Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is one hell of an emotional game.

With only a few weeks left until the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, we’ve been busy getting to grips with the latest installment in Monolith Soft’s epic RPG series, and you may be relieved to hear that it’s bigger than life. up to our high expectations so far.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 introduces us to Aionios, a war-torn world where the warriors of two factions, Keves and Agnus, fight each other in an endless cycle of total destruction. These warriors are fully committed to their roles in life, believing unwaveringly that they are born of Queen Aionios and destined to serve her by constantly fighting for ten years – or “”. – this accounts for their short and brutal existence, after which they will return to her arms through a ceremony known as “Homecoming”, if they are lucky enough to get that far.

It’s a grim existence, and the opening chapter of the game does a fantastic job of setting up the scene, introducing us first to Noah, Lanz, and Yuni, three Kevez soldiers who dutifully fight side by side in battle-ravaged landscapes where huge mechs lie. countless enemies on both sides.

As they fight and destroy their enemies, they suck the very life energy from the remaining shells, each fighter’s soul flame is sucked upward into their enemy’s fiery clock, huge machines that count how many casualties their side has taken in battle. . Every fighter on the battlefield is connected to this Fire Clock via an Iris device and they must, as Noah puts it, “fight to live, live to fight” to ensure that their clock is ticking.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 wastes no time throwing you straight into the mix, boots on the ground and straight into combat, methodically explaining the various combat mechanics. Fans of the series already know what to expect from the get-go here, and early on we’ll be introduced to the returning auto-attack concept that works just like it did in the game’s predecessors. Approach the enemy and engage in combat and your character will perform timed strikes to deal damage, you need to get used to the timing and rhythm of these attacks in order to then use your arts assigned to the “X”, “Y” and “B” Buttons “. Arts recharge over time and you will need to use them in rhythm with your auto-attacks in order to perform them properly.

in the first few hours, it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of change in regards to combat, but there are certainly many, many layers to be added.

You will also need to take into account your position here: back attacks should be done from the back, side attacks from the side and so on, if you want to take full advantage of their damage dealt use Break/Topple/Daze. / Trigger combos to see your enemies open for maximum damage, and charge character-specific talent art that really lets you use big guns.

On top of that, you will need to take stock of the combat lines coming from the opponents that show if you have drawn the enemy’s aggro, which is indicated by the red line showing that you are paying full and undivided attention to the enemy. the soldier or beast you are currently fighting. So far it’s the same as Xenoblade Chronicles, and in the first few hours it doesn’t feel like there’s much change in regards to combat, but there are certainly many, many layers to be added as the adventure progresses.

Once you’re comfortable with the main flow of the fight for the first hour or two, Noah, Yuni, and Lantz go on yet another routine mission from Colony 9, but this time it takes a completely unexpected turn. a twist that calls into question everything these characters believe and stand for. Face to face with strange automata controlled by a mysterious man who does not seem to fight for either Keves or Agnus, our three heroes, after much argument, join forces with Mio, Sena and Tayon, the Agnian soldiers who were sent to do so. same place. mission. This is where we first see a new enemy, Mebius, with our team of six heroes taking on a massive foe as they master brand new powers granted to them by the glowing Ouroboros stone.

The interlock mechanic instantly transforms the action, giving you the ability to unleash amazing attacks.

We won’t go into too much detail, you’ll best enjoy this roller coaster ride unstained, but if you’ve kept up with the official pre-content releases for the game, you’ve already got a glimpse of the quirky game. new Interlink system. The power of the Ouroboros stone allows Noah and Mio to become one being, see each other’s entire past, read each other’s minds, and more importantly, transform into a huge new form that is fit to take on the biggest and most horrifying thing that can. throw Mobius. them. The interlink mechanic instantly transforms the action, giving you amazing attacks to perform and tasking you with leveling up your interlink, a gauge on the left side of the screen that can be activated through three stages of readiness.

Once in Ouroboros form, the basic flow of attacks and how you use them remains pretty much the same, with your auto-attack rhythm, art, and positioning. However, now you also have to keep an eye on the Interlink gauge during the fight, because you will need to get out of Interlink mode before overheating or taking a penalty that blocks the ability for an extended period of time. Yes, every time you take Ouroboros form here, you have a timer and need to think ahead and plan your strategy for when you transform to maximize its benefits.

The Blade system of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has been replaced with unlockable heroes here. Each hero introduces an entirely new class with new skills and abilities, which can then be freely switched between

Of course, Ouroboros transformations aren’t the only new mechanic here – far from the least – and not only can you now directly order your squad to attack a specific enemy, follow you, or favor a certain type of combo when you fight, you can now also freely change characters at any time during the passage of the level and, more importantly, during battles. It opens ton strategies based on three types of base game classes; healer, fighter and protector.

And that is not all. By earning XP during battle, you gradually unlock the ability to use other character classes, meaning that characters like Noah, who starts out as a fighter, can switch to a healer or protector subclass, and the game actively promotes this transition. and level up in each unlockable class with all your characters to maximize your abilities in combat.

In addition to all of this, Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s “Blade” system has been replaced here with a plethora of unlockable heroes that you’ll meet and unlock throughout your adventures. Each hero introduces an entirely new class with entirely new skills and abilities, each of which can then freely switch between members of your party when you unlock the right to do so. It makes for extremely a flexible, fun and deep combat system that even in the early stages of the game gives you tons of options to play with as you dig through the battles. Switching between players instantly to draw aggression, heal your party or attack enemies head-on using the hero’s special skills, leveling up classes and interacting to strike huge boss enemies is an extremely exciting, vibrant and dynamic thing. and, unlike some aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, everything seems wonderfully ordered here, even as it piles up on more and more layers.

Indeed, hidden away in the game’s menu are even detailed tutorial missions in virtual reality, where you can learn all about the intricacies of combat or brush up on a particular mechanic that has confused you. In addition to that – and while we can’t talk about any of that in this preview – there’s a lot more cool stuff thrown into the combat mix as you and your comrades go into battle in a world that, thanks to Mobius, now sees you all. enemy number one. There is really something to be excited about here.

In addition to the exciting new combat system, the first chapter of the game also introduces us to the colonies of Aionios, the settlements where the fighters of Keves and Agnus live under the watchful eye of their Flamewatch and Consul. In these areas, you’ll complete side missions, gather intel, level up, and work to strengthen ties with your colony in exchange for rewards. We also got to know the Collectopaedia Card system, a simplified version of quests where NPC cards are automatically added to your in-game menu. You then head out to the field and pick up the many collectibles you find around, jump into your menu to pay off any cards you’ve completed instead of going back to each NPC each time you’re done.

All in all, from what we’ve seen so far, this is shaping up to be an epic Xenoblade adventure that surpasses its predecessors in every way, with a deep and enjoyable combat system that explains itself more clearly, with sharper visuals, jaws. dropping cutscenes, incredible vistas and tons of variety in its locations and enemies. So far, it’s been a smooth, stutter-free experience for us, even when battles get very heated – which is very often the case. It’s also nice to see regional British accents in this latest entry, and the banter between your teammates is really all the better for it. There are some completely different expletives here, and as a result, some of the lighter moments are really, really funny.

Unfortunately, we can’t reveal more in this preview, but we can tell you that we’re on our way to adventure as we prepare for our full review later this month and everything about this awesome new combat system. a twisting, twisting storyline, superbly written characters, and top-notch world-building make for the third installment in the series that hits all the right notes so far.

It’s emotional.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 starts July 29th. Looking forward to finally getting your hands on it when it arrives? Let us know below!

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