Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is an open world action RPG series for the Nintendo Switch, and part of the ongoing Xeno series of games. While the game is a sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles on Wii and New 3DS, it features a new world and heroes separate from the dual worlds of the Bionis and Mechonis from Xenoblade Chronicles. Starring Rex and his new friend, the Blade Pyra, the pair search for Elysium, the ultimate paradise in a quest to save humanity.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was announced during Nintendo’s detailed Nintendo Switch reveal in January 2017, alongside Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2 and the official release date for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While in Japan it is simply Xenoblade 2, the Chronicles name was carried to English speaking regions once again. Tetsuya Takahashi, creator of the series, returns as Executive Director, having last held the same role in Xenoblade Chronicles X on the Wii U.
Writing duties were undertaken between Takahashi, who conceived the original concept, and assisted by screenwriters Yuichiro Takeda and Kazuho Hyodo working on the even and odd chapters respectively. Takeda would make statements regarding the workflow for the game being much like writing for a movie.
While there was a lot of doubt whether the title would make it to English speaking territories by end end of 2017, but the launch was reconfirmed for the year’s end during E3 2017. Nintendo of Europe took on the localization task once again, but unlike the previous titles the localization process was happening throughout development as opposed to after, a technique which allows the Pokemon series to now have worldwide releases as well. Nintendo America and Nintendo European divisions regularly were in contact with Nintendo of Japan about decisions in localization that might have sparked controversy.
Monolith Soft wanted to give characters a wider range of facial expressions and emotional range compared to past Xenoblade titles. To this end, lead character designer Masatsugu Saito was selected even though it was his first time designing characters for a video game, wanting him to lend a more anime-like expressiveness through his art style. Square Enix Artist Tetsuya Nomura was also brought on board to design the characters for the in game Torna organization. Other gust artists include Kunihiko Tanaka and Soraya Saga, who designed some of the weapons known as ‘Blades’.
Music was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, ACE, Kenji Hiramatsu and Manami Kiyota, and features performances from both the Bratislava Symphony Choir and Irish Vocal Ensemble Anuna. Mitsuda would comment on the game’s music being one of the largest projects he would ever work on, with 1 Terabyte of Pro Tools data alone when he had never exceeded 500 gigabytes before. Over 300 musicians and 20,000 music manuscript papers were used over the course of the project.
Civilizations rest on the backs of colossal Titans as they wander through an endless sea of clouds. Rex is a young scavenger on the back of one of these titans he calls “Gramps”. One day Rex meets the mysterious Pyra. The young woman is a weaponized life form called a ‘Blade’ who can bestow their power upon a matching ‘Driver’. The two of them will set off to find Elysium, a paradise where there would be no need to fight, piece together the past of their world, and try to save humanity from an encroaching doom.
Gameplay mechanics in Xenoblade 2 will be familiar to those who played Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X. The player will explore an open world and seamlessly transition to battle when engaging an enemy. Anything in the distance that you can see is likely a place you could get to, and the Arts battle system makes a return as well. Playing most similarly to an MMO combat system, players will focus on positioning and auto attacking to build up their Arts, special moves with different effects.
The difference with this game is the system of Drivers and Blades. Playable characters are known as Drivers, and are supported by Blades. Drivers can swap between 3 equipped Blades during battle as the situation requires, which determine the weapon they wield and the Arts they can use. Arts are built up over time through Auto Attacks, and divided into Driver Arts which are their own inherent abilities and Blade Arts, which are driven by the connection to the equipped Blade. Using Arts in turn fills up a Special meter, which is dependant on how long they’re charged for and can deliver four separate levels of a powerful attack.
Blade Resonance is when a Driver resonates with a Core Crystal to awaken a new Blade and thus, acquire their power. While it sounds like a fantastic opening for Loot Boxes, this is a Nintendo game so thankfully it’s simply an in game mechanic. While there are rare Core Crystals with a set Blade, most crystals will be an impossible to predict randomly generated Blade.
While there are bound to be entire worlds of characters that bring the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to life, prerelease material has focused mostly on a small handful of major players.
Rex is a scavenger who grew up in Fonsett Village or the Leftherian Archipelago, on the back of a small (by comparison) Titan called Azurda, whom Rex calls ‘Gramps’. Rex is a dynamic and headstrong boy, with his unique outfit affording him protection while saving those lost in the sea of clouds. One day, Rex meets Pyra and becomes a Driver, setting off the epic story of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Pyra is one of the weaponized life forms known as a Blade, and a special one at that. Pyra is the physical form of the legendary Aegis, a blade with an emerald like Core Crystal and pursued by several parties like the evil Torna Organization. She represents the power of Fire and is deeply connected to her Driver, Rex. One of the two ways she can die is if the crystalline core in her is destroyed or Rex dies.
Mythra is the other side of that personification of the Aigis, a woman with the power of light. Pyra can transform into Mythra and visa versa. Rex’s duty is to protect her from those who would seek her power for themselves, as they seek out her home of Elysium.
Nia is another driver who will eventually join Rex’s quest with her own Blade, Dromarch. Nia hails from the imperial province of Gormott and is a friend of Rex. Dromarch is a Blade with the power of Water who can act as a healer when bonded to Nia.
Tora is a Nopon who longs to be a Driver himself, and looks up to Rex. He’ll join the party with his artificial Blade, Poppi α, who calls his creator “Masterpon”. He can use his ‘Poppi α shield’ and drills to direct the flow of battle and command enemies attention to protect his allies. Poppi α has a powerful metallic body and is fluent in the Nopon language. While she’s not technically a real Blade, she and Tora do operate very much like a genuine pair.
Note: This wiki will be updated once we have more information about the game.