Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Everything We Learned from Today’s Nintendo Direct

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Many new details about Xenoblade Chronicles 3 have been revealed as part of a special Nintendo Direct. From the core cast of six characters to their combat abilities and the world they live in, here’s everything we learned today.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 – Main Characters

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 takes place in a world torn apart by a conflict between two peoples; Agnus and Keves. The six main characters initially represent the two opposing sides of this conflict, but soon realize that they have a common destiny, and they must work together to defeat the real enemy.

The first group includes: Noah, a brave visionary; the bold and straightforward Juni; and Lantz, a tough brawler. Their original opponents are the kind and compassionate Mio; the brilliant combat tactician Tayon; and Sena, a tiny man with great strength.

United together, the six fight as a single party in their quest to reach Mechemarch, a land pierced by a huge stone sword.

Along with these main characters, there is a list of Heroes who act as the seventh member of your group. Although you can hire a large number of heroes, there can only be one in your group at any given time. Quite a few were shown in Direct, including Asher, Valdi, Riku and Manana, Fiona, Alexandria and Gray. Few details were offered about what they contribute, but the Characters have their own characteristics. Valdi, for example, is a military medic, and Alexandria is an Incursor who can deal more critical blows.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 — Combat system and classes

All the characters in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 fit into the classic RPG class trinity: attackers, defenders and healers. But within these broad categories there are more specific classes. Examples offered by Direct include Swordfighter, a well-balanced attacker who leads the fight; Marshmallow, a defense specialist who can dodge enemy attacks and repel them; Medic shooter who can restore allies and enhance abilities from a distance; Tactician, confusing enemies and supporting allies with paper talismans; Heavy Guard, which uses massive weapons to protect allies and attract aggro; and Ogre, which can crush enemy defenses.

Each character can switch between classes, and each character in the group is encouraged to study several classes in order to create a well-coordinated team.

Classes allow characters to use Art; special abilities that are displayed on the front buttons of the switch. Combining arts creates combos and fits into a system where you break and knock over enemies before tossing them into the air and then smashing them back to the ground. A chain of attacks together is a sure way to devastate enemies.

Fusion Arts takes this system to a new level, allowing you to combine two different arts into one attack.

The Xenoblade Chronicles 3 combat system works in real time, and you can freely switch between the members of the group at any time. So far, at least judging by the frames in Yandex.Direct, it looks like a pretty smooth and fun system.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 – The Ouroboros Connection

By far the coolest discovery of Direct is Interlinking; an ability that allows two members of a group to fuse together into a mecha/creature/thing similar to Evangelion, called Ouroboros. Certain pairs of characters can do this, and depending on which character is chosen as the dominant mind in the pair, the abilities of the Ouroboros can change. So you will want to choose the right “pilot” for the task. Binding is only a temporary arrangement, so you need to make the most of your ouroboros before the timer expires, but they can join chain attacks to create extremely destructive combinations.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 — Expansion Pass and Collector’s Edition

The Direct has also announced an Expansion Pass, which will cost US$ 29.99 / £26.99. A new story scenario is included, which will be released by the end of 2023. When you launch the pass, “useful items” and clothing color options will be added. By the end of 2022, a new test battle, a new hero and quests, as well as new outfits will be added. And by the end of April 2023, they also promise the arrival of another new test, hero, quests and outfits.

When Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is released on July 29, a collector’s edition with an artbook and a SteelBook case will be available. This is exclusive to the My Nintendo Store, so keep an eye out for pre-orders on the website.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was first announced earlier this year on Nintendo Direct in February 2022. This is the sequel to everyone’s beloved Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and although the action takes place in the future of the world depicted in previous games, it has a new cast and a new plot.

Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK news and articles editor.