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It’s E3 time, and Nintendo kicked off its yearly Spotlight in style with an extensive trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. After just a peek of the game back in January, we now have some more concrete info in the form of the three minute trailer. Let’s break it down.

It begins with exposition on the conceit of the world: Long ago, people lived on the world tree alongside a divine figure known as “The Architect.” They called this place “Elysium.” (C’mon, Monolith Soft, everybody knows you’re supposed to name the world tree Yggdrasil!) While it’s not as immediately gripping a concept as XC1, it’s perfectly intriguing in its own right.

The general plot appears to be about two youngish folk, Rex and Pyra, who wish to travel to Elysium. Pyra is some sort of special being known as a “Blade” (continuing the eponymous motif found in XC1 and XCX) who grants Rex special power. Given her outfit looks extremely similar to the sword that Rex wields, it can be presumed the sword… is part of her? Empowered by her? Maybe Pyra is the sword? It’s not exactly clear. Of course, the deep red metallic shade harkens back to the Monado, though we have no idea what the sword’s name is right now.

It’s here that we see a brief glimpse of gameplay, and in that short time, a good amount of content is revealed. (The later Treehouse stream revealed even more, of course). The HUD looks completely different from XC1 and XCX, with Arts confined to the lower righthand corner and party members in the lower left. It seems that you have less Arts at once in the game, with three slots available (depending on the Blade equipped, as later seen). It appears that they have standard Xenoblade effects, like increased damage from the back and side. Toppling also seems to be returning, which seems to suggest that the Break/Topple/Daze system will make a comeback. In addition, Burst Affinity (or something akin to it) appears to be back as well, going by the circular “A” prompt.

The most intriguing aspect is the Blade system in the lower lefthand corner. According to the later Treehouse streams, characters like Pyra are not playable party members, but rather provide special powers and different Arts during gameplay. You appear to be able to switch between three Blades at a time per character, which — between multiple party members — allows for great variety in combat.

The rest of the trailer is cinematic focused, with a couple snippets of the gorgeous environments along the way. Multiple antagonists show up to assail our heroes, including a fellow with two rose-adorned sabers, a guy with thick eyebrows, and a mysterious interloper with a mask (who looks somewhat similar to Alvis from XC1, for whatever that’s worth). We also catch a glimpse of some other party members later seen in the Treehouse stream, Nia and Tora. This is all accompanied by a dazzling soundtrack, which seems promising for the game’s music — though with such a high pedigree, it’s only to be expected. Without context, it’s difficult to parse together, but it seems that XC2 is a return to the original’s form in terms of narrative.

Between this trailer and the Treehouse demonstration, we now know quite a bit about Xenoblade Chronicles 2. What did you think? Let us know in the comments.

You can also view the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 trailer in its entirety:



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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.