There will be light Direct-related spoilers below
It’s time for the Xenoblade Chronicles Direct! The third entry is getting an in-depth stream today, and we’re going to recap it all.
Spoiler shield in case you want to go in blind!
We got some more story bits
The Direct kicked off with a trailer, which provided a brief look at the cabal-like group that is seemingly the antagonist faction. Then it immediately led into a crucial story conceit: “terms.” 10 years is a “term” of life in which some “fight continually” as soldiers, then die. So like even-more-short-lived Clone troopers from Star Wars! All of this was accompanied by a lovely vocal ballad, which just goes to show us that the soundtrack will continue to kick ass.
A narrator then re-iterated the basic premise of the conflict between Keves and Agnus, and how the “main” party members are comprised of both of these factions (three from each), brought together by a “mysterious figure.” Now they’re fugitives as they begin their journey. Here they are:
- Noah (Keves)
- Eunie (Keves)
- Lanz (Keves)
- Mio (Agnus)
- Taion (Agnus)
- Sena (Agnus)
Of course, there’s more! Extras were discussed later in the stream with the option to add them “as a seventh party member.” Here are some, who have their own unique classes (not all of the special classes were discussed, but we’ve added the ones that were):
- Valdi (War Medic – more buff-focused healer)
- Riku and Manana
- Alexandria (Incursor – more critical hit capabilities)
- Zeon (Guardian Commander – a tank with boosted heavy-hitting abilities)
I call dibs on Gray! He’s definitely winning the edgy award.
The Direct showcased a lot of the game’s world and what you can do in towns or rest spots
The stream then shifted into an exploration of the game’s locales, showing off some of the zones (and roaming elites), as well as conflicts you can wander into involving Keves and Agnus. Towns are in the form of “colonies,” providing shopping, dining, and story opportunities.
Rest spots will let you cook, craft gems, and “discuss the world.” You can find a bit of that in the gallery below.
A few quality of life and combat features were discussed
“Quest routes” (visual breadcrumb trails that show where you need to go next), fast-travel, and quick time-of-day changes via menus (which let you find mechanics that involve “specific times”) are all in.
Classes can also be changed easily, and doing so will be spurred as part of the core story (a cutscene, seen in the Direct, will show this mechanic off). Those include:
- Swordfighter (balanced attacks)
- Zephyr (evasion/rogue)
- Medic Gunner (healer/buffing)
- Tactician (healer/disrupter)
- Heavy Guard (defender with massive weapons)
- Ogre (heavy-weapon attacker)
Experience increases the rank of your class, which grant master arts that can be mixed and matched between classes. A defender type healing party members was an example given in the stream.
Here are the Ouroboros combinations shown in the Nintendo Direct (and a look at its own level-up system):
“Only one party member” will control the Ouroboros (the beefed-up super abilities that combine two people), so swapping the lead can impact the mechanics of the ability. It’ll also feature its own skill/level tree, seen above.
A paid expansion pass is coming, with a new story scenario in December 2023
Typical cosmetic items will arrive at launch, with “challenge battles” (featuring new characters) coming in December of 2022, and April of 2023. In December 2023, the big one arrives: a “brand new story scenario.”
It’s priced at $29.99.
Functionality for amiibo was teased, but only one compatible figure was shown so far (it’ll enable a Monado skin)
At the moment, we know that the Shulk amiibo will provide Noah with the skin of the Monado weapon. Nintendo also provided this nugget: “Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is compatible with amiibo accessories. Tap any compatible amiibo to acquire helpful in-game items for your adventure.”
That’s it! You can watch the full thing here or below.