblade Chronicles games. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 can also serve as an entry point for anyone looking to become engrossed in an immense RPG world with dynamic characters, a rich narrative and epic scope!

In Aionios, the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, there are two opposing nations, Keves and Agnus, whose soldiers fight every day with their lives on the line. Six soldiers hailing from both these warring nations are tasked to take part in a special mission. Can these characters, once filled with mutual hatred, find a path that lets them all live? In this spellbinding tale, you’ll get to journey with these fate-defying hopefuls to learn the truths of their world – a place where every victory in battle and each setback is another chance to change the course of history and triumph over an uncertain destiny. Here are just a few of the features and activities that can be experienced on your quest:

  • Explore a Vast World: Aionios features breathtaking natural splendor that stands in contrast to the grim conflict waged between the two nations. Traversing Aionios, the locations you visit are saved as landmarks that you can quickly select and travel to, making traversing this giant world more manageable. Wander freely, or follow a trail to your next destination by enabling a navigation feature. As you explore, you’ll encounter a range of surreal landmarks and diverse wildlife. And just like the lands they inhabit, the lifeforms here range from docile to dangerous. Some creatures, like the notorious Demonic Krenolur, make no secret of their ferocious tendencies, so approach with caution!
     
  • Learn the Arts of Battle: When you’re ready to enter a fight, you can harness powerful abilities, called Arts, to strive for victory. Some Arts can throw opponents off balance, some inflict more damage based on where you attack from and some even heal allies! You can link multiple Arts with stunning Chain Attacks to unleash havoc on your enemies. As you become more experienced in battle, you’ll be able to learn powerful Master Arts and Fusion Arts for even more devastating attacks.
     
  • Find Rest and Quests at Colonies: Exploring Aionios, you’ll get to scale cliffs, ascend sandy slopes, zipline across ropes and sail the seas. While the stakes may be high, you can enjoy the world at your own pace, and discover colonies where you’ll shop, dine, get to know residents and take up quests. You can catch a glimpse of the lives of Noah and his friends at these colonies and rest spots. Use materials you collect to cook or craft gems to strengthen your abilities. It’s nice to relax and unwind before taking in the next slice of awe-inspiring scenery or felling your next outlandish foe.
     
  • Master Character Classes: Each character in your party has a Class that influences how they battle. The Swordfighter leads the fight as a well-balanced attacker, but there are many other classes that specialize in healing, defense and powerful strikes, among other abilities. You can freely swap the character you’re controlling in battle, and your Class can also be changed to match that of your allies. Spend time learning multiple Classes for a well-rounded team!
     
  • Recruit Heroes to Your Party: Your journey through Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will feature a party of six main characters, but brave residents of Aionios called Heroes can lend their arms and aptitude to your team as a seventh party member. Only one Hero at a time can assist on the battlefield, but you can swap them out as you see fit. And they bring their own special Classes to your team, like Guardian Commander, Incursor and War Medic. Your party members can even take on any of the Hero Classes as they become your allies. By recruiting more Heroes, you’ll grow the combination of Classes and Arts in your party, widening the breadth of your strategic options!
     
  • Fuse Into Ouroboros: By joining together in battle through Interlinking, two characters in your party can fuse into a fiercely powerful form known as an Ouroboros. Earn points in battle to make the already-mighty Ouroboros even stronger. Ouroboros can also join Chain Attacks with the rest of the party. Clear out the battlefield by using mighty Ouroboros Arts!
     
  • Expansion Pass Content: Broaden the world of the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 game with a paid expansion pass. The additional content that will be released in four waves* from the game’s launch through the end of 2023 will enhance your journey through Aionios. The content will include helpful items, new outfits and color variants, challenge battles, new quests, new Hero characters and even a new story scenario! The Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass will be available for pre-order in Nintendo eShop later today for $29.99.
     
  • Use Any amiibo: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is compatible with amiibo accessories. Tap any compatible amiibo to acquire helpful in-game items for your adventure. Tap the Shulk amiibo to change a character’s sword to appear as the Monado, the iconic weapon from the original Xenoblade Chronicles game, when using the Swordfighter class.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 launches at select retailers and in Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, and in the My Nintendo Store on Nintendo.com on July 29 at a price of $59.99. For those who want to begin their journeys through the world of Aionios as soon as the game launches, pre-orders are now available!

Xenoblade Chronicles 3
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