What is Xenoblade Chronicles 2?
Set in a world with no land, where the people instead build their homes atop giant roaming beasts known as Titans, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a Japanese style role playing game for the Nintendo Switch. Playing as Rex, you set out on a life changing quest to find Elysium - a fabled world of plenty, from where everything was supposedly created. Along the way, you'll join up with a mysterious cast of characters, each with their own troubled past, as you try to find the World Tree, and avoid the inevitable war that's coming when resources run out...
How do you play Xenoblade Chronicles 2?
With vast and detailed cities, huge plains full of roaming beasts and monsters, and a genuinely unique visual style, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is an epic role playing game in every possible way. With a tight story tying things together, you'll set out on quests and side quests, as you infiltrate enemy ships, solve the problem of two star crossed lovers, and collect resources to fix many a broken thing.
Of course, it wouldn't be an adventure without conflict, and battles in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are frequent, and fairly lengthy affairs. With normal attacks being traded between you and your enemy automatically, your input into how the battle plays out comes from choosing which of your "Arts" to use when, with a bevy of special move meters to keep an eye on, as you try to power up the right moves at the right time (and sometimes in the right order to deal a killer combo) and deal massive damage.
How easy is Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to pick up and play?
Aimed at an experienced role playing crowd, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a pretty hardcore game, and can be punishing at times.
The battles are fast paced, and throw a lot of information at you, with up to a dozen characters and enemies on screen all going at each other in a full melee, with numbers, bars, and status modifiers popping up throughout, meaning there's a lot to keep an eye on. Even enemies of the same level put up a heck of a fight, while those just a few levels higher can dispose of you without breaking a sweat. Even getting around the world itself isn't safe, with numerous enemies that are 10x as strong as you roaming freely - if they come too close to you, they'll kill you in a single hit, and they aren't always that easy to avoid.
With battles taking place around the world itself, with no transitions, wandering enemies can often join in the battle too, with any that do often being a substantially higher level than you, markedly tipping the battle in your foe's favour. While your health will restore after every battle, falling in combat may see you starting a way away from where you were - and the enemies will all be back too.
While cutscenes in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are fully voiced, large tracts of the story are relayed through text only. Sample sentences include:
- "Aynhoodles, Rex. Melolo not able to accept such large sum here anyway. Should take directly to courier."
- "Have you heard anything about a girl called Nia, who was captured by the Ardanians recently"
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sits at the bottom of the mature content scale. Bad language is infrequent and mild, with "sh*t", "b*stard" and "p*ss" only being used occasionally. Violence is similarly tame, and though you'll engage in combat with swords, shields and sci-fi fantasy styled daggers, there's nothing in the way of blood, and little in the way of realistic impacts, with enemies instead simply flashing when hit, and fading away when defeated.
In terms of sexual content, again, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 features only minor suggestive material, with open shirted male characters showing off their rock solid abs, and some female characters wearing similarly tiny hotpants, while having a very ample chest.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Switch