Switch's Open-World RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Shows Off Beautiful New Area

Nintendo shows off nearly an hour of new gameplay footage.


Aside from Super Mario Odyssey, the biggest game in store for Switch this holiday season--both figuratively and literally--is Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Nintendo showcased nearly an hour of new footage of the sprawling RPG this past weekend at Gamescom, giving fans their first look at a breathtaking new area and providing them with a more detailed overview of the game's battle system.

As in the first Xenoblade, the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is spread across the backs of colossal beings known as Titans, which roam about an endless sea of clouds. While most of the game's locales are set on the surface of these Titans, the new area we got to see during Nintendo's Gamescom stream, Uraya, is located inside one of the giants. The area resembles a vast, faintly lit cave dotted with autumnal trees and flowing rivers, which give it an ethereal glow unlike any of the other areas Nintendo has shown off thus far. You can watch the entire gameplay demonstration below.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2's battle system is similar to that of the series' previous titles, though it has been notably streamlined in certain areas. This time around, rather than having to cycle through your entire palette to select an Art, each one has been assigned to the buttons on the right Joy-Con. The buttons on the left controller, meanwhile, allow you to swap between Blades--the physical manifestations of the weapons you use in battle. Each Blade has a different elemental type, and the Arts you are able to use change depending upon which of your Blades is currently active.

Nintendo hasn't announced a release date for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 yet, but it is slated to arrive this holiday season. The game is being developed by Monolith Soft, the studio responsible for the Xenosaga and Xenogears series. We got a chance to speak with Monolith president and co-founder, Tetsuya Takahashi, at E3 this past June about his approach to game development and other topics.

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