Many New Details About Xenoblade Chronicles X

Many New Details About Xenoblade Chronicles X

The highly anticipated role-playing game from Monolith Soft, before known simply as X, has a new identity – Xenoblade Chronicles X. Along with its new name, the Nintendo Treehouse revealed much more about Monolith Soft’s next sci-fi epic for the Wii U. Rather than a direct continuation of the story of Xenoblade Chronicles, this game is classified as a spiritual successor that deals with a lot of the philosophy of the original game, but not its events. As far as story is concerned, what we saw during the Nintendo Treehouse presentation is only the beginning. As a war between two alien races takes place above Earth, the planet is put into jeopardy by the battles going on, and as a race, humanity makes the choice to abandon Earth before it’s destroyed, fleeing the planet on multiple spaceships known as Arks.

Just a part of the battle that forces humanity to abandon Earth.

Just a part of the battle that forces humanity to abandon Earth.

However, not everyone is safe, as one of the Arks is attacked by hostile aliens and crashes onto a distant planet, stranding its inhabitants – eventually, the player character awakes from stasis, encounters a woman named Elma, and the game begins with a journey to one of the human settlements – Neo Los Angeles. Initially, you’ll be seeking out other people in stasis to help the human settlements thrive, as the original people to exit stasis are military personnel – while they can defend themselves, they do not possess all the skills necessary for humanity to thrive again on this alien planet. As seen in the presentation, the player character is customizable – rather than a protagonist such as Shulk, in Xenoblade Chronicles X, the game is designed to bring the player into the fold through their own avatar.

You'll be making your own character to explore the world of Xenoblade Chronicles X.

You’ll be making your own character to explore the world of Xenoblade Chronicles X.

There seem to be a variety of options within the character builder, so it should be possible to tweak your player character in a lot of ways. The character builder is just one of the many customization options available, but we’ll get into those soon. Much of the gameplay is lifted from Xenoblade Chronicles, but given a healthy dose of steroids (not that we here at Leviathyn condone the use of steroids…) and looking as smooth as possible. First, let’s talk about how battles appear to work. Your characters are capable of a simple auto-attack that can be switched between a melee attack and a ranged one, with a range of artes displayed as part of a HUD very similar to that used in Xenoblade Chronicles. The HUD will also display information about your characters and enemies, including their conditions for attacking you. Artes depend on a character’s class, which in a very interesting twist, is able to be switched in mid-battle to alter your selection and change your battle style to fit the situation.

This is the class screen - which can be accessed during battle so that you can change class and change strategy.

This is the class screen – which can be accessed during battle so that you can change class and change strategy.

Artes include techniques like putting up shields or utilizing strong attacks on your enemies, and much like Xenoblade Chronicles, the techniques in Xenoblade Chronicles X need to charge up before use- however, skills can charge more than once and that affects how they work. Xenoblade Chronicles X will add a level of strategy in how you use your techniques and knowing the right time to use them.

Other things holding over from Xenoblade Chronicles are the passage of time and the change of weather that occurs while exploring, affecting enemy behaviour. The time of day and the current weather conditions will be kept track of in your HUD.

When battling, characters are capable of attacking enemies from a variety of different angles, thus changing exactly what part of an enemy is targeted. Not only that, but topography will play a part as well – characters can be on equal ground with enemies, or they can stand below or above them. All of this will affect how the battle can play out, and with the sheer size of some enemies in the game, you’ll be looking for the right way of approaching them to gain an advantage.

 

A shot of combat in Xenoblade Chronicles X - the player character is using a special arte on a large bull-like enemy.

A shot of combat in Xenoblade Chronicles X – the player character is using a special arte on a large bull-like enemy.

Xenoblade Chronicles X is gigantic in scope, with far horizons off in the distance enticing the player to explore them. As mentioned, this truly looks like Xenoblade Chronicles, but heavily upgraded for a system more powerful than the Wii.

The game, for those who are familiar with other earlier Monolith Soft titles, seems to be taking some of its inspiration from the Xenosaga series, and the Nintendo Treehouse mentioned that we won’t just be seeing elements from Xenoblade Chronicles return, but from the entire Xeno family of games.

This is just a piece of the enormous world we'll be exploring when Xenoblade Chronicles X launches in 2015.

This is just a piece of the enormous world we’ll be exploring when Xenoblade Chronicles X launches in 2015.

Combat within mechs will be an integral part of the game, but was not shown off in the presentation. All in all, this flood of information confirms much of what we saw from earlier videos of Xenoblade Chronicles X – this is familiar territory, but it’s being updated and made even more in-depth than its predecessor. Although we’re not lucky enough to have a concrete release date, Xenoblade Chronicles X will launch in 2015, and will certainly be worth the wait.