Screenshot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Game Cover

What is Xenoblade Chronicles 2?

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a game developed by Monolith Soft and belongs to the action role-playing genre. Published by Nintendo, it can be played exclusively on the Nintendo Switch console. The game is a sequel to the Xenoblade Chronicles video game and was released on December 2017.

Key facts about Xenoblade Chronicles 2

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 allows players to explore a huge and amazingly beautiful world.
  • The game has a complex combat system with a steep learning curve for amateurs.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 encourages players to try different strategies and promotes experiments.
  • The single player has a compelling story that players can explore at leisure.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 voice acting is shallow and the mechanics are insufficiently explained.

Gameplay of Xenoblade Chronicles 2

The gameplay of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is different from the one in the game it was inspired by. That’s because the new title can be played exclusively on the Nintendo Switch console. Rex and his new friend Pyra are at the cornerstone of the narrative, as they search for Elysium. Players are tasked with the mission of finding a lost paradise and defeat opponents they encounter while on this quest.

The action role-playing videogame has players in charge of a party of three characters. Only one of them can be controlled at one time, but the other two in the party are actively engaged. Exploring the open world adds a layer of complexity to the gameplay and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. There are different environments to explore, populated by different creatures and potentially harmful beings. In this world, there is a night-and-day cycle and the rotation affects enemies, quests and events.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 also has many role-playing video game elements, as it’s centered on the narrative and the main characters. When controlling the characters of its party, players can use the classic controller, the Wii remote or the Nunchuk. The most exciting moments of the gameplay are the ones involving fights between party members and opponents. However, the sheer beauty of the landscape and its diversity makes exploration a treat to the eye.

Replayability of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is insured by the fact that the game has a unique progression system. Their achievements are safe and when players begin a new playthrough, they are imported. The sequel uses in game systems that have a direct impact on the gameplay, such as the "Affinity" system. This affects the entire and can produce intimate moments between characters called "Heart-to-Heart".

Screenshot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Characters

Plot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2

The plot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes place in a world shaped by two titan gods. Players who are familiar with the environment of the original game will remember the way the endless ocean was transformed. In the new installment, the maps are larger and the diversity of life forms significantly higher. Meanwhile, the classic weapons used by the creatures populating this realm have returned, with visual improvements. The never ending war between the Machina and Homs burns through the land.

Rex is the central character and players closely follow his adventures in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. He was a salvager for some unsavory individuals and his job is to find a legendary sword lost somewhere across this vast world. This is only the starting point of the single player and things quickly escalate when Rex develops a special bond with the blade he discovers. This manifestation goes by the name of Pyra and from this point onward, the central character is elevated to the rank of hero.

With each completed quest, the character evolves and learns from personal and shared experiences. The bond between the player and the Blade only grows stronger and is emphasized in some powerful cinematics. The plot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is made more engaging by the cut scenes, which are significantly better than the ones in the original game.

As the narrative evolves, players discover secrets about the world they inhabit but also the main character. The developers stood true to the first game built momentum only to surprise players in the end. We won’t ruin the moment for you, as the new game does a great job at keeping players at the edge of their seats.

Screenshot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Sword Fight

Development of Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Monolith Soft wanted in the new game to be a vastly improved version of the predecessor and they were largely successful. This came at the price of a longer development process, further complicated by the change of consoles. In the wake of its release, it became one of the most popular and best selling games for Nintendo Switch. The game has great visuals and an amazing soundtrack, created by famous composers as well as guest artists.

Voice acting isn’t unfortunately as strong as the soundtrack, being frequently criticized by players. The team working on the new game wanted to create a cinematic experience, similar to watching a movie. Character progression was taken seriously to provide players with the impetus to replay the game after finishing it for the first time. In this regard, the progression of characters was changed, to save all the important progress made by players.

Where can I download Xenoblade Chronicles 2?

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 can be downloaded from the Monolith Soft website or from Nintendo. Players who want to make the most of the gaming experience are also advised to check out the first game in the series. Xenoblade Chronicles doesn’t have the same quality graphics and sound effects, since it was released years before. However, in terms of characters and narrative it is every bit as good at it helps players put things into perspective and better understand the game universe.

This game is a successful hybrid between action and role-playing video games, with elements from both genres. Players who want prefer RPG in its vanilla flavor, have a couple of better options with established titles. It’s impossible to go wrong with Mass Effect 3, Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Final Fantasy XV, Dishonored 2, The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt and Skyrim.

Screenshot of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Great Outdoors

What are others saying about Xenoblade Chronicles 2?

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was aimed right from the start at a niche audience, focusing on players who own a Nintendo console. On the bright side, it already benefited from the popularity of the original game which has generates the cult following. Not surprisingly Xenoblade Chronicles 2 reviews were positive and the game was embraced wholeheartedly by players. The beautiful landscape, the sheer size of the open world and the streamlined combat system were all praised by players.

The critics were every bit as impressed with the outcome and rated the game higher than its predecessor. At the same time, they were quicker to blame the developers for not paying enough attention to voice acting. The stark contrast between the quality of the soundtrack and the overall music and voice acting calls the game some points. There was also some criticism in regarding to the sheer difficulty of the game. There were people who felt that important game mechanics were not properly explained and detailed.

My Rating of Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I haven’t played Xenoblade Chronicles at the time I found out about the sequel, so I knew nothing about the latest game. I was simply curious to see how Nintendo Switch works for action role-playing video games and I wasn’t disappointed. In many regards this is precisely the kind of game that I find suitable for the new console produced by Nintendo. The game ran smoothly and I didn’t experience any technical glitches that would rule in my gaming experience.

After also playing the original, I was able to better understand and appreciate the depth of the sequel. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a good choice for players who seek a memorable adventure in a different RPG universe. The single player is long for all the good reasons and there’s a lot of content to explore, if you have the time and desire. This is a beautiful game with an excellent soundtrack so the mediocre voice acting can be forgiven. Therefore, I rate this game 8 out of 10 and wholeheartedly recommend it to Nintendo Switch console owners.