“The total walkable area”
Just how big is the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 world compared to the second game? A whopping five times as large, according to the developers.
This raw figure was disclosed via part three of an official developer interview series, featuring Tetsuya Takahashi (senior director and chief creative officer at Monolith Soft), Koh Kojima (producer and director at Monolith Soft), and Genki Yokota (producer and director at Nintendo).
After being asked about the scope of the game, and how big it was intended to be as the third entry in a major series, Kojima laughed, and really let loose just how big the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 world really is:
“Come to think of it, we were just talking about this yesterday in the office. That the world would be crazy big for this title. So I actually did the math, and it turns out that the total walkable area in this game is over five times larger than in the second title. It was like… “Yikes!”
Kojima elaborates, citing the hindsight of accumulated knowledge from prior games to really allow this map to sing. This allowed the team to get more “creative” instead of just re-using variations of the same landscape concepts, and cites the danger of over-designing things like “wall pattern” aesthetics, which can cut into development time needed to implement more gameplay. Draw distance was apparently a priority though, and I think that was a good call — despite the limitations of the Switch hardware, the game managed to really surprise me at times with some amazing-looking vistas.
If you’re interested in diving deeper into the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, you can find all three interviews from the series below!