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Everything We Learned From Nintendo’s Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Under traditional circumstances, around this time we’d be watching a packed Nintendo Direct revealing everything the company had in store for the Switch for the rest of 2022. But E3 is dead (for now…it’s been dead before) and Nintendo is now under no obligation to reveal its cards until it wants to, so….while we did get a Direct in June, it’s about just one game.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the biggest Switch release of the summer, and from the 25 minutes we saw, it will be more of what JRPG fans loved about Xenoblades 1 and 2, with a few new twists thrown in. You got your huuuuuuge areas to run around in, your large party of anime characters that constantly say the same phrases, and your endless number of optional fetch quests if you feel like grinding.

Xenoblade 3 takes place in a war-torn world between two nations: Agnus and Keves. It’s not immediately clear why they don’t like each other, but the Homs around those parts live just ten years before they evaporate into light particles, so they have no qualms about sacrificing themselves in battle since they don’t have much time left anyway. One weekend a small party of Agnus fighters meets a small party of Keyes fighters, and though they initially start fighting each other, they realize there’s a much bigger problem they will have to unite as one to defeat.

And in some cases, we mean literally unite as one: Homs can fuse now, Crystal Gems style. Two members of your party can temporarily combine into one giant member called an Ouroboros. They can only stay in this form for a very limited time, so you’d best make the most of it.

Six members is a lot to control at once, but you can have even more: there are guest members you can recruit called Heroes, for a seven-man party. You can only take one at a time, however….not that we’d know what to do with nine or ten people.

Xenoblade Chroncles 3 will launch on Nintendo Switch July 29, with at least a year and a half’s worth of DLC content planned for the future. The DLC pack is an extra $30.